March 23, 2010
I am feeling content. Rain is thundering down on our tin roof. Suddenly it is cool. I feel like I can breath again and the banana palm leaves are dancing and bouncing with joy outside my window. The air has been as hazy as tooley fog, but the thickness, instead of moisture, was dust- still and dry and choking. The sun filtered hot through the haze. Dust covered everything, it veiled the views of the hills and it filled our lungs with particles. Now clear air is rushing through the windows and I can already see the hills across the valley. Hurray!
But rain is not the only thing I have to be thankful about this evening. I imagine I am feeling something like a General after winning a battle. Our battle has been with disease. Mark, Jonah and I have all been sick for the last week and a half. I thought at first we had the flu. But Friday night, poor little Jonah was limp with fatigue and on his sixth day of fever and getting worse. Nothing seemed to help- he got ice packs to the head and tepid baths, Tylenol and Motrin and after four hours of treatment he was still 102.7f and climbing. In desperation I sent Mark up to get Thadeus from the lab. We pulled Jonah out of the tub for a blood draw and an hour later we had our diagnosis- it was Typhoid Fever (or at least we think that’s what it was- we are not actually able to do cultures -we have to depend on Widal’s). Dr Lukens gave Jonah Amoxicillin. All night we cared for Jonah, trying to keep down the fever, praying and trying not to worry too much. There is nothing like a sick child to make one feel helpless and scared. By morning his fever had broken, and today (Monday) Jonah is almost back to normal, bouncing about.
Mark and I also tested positive for Typhoid and we are on Cipro. We are still dragging around a bit. Being really sick has made us thankful for health…and for antibiotics (so we don’t need to pack our stuff in coffins on the way over to Africa like the early missionaries did)…. and for Becky (who was sick herself, but came over and gave me hydrotherapy treatments during the worst of it)…. and for Paul and Petra (who made us carrot juice)…and for all our fearless friends (who braved the “casa de morta” to visit us)…and for Bobby (who held things together for Mark in the office)…and for Bagalech (who did our laundry and cooked for us when we couldn’t get out of bed)…. and that when we feel like we’ve done everything we can do and pulled every resource, we’re not out of luck- there is still a God up in heaven who says “I am here, I love you, cast your cares on Me… I’ll get you through this.”