Friday, April 19, 2013

What to expect when you're Tchad

Tips for the Nasara…

Number 7 Tip: Leave out a baby name book as bait for snoopy SMs.  They think they might know the sex of our baby, but…..Mmmmha ha ha ha…..We’re not telling.  I know so mean to keep a surprise all to ourselves!

Number 6 Tip: Don’t try to get that perfect African pregnancy photo.  It may not have worked out so well like it did last time (see previous blog photo from probably May of 2011).  I did somehow get Zane’s pregnant belly with a variety of african animals: kingfisher birds, mating baboons (really truly), a snake (on my belly), a lion (in the background), a monkey, and the worst…...the charging cow.

Number 5 Tip: Eat what you want… cream and pickles anyone?  That’s a negative on both.  It’s rice and beans or beans and rice every other day.  Now if only it were from Taco Bell I would be happy.  I so would love a Taco Bell bean burrito.  

Number 4 Tip: Don’t overheat.  
Hello?!  Did you say don’t overheat in April?  Um, kind of impossible.  The best bet is to operate on everyone you can find.  Then you can stay in the air-conditioned operating room.  I’m sweating as I write this blog… in our house… at 9pm.  It’s 104 in the house.  Ya, April is really hot.  I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t allow this for pregnant women in the US.  There would be some heat advisory warnings out for not only the elderly, but for everyone.  But you’re in Tchad, so go ahead and sweat in all those places you didn’t know you had glands.  

Number 3 Tip: Don’t get malaria. Don’t get malaria.  Don’t get malaria.  If you do, don’t get preterm labor, don’t get preterm labor, don’t get preterm labor.  

Number 2 Tip: Choosing your doctor.  You could go to the local health center where they are most likely to give you a class X pregnancy medication (bad for you) at one point or another during your prenatal visits.  Or you could just do your own prenatal care.  Weigh yourself from time to time.  Ultrasound yourself from time to time.  Take your blood pressure from time to time (actually, not yet done).  You know…..very programmed and scheduled.  

Number 1 Tip:   Choosing where to deliver, ie, deciding NOT to deliver in Tchad.  
Why not?  Angelina Jolie delivered in Africa, why not you?  Yes, she is cooler than me.  Second of all, all of Africa is not like Tchad, and Tchad is not like all of Africa.  There are nice parts and there are not so nice parts.  Tchad is one of those latter ones.  Bajillionth of all, Angelina travels with her own posse of personal OB/gyns and operating suites.

Start by deciding when to fly home.  Pay the expensive doctors in NDJ a lot so that they will sign a paper to let you fly.  Otherwise, suck your belly in and fake not being pregnant (not so easy to do).  
Pick a state to delivery in and fly there.  It would be smart to chose the state that gives you the fastest birth certificate, ie, not New Jersey.   That way you can get the kid its passport before you have to leave the country without your newborn.  

Pick a hospital that MIGHT believe your story of being an OB missionary doctor who did her own prenatal care and just arrived in the country.  Otherwise the nurses will brand you as a lying druggie who should have her child taken away. 

So in case you didn’t realize, we’re preggers again!  Due mid August.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gender Confusion?

So just to update everybody… There's a new member of the Netteburg family!!! People have been harassing us nonstop as to the sex.

So here it is…

It's a boy!!! (See photoGRAPHIC evidence. You just need to look really closely.)

He's already caught 2 mice!!!

olen and danae

Monday, April 15, 2013

To the church/family in Montana

To the church or family in Montana that has sent us baby clothes and huckleberry syrup……Thanks so much!  We never have syrup so this is a real treat!  We'll share with the Appels.  Sure, we will.  : ) 

olen and danae

Olen phone: +235 62 16 04 93
Danae phone: +235 62 17 04 80

Olen et Danae Netteburg
Hopital Adventiste de Bere
52 Boite Postale
Kelo, Tchad

Volunteers Welcome!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Worker's Comp

Workers Compensation Interview Transcript, Bere, Tchad.  

Consultant: Please state your place of employment and job title.

Patient:  I work at the river fishing. 

Consultant:  How long have you worked there?

Patient:  Since I was five.

Consultant:  You started work at age five?

Patient:  I was hungry, wasn’t I?

Consultant:  Ok, fine. What is your salary?  

Patient:  The fish I catch provides food for my family.  If there is any leftover, I sell it.
Consultant:  What was your injury?

Patient:  Left thigh wound.

Consultant:  What happened?

Patient:  I was bit.

Consultant:  You were bit?

Patient:  I said I was bit, didn’t I?

Consultant:  By a fish?

Patient:  By a horse.

Consultant:  A horse in the river?

Patient:  A horse in the river.

Consultant:  A horse in the river bit you in your left thigh?

Patient:  A horse in the river bit me in my left thigh.

Consultant:  What kind of horse?

Patient:  A black horse.

Consultant:  A black horse?

Patient:  Am I not speaking English?  Yes, I said a black horse.

Consultant:  You’re not speaking English.  This is being translated.  What kind of black horse?

Patient:  You know, the black horses that go down into the river and become hippopotami.

Consultant:  A hippopotamus bit your left thigh?

Patient:  I suppose you could say that.

Consultant:  You suppose I could say that, or I could say that?  This is serious, official stuff.  On the record and what not.

Patient:  You could say that.

Consultant: Ok, tell me what happened.

