Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Million Miles Away

Did you know we’ve been in Thailand for nine months now? Nine months!
In some ways it feels like a lot longer than that, especially when I consider that we’ve lived in two different houses, changed schools, moved ZOE and experienced a whole lot more than I thought possible for this space of time.
October is a busy month in my diary- well it used to be!
There are so many friends’ birthdays (Andy S, Carla, Chad, Deb, Jason, Maree H… plus the mother’s group ones!) Man, I miss you guys!
It was also my little niece Bella’s 4th birthday on the 11th. I would’ve dearly loved to have been at her party especially since I had helped my sister choose so many of the party favors and decorations while she was here.
Next week it is our own little Spencer’s 2nd birthday. How hard it has been to plan for his birthday knowing that none of our family will be with us to celebrate with him.
I have close friends, newly pregnant when we left, who now have babies that I’ve never even met!
I must admit, I find all of this particularly difficult.
On a personal note, October has been a little bit rough on me. I know there are sacrifices with living so far away- that’s obvious right? But I think I’ve been hit hard with some pretty strong feelings of being so far away- especially this past week.
But I guess the two biggest blows came with the passing of my ‘Grandpa Lewis’ and the ongoing uncertainty of a chest infection that Spencer has had.
Firstly when I received the call from my sister that my grandpa had passed away all I wanted to do was drive myself to the airport and jump on the first plane back to Australia.
I couldn’t have felt any further away than I did at that moment.

Secondly after taking Spencer to the doctors for the third time and two courses of antibiotics later, I couldn’t understand why he just wasn’t getting any better. In fact, my instincts were saying he was actually getting worse but how could that be?
Again, all I wanted to do was fly back home and take him to an English speaking doctor- one that I didn’t have to prompt just to listen to his chest or look in his ears. And, oh, how I missed having my mum and my sister there to just ask, “What do you think? …. What should I do?”
So, in regards to these issues, both, which have left me crying (just a little bit), I sit here now and I realize again that it ‘s all gonna be okay.
I spoke with my parents yesterday who gave me the run-down of Monday’s funeral. I prayed for them at various moments through the day like when I knew my dad would be giving the eulogy and when my family was at the cremation. So despite not being there, I knew that God’s love and comfort would sustain them.
And, as we suspected, we found out yesterday that our Spencer is very unwell at the moment.
After asking around the other missionary mums, I was told about a private hospital that had a good clinic we could try for a second opinion. It was going to be a bit tricky to find this place though and the waiting times were also said to be very lengthy. I really needed Dave’s help on this one. So after many emails, texts and phone calls, he finally managed to delegate all his work tasks for the day so that he could come with me yesterday. I am so grateful for this!
After eventually locating the hospital and maybe 40 minutes of trying to find a car park, we knew we were in for a long day!
The nurses were extremely helpful though and tried to entertain a very grumpy and uncomfortable Spencer by giving him stickers. Funnily enough, I think his continued crying helped us out because we somehow seemed to be bumped up the queue considerably.
The doctor we saw was very thorough. He examined Spencer and ordered both a blood test and x-rays of his chest and face. His suspicions were correct. Spencer’s results showed that has a bacterial infection that is quite extensive on his lungs. He has a sinus infection and his ears are also inflamed.

The blood tests showed that he has a lot of inflammation in his system and his immunity is currently very low.  The doctor has put him on some new medication and told us to stop some of the previous antibiotics he’d been prescribed. He also said that the air quality in Chiang Mai is currently very bad, so it seems that with Spencer’s current condition, young age and low immunity he is picking up everything and getting worse by the day!
We were told to go and purchase some air purifiers for the bedrooms and he said this would be the most important thing to get him sleeping and allow his chest to recover. He also needs to stay away from other children outside our home for a little while to allow his immune system to get back to full strength. The new medicine will fix up the infection and the inflammation.
So although little Spencer is still quite unwell, we are now confident that this new plan will get him back on track in the coming days/weeks.
After an exhausting five-hour ordeal, Dave dropped Spencer and I home and went on a mission to buy air purifiers. Obviously this was a considerable financial outlay but thankfully it did not cause us to worry. 
God provides everything we need!

Just in the past 1-2 weeks we’d had some money given to us as well as the Prep-2 students from Flinders Christian College who had been busy raising funds for us just banked approximately $1500- you guys are amazing!! How humbled and grateful we are!
For the children, a surprise package containing balloons and stickers from their nanny, a DVD of their cousins from Aunty Sonia, a belated birthday present from some good friends for Tobi (thanks Kaz) and a big bundle of craft, books, paint and stickers from Aunty Julie all helped to keep their spirits high. WOW! What a blessing!
I loved the bright packaging on the stickers from Dave’s mum that read, “colourful stickers with encouraging messages to brighten up your day”.
Your emails, thoughtfulness and prayers really do wonders to brighten up our daysand help ease the feelings of being a million miles away - thank you.

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