Monday, December 6, 2010

A Missionary's Health

Well, our family has giardia again.  I actually had it around Thanksgiving, but was in denial thinking I was either pregnant or nervous about having everyone over.  I had other symptoms besides the gagging at every smell, sight or sound and Lydia had some symptoms, but still not wanting to admit it, just assumed it was something she ate.  Then the stomach pain started getting worse and I found out that I was definitely not pregnant...that left only one thing (which was pretty obvious the entire time) - giardia.  As soon as I started feeling better from that, the kids and I picked up a flu bug going around.  Even though we were sick, on Tuesday the kids and I decided to take a quick walk around.  Every babooshka on the street was out that day and in a mood to talk.  They asked lots of questions, but didn't give me many opportunities to talk.  So I came back with my mind overflowing with plans for a ladies' neighborhood tea.  As we headed back to our house, we saw Baba Nora outside.  She cannot let us pass without giving the girls something - candy, cookies, fruit.  She stopped us, ran inside and came out carrying two bright, round oranges.  Needless to say, by the time we made it back inside, we were all sneezing and coughing with noses running.  Wednesday, we had gotten worse so Eric made us stay home from church.  By Thursday, I was feeling so bad and the kids were cranky, I thought about begging Eric to stay home and help me that day.  Thankfully, he was able to get home a little early that night, 4 PM.  The girls might have been sick, but since he had had so many late nights that week the girls (and Sammy) were ready for playtime with Papa.  That night everything seemed okay and everyone went to bed fine.  Shortly after I climbed into bed Sammy woke up not feeling well. He was up crying until about one.  Then Anna woke up crying.  We rushed in to check on her and she was burning up.  Eric took her temperature and it was 104!  Thankfully, by the time she went back to sleep a half hour later, her temperature was down to 100.  On Friday Anna was doing much better with no or little fever, I was feeling worse though.  I had chills, fever and severe asthma problems.  Eric lovingly forced me back into bed, canceled all of his plans for the day and took over.  He even washed the dishes!  My temperature continued to rise throughout the day until it reached about 104 in the afternoon.  Soon after that it seemed like everything started to get better.  My temperature continued to drop and my asthma was getting better.  On Saturday, Eric was either in bed or in the bathroom all day sick with the giardia.  Needless to say, it was a rough week...a rough year as we have been hit with one sickness after another.

I say all of this not to be negative but with the desire that it will encourage you to pray more for the health of your missionaries.  It is not uncommon for a missionary to have to leave the field because of health reasons and we have heard of even a few missionaries to Ukraine who have died on the field.  It is not just the sickness itself which is the problem.  Most of your missionaries are living in places where not only is the medical care not as advanced as American, but also some of the customs of the people cause sicknesses.  (Like sticking their hand in the pickle jar and serving you with visibly dirty hands.  You really have to take no thought sometimes when you are eating.)

Even with all of the sicknesses, the girls have still had some pretty sweet moments.  Here's a video I took on Saturday.  The girls were rocking their babies and singing to them.  By the time I pulled out the camera they were almost done, but it is still cute.


  1. Praying for you all as we near Christmas!!

  2. Oh, Jessica, I sure do hope that everyone is better by now! You are right that we missionaries need God's people to pray for our health... and our safety, for these are things we can only trust in the Lord for most of the time. :)



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