Monday, November 18, 2013

How Even Malaria Made Me Thankful

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week I was unusually fatigued. I chalked it up to the energy-zapping heat...or to the onset of old age. ; )

However, on Thursday night when I began to run a high fever, was achy and my heart was racing, I suspected something else...malaria.

Andy and Karina had just had it and when I told Karina my suspicion the next morning, she replied "It's the season." (I guess there are "seasons" in which malaria mosquitoes are more common?).

Friday morning I tried testing myself - three times - with the handy-dandy malaria self-tester, but determined I am either a bad patient or a bad doctor because after poking my fingers too many times to get enough blood, I came up with three tests that showed me nothing - neither that I was positive or negative for malaria. However, based on the advice of Nurse Karina, I still came off the island on Friday morning, because if I did indeed have it, no one was on the island to take care of me - her words. :)

I reached Jinja, stopped by the pharmacy to get the meds and then spent the next two days being lazy. I claimed my spot on the Peterson's comfy couch and camped out there for hours on end. A Saturday test, performed by the skilled and very-capable Pastor Bob Peterson, who formerly worked as a paramedic, revealed that yes, I did have malaria. Phew, at least these symptoms were not all in my mind. ;)

Why do I seem to be so chipper about all of this? Because even though it stinks to get sick, I was able to trace God's gracious hand throughout the whole experience.

1. He helped me complete computer exams for my two computer classes last Wednesday(when I began feeling tired) and then canceled my Thursday class, so I had a more restful day. And this weekend, I had relatively few commitments, which were easy to be changed.

2. He blessed me with wise and knowledgeable friends who knew to advise me to get off the island and then how to test and treat for malaria.

3. If you have to get sick there is no better place to recover than in the Peterson home. The love, care, concern, good food, plus Black Cherry Kool-Aid were likely the factors that hastened my healing. :)

4. I enjoyed a spiritually refreshing worship service here in Jinja with some uplifting music, an impacting sermon and some valuable conversations with fellow Christians.

5. Because of my early arrival in time (I had planned to come today - Monday, not Friday), I enjoyed a great time with a new, but dear friend, who is leaving the country on Saturday.

6. I was reminded that I serve a God who heals. I cannot even imagine a world in which we would be perpetually with our sicknesses...once we had them, we never knew health again. What a terrible world it would be! But we serve the Great Physician!

7. I have gained greater sympathy and empathy for those who are sick and my heart has been turned even more toward those who suffer with chronic illnesses and pain.

In light of my last post about God's sovereignty, "Is God Surprised?," I have to chuckle. Was God surprised by my sickness? Nope. And He still showed His gracious love and goodness throughout the process...for which I am supremely grateful.

I read this week: "In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning." (Viktor E. Frankl) God always has a purpose for each aspect and season of life.

Why? Because He is good, He is gracious, He is sovereign. He is why I can be thankful even when having malaria. :)


  1. What a great perspective, but I'm so sorry you've had malaria! Are you feeling better now? How long does it take to recover?

    1. Yes, Mikaela, I am feeling much better - pretty much back to "normal." :) Malaria hits people differently - some can be down for day or two and others up to a week or even longer. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I love you Winkers!! I am SO proud of you!!

    1. I love you, too, Marmee! Thank you for your support and encouragement! :)

  3. I'm glad you were able to get treated so quickly. Your attitude is an encouragement to me. Keep resting and feel better quickly!

    1. Yes, Lauren, it's a blessing to be good friends with a nurse who helped me get right on the treatment. I am feeling much better. Thank you!