LaPoe, age 43, is a very sick little lady. I say little because she is much shorter than I am – (that’s really short). LaPoe has COPD, kidney failure, and bronchitis all at the same time. We had taken an emergency trip with her all the way to MaeSot hospital 6 weeks ago. Her husband, NauGhee, has faithfully stayed with her all this time. We found out that she will go home soon, but the husband called BletJhaw and asked if I could come and learn how to take care of her wound so they could go home. It had to be changed twice a day. He could not learn how to do it, and they knew I could. I knew they must be very tired of being in that hospital, so I went over to see how I could help. It was not a dressing change at all. LaPoe was on peritoneal dialysis 4 times a day due to kidney failure and the build up of toxins in the body! She must keep on doing this forever. There is only a slight chance the maybe much later she may be reduced to once or twice a day.
My whole entire heart went out to this couple. The kind nurse was trying to teach the husband how to let the solution go in, then let it all drain out. He must watch the clock and time each phase, and then document it on the proper forms. His hands must be washed and re-washed, then the latex gloves go on. There were valves at the base of the tubing near the patient’s abdomen which must be kept almost sterile and opened and shut at the proper times.
It seemed to just be too much for him. You have to understand, this man is from GeGhah village, an hours walk from BYT. He is from an isolated place. He has never gone to school. He cannot tell time. He has never owned a watch or clock, and he cannot read or write. He is just a poor villager living in a very old wooden house in the jungle. I watched with great admiration, how loyal and dedicated he was to his sick wife, even though his head hurt, he could not sleep night after night on that hospital floor underneath the bed, and he didn’t have enough money to eat properly.
I gave him money and returned later with BletJhaw so we could communicate better. NauGhee’s son had come in from Chiangmai to help. He could tell time, read and write. He could be a great help, but it seemed he was not too interested in staying in the hospital. He wanders outside and does not pay attention to anything.
Now it would be totally impossible for us to take on this responsibility and travel to GeGhah village four times a day, so NauGhee must learn to do it. The nurse said they would keep the patient 2 more weeks so that he can learn to do this job satisfactorily.
In order to meet the needs of this couple, we have travelled back and forth to MaeSot 3 times which totals over 15 hours of driving!
This is the couple we had to drive out to get that Friday afternoon when we met the elephant face to face. She is home now. The man bought a big clock for his house and is full time care taker for his wife.
What do you suppose this world would be like if every husband endured hardships and was this dedicated and loyal to their wives in sickness or in health?!