An Update on Uncle

April 10, 2014

  If you've followed our story for the last few months, you know that Fire's birth-grandfather, called Jimma by the kids and Uncle by D and I, has been seriously ill for quite some time now.  He and his wife flew to Majuro in February to visit the hospital there and to try Marshallese medicine.  Unfortunately, neither option has improved his condition.  Before we left on vacation, I heard from their youngest daughter that they were planning to fly to America to seek treatment there while staying with family but now it looks like that won't be possible either.
  After Uncle left for Majuro I met with the hospital administrator here and the chief of medicine to discuss some complaints the he had about his care and some concerns that D and I had as well.  It was an eye-opening meeting to say the least.  I learned a lot more about Uncle's condition and prospects, including the fact that he has congestive heart failure and that, more than his diabetes, was the cause of his swelling and pain.  He was originally admitted to the hospital for kidney problems and at that time the doctor diagnosed renal failure but since he responded to the medicine, the chief of medicine no longer believed that was the case.  Until that point, we had believed that Uncle hadn't been granted a referral for dialysis because of his age and health conditions (and medical system here), but it turns out that he didn't need dialysis after he was released from the hospital.  The kidney problems he had were an isolated incident after a kidney infection, not caused by his diabetes.  When his kidneys stopped working, that put an extra strain on his heart which was already weakened by congestive heart failure, and even though his kidneys are functioning again,  his heart hasn't been able to recover. 
Uncle is dying.  He is in a lot of pain and goes to the hospital for pain medicine daily.  I don't know that there is anything that could be done to stop his deterioration at this point, at least not in Majuro.  It's a waiting game at this point.  We are discussing the logistics of flying to Majuro to visit them but it's an expensive flight (Uncle's happiness is way more important to us than money but we can't afford to spend thousands of dollars without thinking it through all the way). 
  We miss them so much.  Sky doesn't like going to Ebeye now that they're not there.  Teshie asks where Bubu is every time he sees her picture.  I miss the conversations I had with Auntie- she was so kind and we had such a good time together.  I wish... 

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