This is one of the posts I wrote while in Niamey before Christmas but didn't post because I couldn't retrieve the pictures to go with it, but I've decided to go ahead and post it anyways...hopefully one day I can add the pics!
This is a long one, folks…
Thursday morning we drove down to Niamey to pick up Grandma Linda who was coming in in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I think this was the worst Niamey trip ever to date, Donnie would not disagree. You see, he was (is) recovering from malaria. I think he may have had the flu on top of it. It was day three of three of his treatment and the meds really seemed to be tearing up his stomach. He had wrenching stomach pain and had been nauseous and vomiting for two days prior to our trip and not keeping anything down, food or liquids. Thankfully, though, when it came time to take meds he was able to keep those down! This particular morning he had only thrown up once but was still nauseous, having stomach pains, body aches, and occasional fever and chills. I was beginning to wonder if his treatment was really working.
Currently, with the way the roads are, the trip can be done in about nine hours if you don’t stop. This time it took us 15 1/2 (breaking our prior record in February of 2008 of 14 hours). An hour or so of that was spent in Tahoua checking the post (empty :( ), withdrawing money from the bank (only one check had cleared :( ), and starting an IV. Yep, I said starting an IV. My first one in two years…I never imagined it would be on the side of the road in Tahoua! Donnie was just too dehydrated already and needed fluids. Our driver was driving very slowly, partly because he didn’t want to jar Donnie too much, and partly because he didn’t think our truck could go much faster (it can)…he was only prolonging our misery. We broke down twice. The second time was at dusk, a belt had broken, the radiator overheated, and Donnie felt like he was getting worse! I was to the point of tears, overwhelmed with Donnie being sick, trying not to panic, and fearing we would never make it to Niamey. Normally we were just over two hours outside of Niamey, but with it getting dark we would be slowed down greatly as our headlights pretty much suck and every time there is oncoming traffic we have to slow WAY down because we can’t see a thing.
At this point I was at the end of my rope. One minute I’m thinking, why bother praying, I can’t pray anymore, what’s the point, my husband is still sicker than a dog and He doesn’t seem to be answering either of our prayers and I’ve been praying all day long. The next minute I’m thinking, I’ve been praying all day, I’m pretty sure Donnie’s been calling out in agony all day too, and I know others are praying for us…what would things be like if none of us were praying?
And I just have to say here, Micah was such a champ! He was so good all day long; he hardly fussed and was just chill. Such a blessing as I don’t think I could have dealt with both him not being pleasant and a still very sick Donnie.
Finally, at 10:30, we arrived! It seemed that the moment he got out of the truck Donnie was starting to feel better, he even wanted to eat. I gave him one more bottle of fluid and then took out the IV. It was such a relief and we were so thankful to finally be here.
Here are a few pics from that day… if I can ever retrieve those pics of the memory cards, this is what they will be...
6441:Bad road. This is what much of the first hour south of Abalak looks like.
6443: Dirt track to the side of the road that is better than driving on the actual road
6444: Getting fluids
6445: IV start...beautiful!
6450: Here’s the little guy. Our old team truck doesn’t have seatbelts, so a car seat is pointless.
My mom arrived the next night at 2AM…with all of her bags in tow! We all went to the airport to meet her. Normally they don’t let people in to the debarking and luggage claim area, but a nice policeman let Donnie through, good thing because Mom needed a little help. We’re so happy to have her here and we’re so thankful for everyone back home who helped her get here, we can’t thank you enough! And thank you to everyone else who sent us presents, we are much appreciative!
[Another pic here: 6452:] Grandma Linda is here!!! Cuddling with her sleeping grandbaby while we check out our loot. I think we got back to the house somewhere between 3:30 and 4:00.