Sunday, October 10, 2010

Knocked Down By a Parasite

The nausea and fever were the first clues that something was wrong with me. I tried to fight it off for the better part of a day and it began to dawn on me that I wasn't going to get any better. I figured that I had better walk up the road to the hospital and have then stick me in the arm and check for bugs. The five minute walk from the house took me twenty and I was soaked with perspiration. The ultra-polite lab student took some blood and I waited a few minutes for our Dutch friend to give me the news.

It didn't take long for the news to come back to me, and everybody else. The big Magua (white guy), has malaria. Well, they put me in one of the small private rooms and tried to make me comfortable. My dear friend, Elvis Shimamvwa, came and told me that if I was good he might bring me a coke. He also told me about the coming malaria attractions that I might look forward to. Like a headache that could make your head explode and digestive issues that are better left undescribed.

I settled in my room and Donna was in to see me. We talked about the only mosquito that we had seen in the last two weeks. There was one lone pointed-strawnosed bugger in Zimbabwe that I couldn't kill. He must have got to me because it takes 5 to 10 days for the parasites to start their work. Later that evening I had some other visitors in my hospital room in the bush. The roaches must have heard that there was a big white guy in one of the rooms. And, they all wanted to come and see me and do relay races down the walls and across my bed.

The headaches and other bodily dysfunctions continued for about three days and then I began to feel a bit better. The anti-malaria drugs began to help and I knew I was on the mend. I realized that I was fortunate because hundreds of people around us died every year of malaria. After a couple of more days I found myself home for a few days rest. The doctor told me that I would feel pretty powerless for a couple of weeks, but should get back to normal.

It is amazing what a small unseen object can do to a person. that Zimbabwean mosquito stuck her straw-nose in to get some blood for her babies and she deposited a parasite that can only be seen through a microscope. Once inside the parasites began their work of reproduction and the destruction of red blood cells. The tremendous headache is caused by the dead blood cells moving through the circulatory system and ending in the brain.

How many dangerous little things do we allow in our lives? I don't know about you, but I can make an excuse or rationalize away a lot of little things. I read once that, "Sin in the heart is more dangerous than gunpowder in the cellar." God help me to allow the search light of your spirit to reveal the little things that want to knock me down.

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