Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010 - Staff Stories

Charles and Jonipher are having a tough week.

Late Sunday night, or early Monday morning rather, Charles heard noises outside of the room he lives in here in Nairobi. There were people outside and they called to him, "Charles, do not come out. Do not alert anyone that we are here. If you do, we will shoot you." They then proceeded to break into and rob his next door neighbor's room (the neighbor was away). He was worried and it sounds like a bit scared, although he would never use the words to us. He thinks he might know the young boys who did it; they obviously knew him. This is a reality of our life in Nairobi that we are always aware of but actually try to not talk about that much: a lot of crime. If Kristoffer had been leaving our house a little bit earlier that morning, Charles might have been outside using the bathroom and they would have been able to get into his room and rob him, or worse (since he would have seen them). So we are grateful that the situation wasn't worse and hope he doesn't have to deal with any similar incidents in the future.

Jonipher's trouble, on the other hand, is even worse because we learned from her this week that she has really high blood pressure. As in, 180/120 the last time it was taken. Kristoffer drove her close to her house on his way to a squash match on Monday night and this came up in conversation. When he came later he said to me, "I think Jonipher might die soon." WHAT?!?! Well, not only is her blood pressure dangerously high, but she is having severe headaches, tingling and numbness on one side of her body, and sometimes she has moments where she doesn't know where she is. We basically think she is a walking-stroke-about-to-happen and we are worried about her. So this morning I've sent her to a clinic to see a doctor and tell him these specific symptoms to find out what medicine she can take. We will have to pay for the medicine because she is supporting a very large family and can't afford it. She has 5 children: of the 4 adults, 3 are currently unemployed and she has one school-aged son with school fees. There are also several grandchildren and she is supporting all of them. So buying herself medication or spending money on healthy foods like fruit is too expensive for her. We'll see what the doctor at this clinic says today and then make a plan from there. Can you even imagine have a very serious blood pressure problem and doing absolutely nothing about it?!

I know that I complain about Kenya and Kenyans a lot (or at least I feel that I do) but really it is stories like these that do give me a shadow of understanding why Kenyans are the way they are. They live a pretty difficult life.


p.s. I'm adding to this blog to say that Jonipher has now come home and her blood pressure was actually 233/125. The doctor gave her some kind of pill to dissolve in her mouth over the course of an hour along with 2 other kinds of medication for hypertension and wants to see her again on Friday. Yikes!

1 comment:

Katherine Andersen said...

wow - I've never even heard of someone's blood pressure being that high! so scary! hopefully she received the right meds.