So in my post just one week ago, I was doing pretty well. We were about to receive a team and I finally had some time to update. Who would have thought that I would have been in a clinic with cholera just 2 days later.
It’s true. I got “the cholera”. And survived.
It’s so ridiculous that people die of cholera. It’s so easy to treat. You just have to force down some salty oral re-hydration solution (ORS or SRO, if you’re French), and not throw it up, have some wet-wipes handy(which your booty will appreciate), and you’ll be fine within 3-5 days.
I don’t want to write about all the details, but if there are any questions, email or Facebook me and I can answer them.
I will tell a little bit about it though. I was feeling kind of queasy (which isn’t all that out of the ordinary) Sunday night after eating at Epi D’or, so I went to bed early. I woke up feeling horrible at 12:40 am thinking it had to be closer to 6 am. I made the first of many trips to the bathroom. Later I even laid on the bathroom floor for a while. Julie McElroy left me some medicine that several of them on Lifeline team 2 brought. Mary Brandt (a nurse) told me to take them if I got cholera or started feeling bad. So I took one pill around 3 am, I think. My roommate, Julia, got up around 5:30 am to help set up breakfast. I woke up again and went back to the bathroom. I almost passed out while sitting. I brought a bucket back to my bed and almost passed out again in the ten feet from the bathroom to my bed. I then called Julia and told her I was really sick. I threw up shortly after 6 am. That was the last straw. She went to find out if anyone knew where to take me. Justin drove our baby truck with me in the front and Julia, Wiclif and Robert in the back. Traffic was horrible, of course. The whole way there, I had the song Give Me Jesus stuck in my head.
(Recently, when we sang that in morning worship, someone challenged us to not just sing that, but to mean it. ‘You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.’ He said something like this, “We think it’s ok if everyone else’s worlds get taken away, but it’s different when it’s our own little world, isn’t it?” SO true!)
God’s been teaching me to give up my rights lately and to just trust and obey that He’s got it under control. “Ok, God, my family is Yours!” BAM! My parents are coming to visit in… 29 days now. “Ok, God, my out-of-place, aching neck and back are Yours. My whole body is Yours.” BAM! I get cholera. I guess it’s not always how we think it’s going to be, is it?
Anyway, we finally arrive at Medicins Sans Frontiers (the French ‘Doctors Without Borders’). They ask what my problem is, I tell them I had diarrhea about 10 times since 12:40 am, and vomited once. They ask for details, like the color, where I’ve been working, what I am doing in Haiti. They sit me down and hand me a cup. It gives my gag reflex a workout. They tell me where the bathroom is. I give them my information. The guy before me finishes his cup of SRO, gets a paper about how to not get cholera, and gets to go home. I think, ‘ok, that will be me next.’ Right? Wrong! Julia looks around at the beds which are a piece of plywood covered with a tarp with a hole cut out about halfway down. She says, “Oh look, these beds have a hole so you can puke in the bucket… Oh, that’s not for puke!”
A French guy comes over and sits down. Dr. Xavi asks about my symptoms. Tells me it’s very likely I have cholera. They want me to stay 24 hrs. I take it all in stride. (‘Ok, God, You know what this is about. You know what’s best for me and I trust You to take care of me.’) Dr. .Xavi walks away. I tell Julia and Robert. They have looks of disbelief.
More French doctors. Dr. Caroline asks about my symptoms while Dr. Pielar listens as well. They say they’re going to take me to a bed. Dr. Pielar takes me to a couple different tents that are mostly full of Haitian men and women. They have cholera. She is looking for a corner to put me in so I have “more privacy.” I’m thinking, there’s no such thing as privacy anymore. Dr. Xavi comes to my rescue and takes me to an empty tent. They bring me a bed (with a hole in it). Someone comes and mops with bleach water.
All day as I tried to sleep while trying to avoid the hole, drink SROs and stay out of the bathroom (doesn’t work), I kept hearing Give Me Jesus. I also kept thinking of Job. I made it a point to keep praising the Lord. I prayed a lot that day. For a lot of different things.
I was doing better by late afternoon. I have to give a shout out to my awesome nurse, Julia, who took great care of me. She also kept my spirits up by mentioning every few hours how ridiculous it was that we were there because I had “the cholera“. Also, Justin and Wiclif kept coming back to check on me. Justin got dropped off later in the afternoon. Julia and he were completely prepared to stay the night with me there. It was so sweet. There wasn’t even any place to sleep besides my “butt hole bed” a bench, and 2 plastic chairs.
I called my mom.
But that adventurous night is not part of my story. However, getting sent home is. Dr. Caroline came and checked on me. She made me promise to drink SROs like crazy and come back immediately if I started getting worse or vomiting. I promised.
Then we waited for Serge to come get us and I went home. I mostly stayed in bed for the next several days. Now, I am doing way better. I still get queasy over things. I can’t handle grease very well. But this morning, my stool said everything is better now.
I am living proof that you can get cholera and get through it.
Thank you for praying for me!!!
Thank you, LORD for making me better again and for the things You’ve taught me through this experience!!!