“Time to go Home”

A week ago Friday, Nathaniel, came down with a sudden onset of fever.  Within hours the boy was shaking and I knew it was soaring.  103 F/39.4 C, the thermometer confirmed.   I know that doing an immediate malaria rapid test is not even indicated within hours of this high of a fever…..but I couldn’t help myself.  Poke.  Drop of blood.  Wait 15 minutes.  Test, negative.  Which it truly could be negative or I tested too soon, and there were not yet enough parasites running through the blood to make the test turn positive.  For now, I am satisfied that it is not malaria.  Within the next 24 hours the fever climbs to 103.6 F/39.7 C with anti fever meds on board.  Within 24 hours the fever was gone.  Leaving a very limp boy on Sunday.  Sunday night an odd dark circle rash broke out on palms of the hands and feet.  A light Dengue fever like rash broke out on parts of the rest of his body.  His feet hurt.  The rash itched. 



When you homeschool 2 kids and do 50% of their subjects together (History, Science, Bible, Spelling, Geography) and one child is sick this equals a light home schooling day.  Jacob and I were able to fly through the “do alone” subjects on Monday and Tuesday.  Meanwhile Nathaniel laid around and listened to hours and hours of audio stories, built some Lego buildings and had lots of nice special drinks (we normally don’t buy juices, etc.).  I ran Nathaniel to our doctors house on Monday (I LOVE how accessible she makes herself to the community of foreigners).    She asked me to go test his blood to rule out Dengue fever, but she didn’t feel like the rash on his palms and feet looked “Dengue like”.  Nathaniel did not want to go to the local pharmacy where they can test blood.  He wanted me to test him at our clinic.  So here I am again, poking my child for blood.  Probably not a normal, mother/son activity.  The blood results indicated “Virus”. 


Tuesday night, Jacob, after a full day of school and then art class and playing, stated wearily, “I don’t feel good”.  The thermometer revealed that child #2 had succumbed to the mystery virus.  I posted this picture on Face Book and asked my friends to “name the virus”.  I really wasn’t looking for a serious diagnosis.  I just wanted a good blog title. haha   Many of my nurse practitioner friends replied thinking it was: Hand, Foot, Mouth disease.  Which is possible, but there are no sores in the mouth and this is an itchy rash, which HFM is not itchy. (Thank you all for your thoughts).  At any rate, the response that WON and has made me laugh and chuckle all week was from my friend Kathy.  She wrote, “Time to go home to America virus.”

Even now, I am still laughing.  Thank you Kathy.

Kathy is one of my friends that I made at Siskin Hospital.  If Kathy becomes your friend, you have a friend for life.  She is excellent at asking questions, and listening.  Kathy sincerely wants to know about your life.  From day one (the day I interviewed) Kathy made me feel wanted, needed and welcome.  Our friendship grew beyond the hospital.  One day Kathy came to our home in Georgia.  Many of my other friends were visiting too, with their children.  Kathy brought ice cream for all and loved on all our kids.  Our family moving to Indonesia was a radical/crazy thing to do in Kathy’s mind.  She knew that we signed up for an initial 5 year agreement and she has been counting down the years (possibly months and days) since it all became final.  

We met for lunch this summer.  A lovely girly lunch.  Just her and I.  A sweet restaurant.  Some of my favorite food.  OK…..it was Panera Bread…..I love that place.  My mouth is watering.  The company was even better then the food.  We caught up on a year’s worth of happenings.  I saw pictures of her grandson.  Heard about her husbands scary medical problems that almost took his life.  I answered Kathy’s questions about life here in Indonesia, AND we talked about how much longer we will be here in Indonesia.  In reality none of us expatriates know how long we will live in a foreign land.  There are too many unknowns.  It could be days or weeks for any of us.  Then again I have friends here who have lived in Indonesia for over 30 years. Kathy knew that we had 2 years left on that contract.  Smile.  I had to tell Kathy that we probably will stay longer then the initial agreed to 5 years.


That information is very difficult for our parents to hear.  It is even difficult for some of our friends, like Kathy, to hear.  Deep sigh.  Thank you for loving us so deeply.  Sometimes I wonder if it is harder to stay and see loved ones go, then to be the ones going?

At any rate, that is the background for the “name that virus” story.  Meanwhile, Nathaniel has recovered and Jacob has taken over listening to hours of audio books (Thank you “Learning Ally”…..an incredible tool for dyslexic children) and drinking nice drinks.  The rash should appear today. 

While I am rambling on I will confess that being a home school Mom and having sick kids for the week is amazing.  By Wednesday there was no point in trying to “educate” these boys and yet they were not so sick that they needed my constant attention.  So closets, shelves, and projects that have only been dreamed about got organized and sorted and done this week.  I was almost giddy with joy that I got the rest of the week off and yet was ‘forced’ to stay home. Kind of scary.  So much got accomplished. 

So while some may call it “Hand, Foot, Mouth disease” and other’s may call it, “Time to go home to America disease”, I think I will call it, “Blessing in disguise disease”.

As always thanks for reading and praying.  May you receive a blessing in disguise this week and Kathy, I’ll be sure to let you be one of the first to know when we are moving home. ; )


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