The Ackermans

The Ackermans

Sunday, August 31, 2008


There are those weeks that just go by but occasionally I find one that helps me feel that maybe there really is a reason for my existence. Don't get me wrong, it's not all that frequent.

This past Sunday after church I was asked by a friend if I could help them out and give a shot to a young boy for them. He was 17 years old but when you're 60 he was still young. It seems that he needed some penicillin Benzathine Penicillin as a prophylaxis for a mitral valve regurgitation that he has been under a doctor's care for for a couple years. I said that I would do it but I wanted to take the time to listen to his murmur before giving him the shot. I am rather personally involved with mitral valves since I had a rather massive prolapse in my 40's and would have long gone by now (or at least displaced) had it not been for a number of very loving and proactive friends of mine who happened to be in the medical field.

When I listened to Robert's chest I heard nothing but a normal chest with no murmurs. Well, since I was there to give a shot and not to play doctor I went ahead and gave it which was no fun. This type of penicillin is almost a glue-like substance especially when it is given in 5cc doses. Needless to say this young man was not without complaints about his treatment. I didn't blame him.

Just to satisfy my personal questions I asked Robert's mother if I could get a copy of his medical records to look at and possibly have someone else to check through. By last Wednesday she got them to me and since they were in French and also in detailed medical terms they were basically useless to me but when I stopped at Dr. Theard's office on Friday he was kind enough to look at them for me. He wasn't surprised that I couldn't hear a murmur since he discovered that Robert's heart was still of a normal size and this mitral regurgitation was extreme minor at the present. Not only will Robert not have to have the shots every other week but he would not need the expensive echo cardiogram every 6 months but would have to be checked out when he had time in "five years or so."

I wish you could have seen the shear relief and tears of joy when I told Robert's mother that Robert wouldn't have to have those shots and that he should have a relatively normal life. It was giving her a new son back.

Sometimes we have these days! I'll take them.

And so it goes. John

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Deluge

We didn’t know anything about a low pressure system until we woke up, checked the email, and found a few people who were concerned for our safety because a hurricane named Gustav was supposedly passing through Haiti. You couldn’t prove it by me but we did check the weather websites and did see that Gustav was heading to the southern coast of Haiti. So of course we got breakfast in preparation to go to school and out to our daily chores. That idea ended when we got a call from the school telling us that school would be canceled because we were to get 20” of rain. I know, you would say that there are no such days as rain days but you just don’t live in Haiti I guess.

As we sat finishing our breakfast it quickly became obvious why we didn’t go to school. The mountain in front of our house disappeared in a huge rain cloud and the rain began falling at a horrendous rate. That was five hours ago and it is yet to leave up.

Feel sorry for us? Don’t. We are still warm and dry. This gives us a chance to catch up on some things that needed done. Since we returned from our Home Assignment in the States just last Wednesday there is still a lot to unpack and clean up. I’ve done some of that but feel that this little article for the blog is more important. I stopped writing sometime last Spring since I just couldn’t get motivated to do it. I am now writing because I have a mother-in-law who continually wants to know “why do you have a blog and not write on it?” Well, this is for her. My life’s obligation for the week is almost finished. Thanks, Jacq, I needed to do this. Now back to the rain.

If you’re a praying person do ask for protection for the many Haitians who because of the rain are now or will later be struggling to keep the heads of themselves and their children above water. We are so blessed to have the mountain to our backs to protect us from the rain, wind, and flooding and also a dry cement block house to keep us dry. Most of the people here live in houses in low lying areas that are very vulnerable to flooding. Their tin roofs don’t protect them from the rain like ours do, and their floors are made of packed mud. Even the foundations are in danger of being swept away by the raging flood water.

And so it goes, Not always the way we like it to go!