Wednesday, June 18, 2014
“Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do--with lots of prayer.” ― Me
John started feeling bad last Friday, sore throat, fever, coughing, so I diagnosed him with a cold or the flu (no, I do not have a medical degree). It got a little better by Sunday with lots of Nyquil and cough syrup, but he got worse on Monday. Yesterday, Shaban drove him to the Coptic Hospital in Musoma where the doctors diagnosed him with typhoid. He has been here eight years and has never had malaria although Karen and I have each had multiple bouts with that nasty disease. This was the second time that John has had typhoid and the doctors think he has been carrying it and this was a recurrence of the first bout. There is a highly resistant strain here that requires a new form of antibiotics and they need to be injected via IV. They gave him one injection yesterday, but he has to have four more over the next four days. His veins are hard to find and on the sixth stab yesterday, he passed out (I would have, too). They finally got it, but he is now legitimately afraid of needles. Shaban found a doctor at a mission dispensary (clinic) where they can do the injections (we have the medication with us). When one of us comes down with a serious illness, everything else just stops or is put on hold until we can see real improvement and can rest easy again. We have no insurance, but costs are low here and even my week in the hospital with anesthesia, surgery, medication, and a week in a private room—the total cost was under $2,500. Getting rid of the typhoid will only cost us about $30 USD which we can handle easily. It is watching one of my own children suffer that is hard. My oldest son passed three kidney stones last weekend while his wife was in France, and while the pain was very bad for him, his mother and I suffered as well. Karen will go with John to get his injections as we want to give him as much support as we can. Everyone who has ever had a sick child knows what this feels like, and it doesn’t matter whether the child is 46 or 39 or 3 years old, the parent still feels the pain and helplessness that comes with it. The power is out, the internet is out, but this is Africa and these things happen all the time, but it doesn’t help when we are already worrying. The main thing is that Juliana and the staff are praying for him, and I have no doubt that when Juliana prays, God listens. We have many irons in the fire, but they will stay there till this is over. I am reminded of the old arabian saying of a man with three sons who was asked which one he loved the most. The father replied, “I love the youngest till he’s old, the farthest away till he’s home, and the sickest till he’s well.” That’s us for now. John is out of danger, but is still very sick, so we just don’t mess around with this. Annually, over thirty million people get typhoid and many, many die. It comes from drinking dirty water, and we are very careful about that, but it can also be caught from flying insects and if food is not washed carefully, it doesn’t take much. We are very careful, we filter all our water, we wash all our vegetables, and even the eggs from the market before we eat them, but you cannot guarantee 100% protection from endemic diseases like this. We are just grateful that we have good missionary doctors in Musoma and that God takes care of all His children. We have been blessed to have John helping us for the past several years, and we will do all we can to see that he has the best medical care that we can give him. We would also like your prayers for him over the next several days. God is worthy of our praise and worship and John, as His servant, is worthy of your prayers. Thank you and God bless you.