Saturday, June 28, 2014

Indian Surprise

I only really had one concern for Africa besides snakes: getting sick.

A month into our trip it happened. Headache, chills, and body aches.

Malaria is big here. A precious friend and team member had nearly died from a case of malaria that went cerebral a few weeks before. So we were taking every precaution.

It would be our first experience with third world clinics. When we got to the clinic we signed in like normal. It was the first time in my life I didn’t actually know what my address was or have a phone number… I just responded with Rapid 14 in Nsongwe. They took my temp, blood pressure, and weight. Then we waited in a waiting room. The doctor was out, but would be back soon.

When the doctor arrived we went into his office. He wrote down my symptoms on a white piece of paper. He thought from my symptoms I either had malaria or typhoid fever. The symptoms are similar for both. His exam table was also in his office. There was PVC pipe that was hung and then a thin sheet to close the exam area off.

The doctor had me get on the examination table and kept saying my stomach was super swollen. I had already told him that it was my “time of the month”- hence the swollen stomach. He kept pushing until it hurt saying, “Your stomach is swollen!” I responded that perhaps I was just fat?

After that we walked to the lab where he pricked my finger for blood. I would get a test for malaria similar to what diabetics use to test their blood sugar, and then he would also put it on a slide to check my blood under the microscope. We waited in the waiting room.

When he came back the doctor brought us back into the office. As it turned out I didn’t have malaria or typhoid fever, praise the Lord! He thought maybe it was just a stomach thing. There was someone who was just sick on base that went to him and the blood samples looked similar with a lot of lymphocytes in our blood. I couldn’t understand everything the doctor was saying because he had a very strong accent. He mentioned something about an indian surprise and injection. I turned around and looked at Joe who nodded. Turns out he was telling us about an antibiotic shot. “Don’t worry”, he said,” we do these all the time in my country!” We paid for our visit, antibiotics, and the shot, but for safety sake Overland wanted us to get my blood tested at the hospital too.

When we got to the hospital we were directed to the lab for the blood work. While they were pricking my finger I noticed other blood samples on the counter. We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto… There were also some seriously sick people who were also waiting in the waiting room for their tests or results. I prayed for their healing and that whatever they had was not contagious. After the blood was tested and put under the microscope, they also saw no malaria! Thank you Jesus!

After that we headed back to the clinic so I could get my “indian surprise”. Guess where they put the shots here in Africa? I’ll give you one guess. Not only did I get a “surprise” but I had to pull my pants down for it too. Very humbling. 

I felt much better after the shot though and by Sunday I was MUCH better! I don’t want to go to the clinic anytime soon, but I’m glad they’re here. I was blessed with friends who drove me to the doctor/hospital, checked on me regularly, and stopped in to pray for me. Not to mention my amazing husband and daughter who took great care of me!

In His Love, 

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