A lot can happen in just one day. Like, let’s say, for example, changing everything about the next few weeks and months. The short of everything is that we are now leaving in just over a week instead of our original departure date in mid-June. INSERT me freaking out!!!! Our four years here have been the richest of my life and the mixed emotions I have about coming “home” make me break into the full out ugly cry at least once a day. God is doing something new and that we know for sure and it has been confirmed over and over again but it is still painful to leave. I will write more about our plans when I have time to, you know, do things like shower and sleep but we know that for a season we will be back in the states although we are not sure exactly where yet (for sure we will be in Chicago in 2012).
So back to why the sudden craziness if you are interested…..I had this feeling about Evy’s little toe that had an exit burn from the electrocution incident and after sensing it was not healing correctly took her back to an ex-pat doctor that lives here on the island. He is awesome and has seen my local friends many time without charging them. He took one look and agreed that it was not healing appropriately and would not heal on its own. He said without a doubt the inside of the wound is third degree burns and the skin has started to turn black. He said there is no sign of infection because we have kept it very clean (no small task with Miss Evy) but that it definitely required being treated by a plastic surgeon / burn specialist. He wrote up his findings and recommended we take pictures of the wound and email our insurance company to make sure they understood and would cover any plastic/ reconstructive surgery needed once we were back in June. We did that and later that evening got a phone call from the insurance saying they had looked at everything and had asked the advice of their doctors and we needed to come home within the week to start treatment!
Their assessment was that the wound is third degree and second degree and there are signs of eschar. They agreed that she will need plastic surgery and probably skin grafts over weeks and thus it is not something we could even have done here or pay to stay in South Africa since the treatment will likely be ongoing for a while. To say we were shocked is a bit of an understatement since we had been told the burns were second degree and would heal on their own. And we had just discussed that there was no way we could possibly get everything done within the 5 weeks we had left here and were already not able to sleep, feeling stress, and generally wigging out. I cried, we prayed, and then we just sat silent and listened to see if God had something to say. We both sensed He said that whatever we do we need to do it together. This complicated things since the insurance would only pay the change fee on Evy and one adult’s ticket but we knew that after the accident and during this difficult time of transition where everything about our lives is changing we need to be together. We asked Him to make a way for that to happen. The next morning we also sent the picture to a plastic surgeon we know that does amazing work with burn victims and cleft palates on the mainland. He said he agreed she needs surgery but said it was not an emergency in his opinion. After talking with other doctors in the US our insurance agreed that one week was not necessary but that sooner we start treatment the better so they arranged our change in tickets and we decided we would just pay the difference for all of us to go together. We just need to be a family through all of this, saying goodbye to a place we’ve called home for almost 4 years now, and getting our little girl treatment.
God is awesome and the change fees are very minimal which is a miracle! We are also sensing that while initially we freaked out that this may be His plan to give our family some time to recover and readjust before the chaos of the summer sets in. That maybe we need some time to be together as a family and reflect and make sure the girls and us are processing and recovering from everything. We are also still able to say goodbye here as we have made that a priority and are having 3 parties over the next week since although that guarantees chaos it also means we can say goodbye without going to everyone’s homes multiple times which is how the culture dictates we do it. Emotionally it actually seems like leaving sooner is better now that we have had 36 hours to get used to the idea. I just cannot take the stream of folks and crying and saying goodbye for now and inshallah we will see each other again. It is enough to push my emotional self over the edge. We were hoping that just once we could leave this place as “planned” on our terms but we are learning that God’s plans are very rarely ours especially in Africa. Plus, it seems medically related emergencies are more our style anyway 🙂 We know that none of this is a surprise to Him and He is making a way. There are so many things that have happened over the last two days that confirm this is right. We have people at our home from morning til night visiting, crying (mostly because I start it), and sharing how much we have become “zoea” (used to, accustomed) or a part of this place. We will always carry this island with us because we are so grateful for the things we learned about ourselves, our world, and just how big our God is in the past 4 years. So, to update…. 10 days and counting…..yeah, crazy…..