It is Friday, the end of the third week of this awful ordeal with the little boy who was so badly burned.
Ate E (our Scottish midwife) and I get the basin of water and put on our gloves trying to prepare ourselves for this task. We’ve done it every day this week and it isn’t any easier today. Gil looks over at me from the TV show he is watching and starts to cry. Not a silent cry but more like shrieking… I haven’t even touched him yet. I would very much like to turn around and leave the room… God, give me strength. Give Gil strength.
Nico is here, the older brother but he looks weary already. Slowly we drip water on the bandages. Gil shrieks. Not so much. Do it slowly. Ow. Don’t touch me! Slowly, please. Please! I need my mommy. I don’t like you. Please. No more. No, I don’t want this. Please…
Ate E gently strokes his brow and holds his hands. I natter non-stop to him… the same old lines. We have to do this. We have to get the infection off the wound. Do you want to go back to the hospital? Come on, you’re a big boy. Jesus will help you. You ask him to help you…You can do this, Gil.
The gauze is so stuck… it is more like cheese cloth and adheres to the bloody wounds like sticky tape. How are we ever going to get this off?
I have called my friends in Canada to send a special kind of non-stick gauze… O, why isn’t it here yet? How much more of this can I take? How much more can Gil take?
His screams bounce off the walls and my head pounds. There… one more piece off. Oh that one is stuck right there at the back of the thigh. Oh, dear. That one will have to be pulled.
No… don’t… please…
Come on, Gil. Help me out. Work with me. I will be gentle. I am going very slow. Stop freaking out. I give a gentle tug… its been an hour already and I’m not even half done… it comes off.
We all breathe a sigh of relief and rest for a moment. Ate E is still calmly talking into his ear and praying all the while. The sound of her voice is somehow very encouraging though I look at her and her eyes are red and brimmed with tears. She looks exhausted.
I start again with the water but it is too late. Gil has had enough. Now he roars. I decide to pull the last piece of gauze off his inner thigh without his permission. I have been so careful to not cause any pain or surprise him. I’ve been so gentle… But it is so terribly infected. He screams because he is angry. The wounds start to bleed. Gil sees the blood and starts to kick and scream… I can’t hold him down… he’s like an animal… but the leg is really bleeding because of his screaming… I have to settle him…
That is enough. I hear my voice above his. You will stop right now. Your wounds are bleeding because you are screaming. Stop it right now. I roar at Nico to hold his upper body still and not let him see the blood. I think he is panicking. I pad on gauze to stop the blood. The white sheets are soaked… this is enough to give anyone a fright. I continue to speak in a restrained yet very strong voice and suddenly all is very quiet. Just me barking orders…
We move him onto clean sheets and I remove the bloody gauze and I hold his leg still watching to see that the bleeding has stopped. It is just raw meat. Is this ever going to end? Will it ever heal?
I simply cannot do this… I will not put that stupid cheese cloth stuff. O, that the other gauze will arrive tomorrow. The room is silent. I decide to leave the wounds open, to give the air a chance to do something. Anything is better than that gauze. We move him into Noah’s room with the air conditioning. How horrific for Gil to have to see his leg like this but I don’t know what else to do.
Pray, Ate E. Pray.
He settles down on the bed with his Spiderman movie and his plate of supper. He takes his medicine and refuses to look at me or respond to my questions but he looks fine. He even laughed at the cartoon… Ate E and I are exhausted. We go to the kitchen to make hot tea and debrief…
The next day, we took Gil to the doctor at the burn ward. The infection was so concerning to me. He cleaned the wound and said nothing. “Keep
doing what you are doing,” he said. I stare in unbelief. “He doesn’t qualify to be admitted. It’s not bad enough.” He wraps up the wounds in more cheesecloth
gauze and we go home.
That afternoon the gauze arrived from Canada. We have used it for 3 bandage changes now… it falls off by itself with just a little water. Thank you, Lord. The dressing of the wounds now only takes 30 minutes at the most.
Please continue to pray for healing. There is great improvement on the side and buttocks… the thigh wound is so deep and so infected. Pray for us to have wisdom as we are left to care for this child with little help or advice from the medical community…
By God’s provision, we have had enough money come in to pay for all the expenses so far. Thank you for helping us. Thank you, Estevan, for the gauze. We believe God has a plan for this little boy, that his little life will be an example of God’s miraculous provision and healing.