11/14/10

Malaria~ 1 Becca~ 0

Yep its true, I got stupid malaria. I have always hated malaria but now I have a deep rooted loathing for this ugly parasite.
So how did I get this ugly little parasite? It all comes down to bed nets and one missed dose of my daily prophylaxis (doxycycline). Now most people say that the doxy should protect me, and most people say that if I miss one dose it shouldn’t matter, well I don’t care what most people say cause I got malaria and it SUCKED. Malaria takes about 7 to 10 days for symptoms to manifest. During this time I was going through my training class and thankfully didn’t have any of the malaria symptoms.
While in the class one of the women came in and was complaining that she had malaria. As she talked about how she was feeling I asked her if she had gotten tested for malaria. She said that she hadn’t but that she KNEW she had it. But after being on the ship for the past year I am use to a lot of translators coming in and saying, “I have malaria.” then we test them and they’re negative. So I recommended to her that she get tested before she started the medication. She smiled back at me and then popped in her anti- malaria pills.
Little did I know what I was in for… Ohhh humility how I love you… Five days after this conversation and 10 days after arriving in Liberia “I KNEW I had malaria.” So without taking a test to confirm there I was going against my own ignorant recommendations and was popping in my anti-malaria pills.
Every symptom that you have read about or heard of associated with malaria I had, EXCEPT for the cerebral psychosis and death thing. Thankfully God spared me from those two.. Thank you God!
Symptoms included but were not limited to:
Headache
Nausea/Vomiting
Fever
Flu-like symptoms
Rigors
Sweating
Tiredness/Fatigue
Mylagia (limbs and back)
Abdominal pain
Diarrhea
Loss of appetite
Orthostatic hypotension
Cough

The treatment for malaria is a 3-day course of medication taken at the same time everyday. By Wednesday I had finished the course and felt 100 times better than Monday but still felt 100 times worse than my usual self.
During this time God was gracious with me and placed me with an amazing family that coddled me back to health. God also gave me strength when I needed it. Whether it was to babysit, teach a nursing class, or get together with some of my Liberian friends, I made it through. The other amazing thing is that his timing was perfect. If it had happened a week earlier, it would have been during my training, a week later and I would have been in Ghana living in a village.
The best part about this ugly nasty parasite was that now I can truly empathize with my patients/community that have malaria. Now my fight against malaria and ways to prevent and or STOP it has been quadrupled!! Watch out malaria! Becca’s back!!

2 comments:

beccaluvsafrica said...

Aww Becca, I'm sorry you got sick :( Glad you're doing better! Miss ya girl! xx

deedee.catx said...

Hi Becca,

aaawwww, sorry you are not well;"( You are in my prayers and thank you for sharing your life with us.