Despite my top-of-the-line mosquito net, DEET repellant, and my daily dosage of anit-malarial drugs, I have somehow contracted malaria.  The leading killer in Eastern Congo has now taken over my body. After a week of intense headaches rivaling migraines topped off by a sour stomach which prevented eating, I reluctantly agreed to go to the hospital. Reluctant because I had previously visited this primitive compound and was well aware of conditions there. Without going into detail, I’ll say that it leaves much to be desired regarding safety, sanitation, cleanliness, and comfort.

Nonetheless, my housemates insisted that I get tested and the results revealed not only Malaria, but also, a worm in my stomach. Actually, the doctor referred to it as a “Nyota”…swahili translation: snake. Ah, yes. I have a snake in my body. Very comforting.
So how am I feeling? In all truthfulness, I cannot remember a time when I have felt so miserable. My bones and muscles ache to the point where it is impossible to find a comfortable position in which to rest. Although the headaches have subsided, the fever continues as does the vomiting and diarrhea, no doubt my body trying to rid itself of this parasite in my blood. Yet, I have begun the typical five-day course of treatment and as of day four, I am finally beginning to feel a bit of relief.
Somehow throughout all this, God is graciously allowing me to recognize how blessed I am. I know that sounds bizarre, so allow me to explain:

  • I am blessed to have the resources to get adequate treatment and medication.
  • I am blessed because unlike the Congolese, my absence from work does not put my job in jeopardy nor does it threaten my financial stability.
  • I am blessed to have a houseful of other wuzungu (white people) who have walked this path before and are able to encourage me on my road to health.
  • I am blessed because in addition to her prayers, Mama Furaha has been making me a special passionfruit elixir, which is promised to fight the fatigue and restore energy to my body.
  • I am blessed to have several students drop by to extend their sympathies for my suffering and bid me “Courageaux”… translation: have courage.
  • I am blessed because the illness has allowed me a small glimpse of what the Congolese suffer on a daily basis.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement as well. I hope to have my strength back soon and share about some of the other things that are happening here in Beni.


11 responses to “Malaria.

  1. My prayers are with you. I admire your courage and your ability to maintain a positive outlook amidst adversity. Take care and I hope you recover and feel better quickly.

  2. Sweet Valentine Megan,
    All of us moms — especially yours — wish to be there with you, holding your hair back while you throw up and wiping your forehead with a cool washcloth. Instead we must pray Jesus to your sickbed and thank Him for the list of blessings you named. Our children never really become adults for us but we have to treat them as such when the world notes their age. We want to pamper and defend you, be your advocate when you are wronged and protect you from harm no matter how old you are.

    I guess our inability to do those things is one more methodology of God to grow us up and usher us into a more mature faith. We tend to keep looking back at our babies though as we move forward. Can’t help ourselves.

    Know that your stateside mommies are pampering you in prayer.

    Love and kisses on the cheek,

  3. Sweet Megan,

    Sooo sorry to hear of your illness. I will continue to lift you up to your “Abba Father” to comfort you , encourage you and restore you. Praying that His presence would be unmistakable during this time and that you find Him to be sufficient as you linger there. In the powerful name of Jesus, I ask for healing for you…swiftly and completely. In all those hidden places, from the inside out. And that the only ache remaining would be the longing to know Him more deeply.

    Thanking Jesus that He is the “lifter of your head”! May you rest in Him as He sings sweet love songs over you.

    Love to you, Precious One.
    Aunt Mare

  4. Oh, Megan, praying for complete healing and relief from all pain and discomfort.

    When I was sick with Impetigo growing up my nasty boy cousins dubbed me as sick with African Jungle Rot. It was so embarrassing–on my face and from swimming in the lake–I thought I’d die of shame! Now I can look back and smile but it took years to get here.

    Your on my heart and in my prayers. Keep up the blogging, you’re a good writer.

  5. Rosie Ballinger

    Meg, I was so sad to hear that you’re sick!! But I’m so glad to hear that you’re starting to feel better. 🙂 You’re in my prayers. Keep the faith!

  6. Oh, sweetie, I feel sooo bad for you. I am hoping that you are feeling a little better. It is so hard to be sick so far from home. We will be praying for you and that ‘snake” in your tummy. I am so proud of you…love, Mary

  7. hi honey~ so sorry to hear you are ill and have a snake in your body. i hope you get better soon and I am sure with the medication in time that snake will be forced to leave its new home. feel better.

    praying for you.


  8. Yo Champ,

    Seeing as you have a snake in your guts, do you think you could pickle it and put said snake in a jar for me to experiment on when you get home? Just a thought.

    Megan, I love you so much and miss laughing with you and playing around with you. My prayers are with you constantly.


    P.S. You are always on this new kick to try new things, maybe next time you should avoid trying parasites.

  9. Hi Meg!

    I’m so glad you are doing better! I have been praying for you!

    Also, I wanted you to know that I will take courage from you, as I am about to have my baby and go through a lot more pain than I’m used to!

    Anyway, I miss you so much and will continue to keep your spunky lovely self in my prayers.


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