[Picture below: Tanner. Below him, Tyler.] Living in the tropics certainly exposes us to more than our fair share of disease-bearing critters. However, the past several weeks have been a great example of the saying, “when it rains it pours,” as far as sickness goes in our household.
We’ve all been taking turns with stomach bugs and flu-like symptoms (actually, I tend to get missed by the bugs, but I’m not complaining…I think it’s the hot sauce I eat that kills everything!) But about a month ago, Tanner got an especially vicious stomach bug. After several weeks with no end in site, we took him to the doctor. A week and a half later, after finishing the medicine, still no change. Now he was beginning to lose weight, (and his appetite,) and we were getting really concerned.
In the midst of that, Joy had to make a trip to Singapore. Over the past two years she’s had a lymph node that’s increased in size continually. Recently, after having it checked here, doctors said she should have a biopsy. But they can’t do anything like that here in Tarakan, and really don’t know much at all about that kind of stuff period. An American doctor in West Kalimantan told her she should go to Singapore soon, b/c it definitely needed to be checked.
Thankfully, although a tumor was found attached to the lymph node, it was NOT cancerous. However, during the descent into Singapore she popped her eardrum do to an intense sinus infection. The ENT specialist said she had some of the worst sinus problems he’s seen in a while. Although she wanted to come back home, she had to stay there several more days to allow the medicines to start kicking her sinus infection out and healing her ear.
Meanwhile, during the time she was gone, I juggled half-days at work with caring for the five kids—most of whom were taking turns being sick. By the time Joy came back, we had to take Tanner to the hospital for further testing. They found that he had a bacterial infection in his intestine. So now he’s on new medicine, and it seems to be making a difference slowly.
Sorry if this was a gross, or depressing post. That was not my intent. Rather, I wanted to let you know a little of what goes on “behind-the-scenes” at times, when you may perhaps be prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for us or other missionaries, but don’t exactly know why. We really do covet those prayers! Sometimes simple medical issues that wouldn’t be that big of a deal in the U.S. can turn into very frustrating and discouraging problems over here. Certainly it’s an opportunity for the enemy to try to get us down. But praise the Lord, it’s been a rough couple of weeks as far as the health goes, but we’re still loving life here, and very thankful for the privilege of serving. Indeed, God is good! Thanks for being part of our prayer team! I think we’re all on the mend now! :)
Below: A recent Saturday afternoon at our little beach on the other side of the island.