It started Monday morning.
I was not doing too well, and I felt really weak, but I thought it was just a stomach bug. I kept trying to do some cleaning around the house, but every time I’d get up to do anything I was exhausted; just washing a dish in the sink would wear me out, so I’d go lie back down. I thought it was strange that I was feeling so exhausted, but then, I started getting a crazy fever. One minute I was burning up, lying down on our tile floor because it is the coolest part of the house. And the next minute, I’d be running to the bed to get under the blankets. That was especially strange, seeing as it was 40 something degrees.
When Josh got home from work, I told him I was feeling miserable, and explained to him my symptoms. He said, “Yeah, but I don’t think its malaria. If you had malaria, you’d KNOW it.” And I said, “Well I think I KNOW it then!” But he still wasn’t so convinced. Josh has had malaria several times, since he grew up in Togo, and apparently its kind of part of the package deal; you live in Africa and sooner or later you get malaria. But I think this is where Josh and I differ from each other. 😉 He said if I had malaria, I would not be able to stand it, recalling all the horrible times he dealt with it. I was definitely feeling horrible, that is for sure, but I thought, “Wow, it’s worse than this?”
So the next morning, I got up and went with Josh to the hospital and got tested. The test came back positive. That news alone made me nauseous and I had to sit down with my head between my knees. I got antibiotics and I’m slowly starting to feel better. They’re awful tasting pills, but they’re doing the trick.
The crazy thing is, so many kids come to the hospital because of malaria treatments that have gone wrong. One of the ways they treat malaria here is with a series of injections in the thigh. But often the injection is administered incorrectly, damaging the nerves in the leg, which results in deformities. It looks similar to clubfoot, but it is actually from the malaria treatment! So many children here have been handicapped by the malaria treatment, and it is really sad because it is easily (and safely) treatable with pills. It is so tragic when children are treated for one condition and end up with a problem that is even worse. Thankfully, at CURE, the children can get corrective surgeries and treatment.
I’ve been putting up with being sick for a few days, which isn’t fun, but I knew that I was going to get medication and I will eventually feel better. I need to remember how fortunate I am for being able to get immediate care and not take it for granted. Living here, every day is a reminder that there is so much suffering and so many needs to be met. I am grateful for that reminder. It helps put my own problems into perspective.