Sunday, January 4, 2009

Heart, Hands and Feet

My current homestay student, a seventeen-year-old from Indonesia, came back from the quarter break a few days ago with a cold, sore throat and headache. But instead of getting better, he kept getting worse. I had been doing all the usual home remedies for a sick child with the flu, but in the wee hours this morning his headache was so bad he decided to call his parents. They called me. Still groggy, I fished around for my blaring cell phone.

Would I please take their son to emergency? Of course I would. Homestay moms do things like that for their homestay students. Because, homestay moms are the heart, hands and feet for their students' parents living on the other side of the world.

Since he’d been traveling a lot in the past 20 days (USA to Indonesia to Australia; back to Indonesia and then back to the USA), it was quite possible my homestay student had picked up a strange “bug”, or two. Too many time-zone changes too quickly and lack of sleep had undoubtedly compromised his immune system.

So I drove him to Northwest Hospital. The doctor and nurses tested him for strep, meningitis, and a host of other things. They were very thorough and professional. I’m always impressed when I go to the emergency room at Northwest Hospital. (That’s where I drove myself back in May 2008, when I broke my wrist—another story for a later post.) All tests came back negative, so the prognosis was my homestay student had caught a bad virus.

The doctor ordered two liters of liquids through IV, pain medicine for his headache and Tylenol for his fever. We were in the emergency room for four hours. Then they sent us home with a fistful of papers--instructions for his continued care, what to eat, what to watch for and a note from the doctor saying he could not go back to school for two days.

But I know he’s going to be OK. His healthy color is returning and his headache is almost gone.

Gotta go check on my patient, now.


Homestay Mama


  1. It's fun reading about your busy life. Hope your student is feeling better now. Bye for now, (your little sis)

  2. Hi Little Sis,
    Glad you visited. Come back again.
    Maybe one day we'll get you up and running with your own blog. :-)