Aissa’s screams rang through the corridor of the hospital, clearly heard even though the doors to her ward were shut. It appears that after 48 straight hours of vomiting, our girl’s appetite had returned and she was ready to eat. However, orders are that she have nothing by mouth at least until tomorrow…and she was not pleased.
After spending the past 3 days curled into a ball under a ladybug quilt, feeling pretty awful, I was so pleased to see her stronger, active, fighting. Physically restraining her while Jean ate so that she wouldn’t steal his food was not so pleasant, but we went on a little walk and she calmed down.
Today is Independence Day for Togo, and the nurses had cleverly spread out an arts and crafts project to tempt the little bird during her time of captivity on the ward. Settling herself into a chair just her size, she began the very serious process of pasting together flags to decorate for the event. During this time, she insisted that her balloon flower be taped to the top of her head, stuck right on top of the huge swath of bandage that won’t be removed until tomorrow. Properly perched, setting about her business, she truly looked the part of the ‘little madam’ a nickname given her by the loving nurses of A ward.
Independence day. The nurse approached Aissa for the daily mouth and nasal cleaning. Aissa promptly grabbed up the swabs and studying herself in the mirror, did an expert job of removing crusted blood from around her nasogastric tube, all the while flinching with the pain. We stood amazed as she did it herself, determined to get it right, not afraid of the discomfort, so brave.
She beamed at our praise, which was rightly heaped upon her, and smiled for the photographer who had come down to capture the flag-making festivities. She flirted with the camera, smiling, waving, holding up her flag…covered in dressings, tube in her nose, wound on her thigh from the skin graft, forgetting the past 48 hours of pain, nausea, vomiting, hunger.
That’s our little madam, extraordinary, independent, Aissa.
Aissa with her friends Liz and Ali.