Monday, January 28, 2008

A Hard Trip Home Part 3

When we reached the motel in San Francisco, we were exhausted but elated to be back in the USA. We wanted real American food and glasses of ice with tap water or tea or cola. We had meal vouchers from the airline that were good at the hotel restaurant and Becky and Jewell went down to start supper while I kept Hope in the room for a while to give Becky a rest. I took Hope down after 15 minutes or so and Becky finished her meal and tried to feed Hope, but she seemed to have lost her appetite. Becky and I looked forward to a full night's sleep and hoped to be fresh in the morning for the last leg of the trip to Dallas.
By the time we were getting ready for bed, Becky began to notice that Hope felt like she had fever and her cough had returned. I thought so too, but didn't think it was real high. I walked about a quarter mile up the road to a convenience store hoping for diapers and a baby thermometer and found neither. I was thankful that we packed an umbrella, it rained steadily all the way. We asked the front desk if they had either in the hotel, and surprisingly they had thermometers, little cardboard disposable ones. We used one and it showed that Hope had 101.8 fever under her arm, so it calculated to 102.8. We had baby Tylonol that we had been giving Hope in half doses earlier in Hefei, and we now used it full dose. In a while Hope's fever was down, but just a couple of degrees.
Becky and I agonized over what to do. Our greatest desire was to get Hope home as soon as possible, but what if she had some infectious disease that the people on the plane would be exposed to. We remembered the Chicken Pox incident in Guangzhou and we scoured her belly and back for signs but found none. Our greatest fear was that she had something serious that would require hospitalization in San Francisco, or t0 be quarantined from traveling by air. We discussed the possibility of having to rent a car and drive to Texas. We held Hope in our arms and prayed for her and Becky asked that the Lord would show us what to do.
Hope's fever went down a little more and we tried to interest her in eating. She took just a little bit of a bottle and refused her favorite Chinese snack sticks. I found a wrapped cookie that was part of an airplane meal and offered her that. It was a Pecan Sandie shortbread type cookie and we were pleased that she ate one entire cookie and a few bites of another. We got her to drink a little water but she turned down orange juice which she usually liked. About a quarter hour later I noticed Hope scratching her hand. I took a look and there was a row of welts across her wrist that looked like ant bites or bee stings. We checked further and found them on her other hand, and then on her ankle and calves.
This was the last straw. As the welts grew bigger almost as we watched, we got dressed and bundled Hope up. I called the desk and asked them to call us cab to take us to the nearest emergency room. We woke up Jewell next door and gave her the boarding pass that I had been carrying for her and agreed that she would go ahead in the morning and make her flight even if we didn't get back in time. Within ten minutes were in the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in South San Francisco.
At the hospital the doctor determined that Hope was already somewhat dehydrated. He ordered blood samples and a chest x-ray. He asked us where we had come from and how Hope had been in the ten days that she had been with us. We told him, and explained how much we needed to be able to make the flight to Dallas. The welts on her hands had almost gone away, maybe they were an allergic reaction to the cookies, or caused by the fever. He assured us that he would help us, but he wanted to give Hope a round of IV fluids to help her make it to Dallas. He didn't find anything that would forbid her from traveling. It was getting on toward 6AM when they started the IV. and we decided that I would take a cab back to the hotel, repack our bags and get them to the airport while Becky and Hope finished up at the hospital.
It was a mad dash back to the hotel, pack the bag, search the room for something that I was sure to forget, and get them to airport. I actually made it back in time to get on the shuttle with Jewell back to the airport and she helped me with our five check-in bags and three carry-ons as well as hers. If you have ever seen that TV show, The Amazing Race, I think that I may know how the contestants feel. About a half hour after we got the bags rechecked, Becky called the cell phone and said that she and Hope would be leaving the hospital in about half an hour. I told her which door to come to and Jewell and I waited.


Anonymous said...

Great Pictures!! Who are those people in the pictures with Hope and Becky (not the one with the c,b, and m in it)

bb said...

Oh my goodness. Welcome Home! I'm so sorry you had a rough trip. I hope all will be fine in the coming days. Take care.

Shawnstribe said...

Welcome home, Hope looks so beautiful and relaxed.
You guys look so happy
Shawn and Aila Mei
UK Dec RQ room)

Anonymous said...

Post some more pictures of her home