MEDICAL CHALLENGES – We have our share of sicknesses and injuries every month, but the week of March 9 - 17 presented some real challenges!
- · One of the elders developed a rash that wouldn’t go away. At first we thought it was heat rash, but as time when on the medical personnel thought is was Scabies – which is very highly contagious. The treatment is easy – he just had to cover his body from his neck to the bottoms of his feet with a prescription crème and leave it on for 18 hours. But to prevent it spreading we had to follow the same procedure that is done for lice – cleaning and washing everything in our house and the two where he had lived since he arrived. Laundry facilities are limited here so it prevented a little challenge. After two days the rash was getting worse and so they decided it probably wasn’t Scabies. They still don’t know what it is – so he is being treated with another ointment. We won’t know for sure if it is Scabies because it takes 30 days for the symptoms to appear.
- · Another elder got a fungus infection on his neck.
- · Another scratched his eye.
- · We had two with food poisoning from eating bad sausage.
- · Then we got a call from an elder informing us that a centipede bit him while he was sleeping. Centipedes here are very poisonous and many times the person can end up in the hospital. We started him on an antibiotic right away. There was a funny side to it though – he had been bitten on his behind!
- · One sad note – we have an elder that has only been on his mission for about a month who noticed a week ago that he had a split on his knee that was oozing pus. He said he hadn’t bumped it, but told us that a couple of years ago he had a staff infection in the same knee and it had taken two operations and several different antibiotics to get rid of it. Because of his past history, and the lack of good medical facilities here they are sending him home to get it treated. He was devastated, as were we. He is praying that when they get it cleared up they will let him come back here, instead of reassigning him stateside. We put him on the plane last night (3/18/13) and it was one of the hardest things we had to do since being here.
Needless to say, we spent a lot of time at the hospital or pharmacy. We waited over 3 hours one day for a prescription, and four hours two times in the emergency room. We hope this week to only have to deal with heat stroke and the symptoms that come from not drinking enough water…