had a bit of a panic yesterday with Esther. She went to bed as
normal at about 7:30pm, then she woke up at 11:15pm trying to
cry. Her cries were more like whimpers as she was obviously have
problems breathing. Each time she breathed in there was a whistling
sound which came to an abrupt stop when she tried to take a deep
breath. She was also trying to cough and clear her throat. We
tried to guess what she could have swallowed in the cot, but we
were convinced that there was nothing small enough. We turned
her upside down and slapped her back a few times but this only
produced disgruntled looks from her. I quickly put her coat on
and rushed to a private hospital about a 10-minute taxi ride away.
of the thousands of taxi drivers in Cairo I just so happened to
pick the only one who didn't drive like a maniac and was in no
hurry to get anywhere. I politely encouraged him to go faster.
He didn't know the way there either so I had to give directions.
Unfortunately I had to keep my eye on Esther too, her laboured
breathing seemed to be getting slower and slower. In the dark
I couldn't make out her colour so I didn't know if she was falling
asleep or passing out. Blowing on her face seemed to bring her
back so I had to do this regularly. In trying to do two things
at once I sent the taxi down a wrong street and soon we were lost!
But only for a few minutes, I eventually got my senses together
and found the right street to the hospital.
of the previous visits I knew exactly where the emergency department
was . . . but had to wait about 10 minutes more for a doctor to
become free. In the meantime Alison arrived after calling on an
Egyptian friend to look after Hannah.
explained to the doctor what the problem was, but by this time
Esther was breathing very lightly and so there was no whistling
noise in her throat. The doctor looked confused and told us that
there was nothing wrong with her. We explained in both English
and Arabic that we thought that there was something in stuck in
her throat. Esther wasn't going to oblige by trying to take a
deep breath either. We laid her flat on a couch and held her down,
restricting her movement always provokes a reaction, and we soon
got a whimper and a whistle. The doctor then wanted to put a stethoscope
on her chest so we undressed her- this provoked more restricted
sobs. I guessed that the next stage who be to take her to X-ray
to see what the blockage was, but I guessed wrong.
doctor told us that Esther had croup. What? Croup? What's that?
The doctor explained- (I think I've remembered correctly . . .)
It's a viral infection in the larynx that causes inflammation
and swelling in the windpipe, consequently restricting the flow
of air, sometimes severely. The doctor gave Esther a couple of
injections to reduce the swelling (now THAT definitely provoked
a reaction!) and a prescription for an oral anti-inflammatory
medicine, and an anti-biotic. (Why an anti-biotic?, I thought
it was a viral infection! It seems that doctors here always prescribe
anti-biotics as a matter of course. There again, maybe there is
a good reason and I just don't know it! After all I'm just a computer
was asleep in the taxi on the way back but it took a while for
her breathing to return completely back to normal. Neither Alison
nor me could sleep when we arrived home, so we watched a video
and checked on Esther every few minutes. At 4am Alison went to
bed in the girls' room, but when Esther woke up I took her in
bed with me. It took me a while to go to sleep because I had to
listen to her laboured breathing right next to me. I realise now
that it probably just sounds bad, and looking back we probably
hit the panic button a bit prematurely because at no time did
her colour change from a health pink. (Although I couldn't see
this in the taxi).
can see it happening now, we're going to be the kind of parents
that are over-protective and worry too much. When the children
are older we are going to insist on knowing where they are and
who they're with. We're going to watch the clock when they come
in late and not go to sleep until we know that they are safe.
Did I ever complain about this treatment when I was at the receiving
end? Yes. Did I ever tell my parents that they worried too much?
Yes. Maybe I didn't like it but now I see myself doing the same
thing. OK, OK I admit it! MY PARENTS HAD EVERY RIGHT TO WORRY
ABOUT ME! And I'm going to claim the same right with my children
too! Ha, one day they will learn the same lesson, until then they
will despise me in the same way!!
Esther has been fine, not a single whistle- and nice loud bellows
when she cries. Ahhhh. The medicine is working great!
else is going tickey-boo here. We had a pancake party on Monday,
a day early because there were a couple of English guys leaving
on Tuesday and so they'd miss out on the real pancake day. In
fact we invited all of the singles that we know so there had to
be enough pancakes for ten! We were surprised by the fact that
no one else seems to celebrate pancake day; the other guests came
from South Africa, Switzerland, Korea and America. Well that's
their loss eh? We started off with Egyptian take-away food, then
finished off with pancakes with a selection of the fillings: apple
sauce, bananas, ice cream, honey, lemon and sugar. Yum!
week was busy with meetings. There's a poor area that I visit
regularly called Hagaana. When the work started over a year ago
there were about 30 children attending. Well the number of children
attending has increased by quite a lot. There are about 90- and
as a result the number of people attending the regular church
services has increased also- the building is hardly big enough
to fit everyone (I think over 200 adults).
are desperate for more helpers for the Thursday meetings, what
is really needed is to split the children into the different age
groups for some of the time. All the children in Egypt only have
two holidays in the year. The main one is the summer holiday which
lasts from the end of June to October. Then there is the half
year holiday which is two weeks usually starting at the end of
January. This half year holiday is always a busy time for me because
there are always special meetings booked. For Hagaana they had
a party with a visiting puppet group then finished off with take-away
food. The children all took the food with them out into the street,
then we had Muslim children coming in to take the food that was
left! It's really great to see so many more children coming along
to the meetings but we really need extra helpers to cope with
special meeting that I attended was for a brethren-type denomination.
There was an inter-church gathering with about 300 children. I
had half an hour to give my message, the main part of which was
using modeling balloons to illustrate lessons from the word. The
children really enjoy it and listen well, but they probably don't
realise that I enjoy myself just as much! Ever since school days
I have always wanted to show off and be the centre of attention.
Now it's different because I'm doing it for His glory and not
for my own. Sometimes something will go wrong and I'll end up
looking like a bit of a prat! Yet since it's not for my own personal
security I've always been able to laugh and learn from the experience
know that He will continue to work out his purpose through me.
only booked a few meetings in the next few weeks because Alison's
parents are visiting next Wednesday for two weeks. Let's hope
we can all have a break and a good time! Looks like we'll be tour
guides again . . .
Alison, Hannah and Esther.
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