Search This Blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tribulations of the Tropics continued...

Dave and Emerson have Dengue Fever. The good news is that at this point it does not appear to be life threatening. That's a bonus. In fact, it seems that in these parts (and many other tropical areas) it runs rather rampant. Apparently, it is caused by a virus (actually one of four viruses) which is transmitted by mosquitoes. Lovely. Whose idea was this? Anyway, they've been sick for about five days and their symptoms are bad headaches, eye pain, and Emerson has had a fever, althouth they both seem better today. I became suspicious when no one else in the fam came down with the "flu". Then when I told another mom at school this morning what their symptoms were she said, "Dengue". Ohhh. It almost sounded like a swear word.

So we went to the clinic here in town, and the doctor said that it did appear to be Dengue. Luckily, neither of them are currently showing any signs of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever which affects a smaller number of people and can cause serious internal bleeding and all kinds of other bad problems (that we don't need to get into, right?). So, I think that as long as it doesn't evolve into Hemorrhagic Fever then it's just a matter of time (10-14 days) while treating the symptoms, resting and drinking lots of fluids. So Emerson's out of school for the rest of the week and Dave has to try to take it easy, too. The doctor gave us two boxes of paracetamol (which I believe is a form of acetaminophen) to treat the symptoms as needed. (Did you know that public health care in Mexico is free? I wanted to kiss the floor - but I refrained.) Send healing thoughts our way if you're so inclined.

On the school front, I will tell you that the Honeymoon appears to be over. In other words, the novelty of a new school has worn off. Dave coined the following stages of adjusting to a new school: fear, excitement, resistance, acceptance. Towards the end of last week we started to see some of the "resistance stage". We heard the classic, "I don't have to go if I don't want to" and my favorite, "I'll homeschool myself." Cole had an especially hard time on Friday morning (they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico, of course, so the kids had school all week) so Dave sat in on a few of his classes which I think made Cole feel understood. I think it was helpful for him to see Dave communicating succesfully with limited Spanish. I think he had been disengaging in class because he was timid to try and communicate. He gained some confidence by watching Dave and seeing that even though he didn't speak perfectly he was able to communicate and no one made fun of him. And Dave was able to gain some insight into Cole's struggles and gave some suggestions on how he could be more successful in his classes. Yeah for dads. Already today we're starting to see signs of acceptance: "I don't really want to go to school today, but I'm going to." That's the attitude. And he had a successful day.

Emerson had a tough go at the beginning of the week because a "ginormous fifth grader" stole his collection of pogs right out of his hand while he was playing with some friends (the big kid also stole the friends' pogs). So he was pretty distraught (and I was peeved), but it gave us the opportunity to talk with him (Emerson's a rather docile fellow) about standing up for himself and not allowing himself to be bullied, using his BIG voice, etc. The other good to come of it was when Cole heard what happened he wanted to go to bat for his brother. He asked me if he could take Em to school the next day so he could "get it sorted". Nothing like a bully to unite brothers. As it turned out, the principal had made a new rule that pogs were no longer allowed at school and this boy had appointed himself pog sherriff and had "confiscated" the boys' pogs to turn them in to the principal. Brown noser.

Evie is adjusting very well. She has several little "best friends" in her class and she loves to take some pesos to school to buy little snacks and popsicles and aguas. On one of her first days she tried to buy an "agua" - one of the few words she knew - or thought she did. The lady gave her a juice because in Mexico an "agua" is a fruit flavored water - or a juice. She came home from school and said, "Mom, I asked for a water and she gave me a juice." We had a good laugh and now she knows. I went to school with her on Wednesday morning for an hour to see how she was getting by. Of course she loved having me in her class, and I was impressed to see how well she's getting along. She just does what the other kids do and copies into her notebook anything the teacher writes on the whiteboard.

And little Miss Soleil is totally flying under the radar. Being that she doesn't have school and she doesn't have Dengue the poor girl is just not gettin' any airtime. I might look into a little preschool after the Navidad, but the truth is, right this minute, I feel tapped out. I'm not prepared to handle the needs of another child adjusting to a new program. You know? Right now she is very happy hangin' with Mama and Daddy and we are just as happy to have her company. The other day I said to the gang as we were heading out the door, "Come on, Kiddies" and Soli said, "Yeah, come on Doggies." She cracks us up.

Thanks for checking in. H


karen said...

dengue it! (get it--dang it?) sorry. hope everybody gets better VERY soon and that you and the girls are spared such misery, and totally healthy for the holidays. will you come back to the states for Christmas?

dave.heather said...

Thanks, Karen. And, yes, I totally get it. In fact, I almost titled this post "Gosh Dengue It". We'll be here for the holidays. Feliz Navidad!

Ellen said...

Dengue??? What next? I hope it doesn't progress to something more serious!

BTW, what is a pog?

Tina said...

I'm so sorry for your troubles but it sure provided some awesome blog fodder. Take care!