Patient:  I was minding my own business, wading in pretty deep water.  I had only caught a couple of fish so far.  I threw my net out again.  All of a sudden I saw a huge beast come up out of the mirky water.  It’s mouth was WIDE open.  It made a deep grunting noise.  It was so fast that I could not get away soon enough.  It took a big chomp out of my leg, and by God’s grace I was able to get away.  It left a gigantic gash on both sides of my left thigh, through muscles and vessels clear down to the bone.  I lost a lot of blood.  I live in Tchoua, so it’s about 8 km away from Bere Hospital.  I got there with blood soaked clothes, but was soon repaired.  I’m so thankful that my leg was not broken.  The next day, I had a fever of 104.

Consultant:  So another typical hippo bite worker’s comp claim.  Can you tell me what protective equipment you were wearing?

Patient:  I had my shorts on.

Consultant:  Were you wearing your safety goggles?

Patient:  I was bit in the leg.

Consultant:  Please just answer the question.

Patient:  No.

Consultant:  I’m sorry to inform you that your lack of safety goggles is noncompliant with OSHA’s Hippo-Infested-River-Fishing Guidlines Regulation F.3.hh.10.6/3, as updated 06/2010, see version 8.4. Therefore, we will not be able to meet your request for worker’s compensation. Have a lovely day.

Patient:  Who will pay my hospital bills?  This is a very lengthy stay, requiring surgeries and IV antibiotics and lab tests and many other costs.

Consultant:  I’m afraid you and your family will be responsible for this bill.

Patient:  Where will I come up with the $40?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Nana

Happy Birthday Nana

Nana, as Zane and Lyol like to call my Mom, just had a birthday.  We won’t say her age, but it’s one of the decades.  

To celebrate we threw a party.  We decorated a cake to look like a black flower (one has to use their imagination).  

Olen picked out music from each of the 7 decades (oops) and we all had to guess what decade it was from.  The music from the last 2 decades definitely seems to run together.  

Then we guessed what decade mom did certain things in her life.  Some of the interesting things…..

1st grandchild: 1990’s
1st boy she liked: (um my dad of course, what are you people thinking?), was the 1960’s 
1st car: 1960’s (a 1954 Ford)
1st garment sewn: 1950’s
1st loaf of bread baked: 1950 (it’s tasted yummy ever since)
1st grey hair: 2000’s
1st mission trip: 1960’s (went to Nigeria with a baby and pregnant….to live)
1st flower arrangement: 1970’s
1st camping trip: 1940’s
1st shot given: 1960’s
And of the best birthday EVER…..2010’s (this year of course!)

Happy Birthday to the best mom ever.  Who else would come to be in the boiling place on earth and live next to their daughter?

We love you!  Love Danae, Olen, Lyol, and Zane

Danae, Dad, Mom, Zane, and Lyol.  The cake was supposed to be a black flower,
but ran out of black so finished with orange.  Happy 70 years mom!
Lyol and Zane zonked after Nana's birthday party.
.theyjust could NOT stay awake any longer

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Zane is sick again!

If anyone knows us, they know that last year at this time (hot season) I, Danae, copped out and went back to the states with Zane for a month.  

Well, they also know that I had a very good reason to do this!  Zane was sick with fevers for 5 weeks.  We went through treatments for malaria (primaquine, quinine, malarone, mefloquine, artemether and fansidar) and finally typhoid (azithromycin, amoxicillin and bactrim), but nothing seemed to do the trick.  That is until we got on the airplane to the states.  That very day marked no more fevers.  

We went to the fancy hospitals and had him fully worked up.  (He actually got to see the pediatric tropical infectious disease specialists at the University of Maryland, where there’s a malaria center!)  Nothing showed up.  Of that we were thankful.  Thankful it wasn’t cancer (leukemia) at least.  When Olen and Lyol were sweating it up in 100 + degree weather Zane and I were enjoying nice cool April weather in D.C.  So….after a month fever free, we came back to Tchad.  

Then a few days later, the fevers started again.  We eventually ended up giving him 10 days of IV ceftriaxone to treat presumed relapsed typhoid fever.  His fevers slowly decreased and eventually went away.  We never really knew for sure what his diagnosis was.  Typhoid or some weird virus that would have gotten better on it’s own anyways.  End of that story, right?  

Eating mangoes just fine.  And managing to get the arm board all goey.
Not so easy!  

They’re back this year!  Ya that’s right, the stinkin’ fevers are back.  And it’s hot season which means it’s really hot here.  So one COULD throw away all medical training and THINK that the heat is causing this, but we don’t really think that’s the case.  Our little boy sweats normally and is growing, eating, playing, speaking normally (for a 21 month old).  He’s even catching on to pooping in the toilet!

A month ago marks his first fever of 101 something.  Remembering last year, I decided to keep a good fever diary.  He got a malaria test that was negative.  But here you treat anyways because it always COULD still be malaria.  The tests are not perfect and malaria kills, so we treated him with oral quinine for a week.  He was a champ and was rewarded each time with candy for taking the crushed up pills with water.  

First day with IV.  Already learned how to carry
his sippy cup with bandaged up hand
After several days of treatment, his fevers continued, so we started to think something else was up.  

A nice friend sent us some new information on typhoid treatment that says you can treat kids with cipro now.  So we did that for 2 weeks.  Still the fevers.  

So now, Zane’s on his 9th day of IV ceftriaxone.  We’ll give it for 14 days to treat presumed typhoid.  Today he was 100.6.

Then…..if that doesn’t work…..maybe we’ll be FORCED to use an air conditioner (in Zane’s room).  I’m pretty sure I would camp out on the floor though.  Or Olen will make the trip back to America with Zane to see real pediatric doctors.  I don’t have the breastfeeding excuse anymore.  

Zane enjoying black frosting from Nana'sw birthday cake.
Please keep Zane in your prayers as well.  He’s doing well.  His first IV lasted 7 days, so we were thankful for that.