Confession #65: Being Sick in Haiti is NOT like Being Sick in America
I would know.
In the three years I have lived here I have spent more time in the bathroom than I want to admit. I have become way to familiar with the broad scope of antibiotics. And I recently invested in a life time supply of anti-fungal and hydrocortisone cream.
Because let’s face it: My 1st world body isn’t always tough enough for the 3rd world.
I was sick last week. Really sick. So sick that I found my way to a local hospital- something I had yet to do since moving to Haiti.
It all started Thanksgiving. Extreme pains that I couldn’t manage. When Monday rolled around, the pains had only spread and increased in severity. The semi-frozen ground beef I was using as an icepack (we never have power long enough to make ice) and the Advil were not longer cutting it. I knew I needed help.
And so the Lord provided.
Some good friends and fellow missionaries dropped what they were doing to babysit our kids and take me to the hospital. The bumpy road there was painful on my body, but more so my mind was terrified of what was to come. I’ve too often experienced the not-so-wonderful side of Haitian medicine. In accordance with what I knew, I was expecting to be misdiagnosed, overcharged, and to undergo pointless tests only to be sent home with some Ibuprofen and Vitamin C.
Instead, however, the Lord provided.
As soon as we got there a Haitian administrator spotted us. Immediately he escorted me to get checked in and informed us that there was a team of American doctors there for the week. Within minutes he got me through the lines and into a room to be seen. In one day I saw a Physician’s Assistance, a Gynecologist, an Internal Specialist, and Pediatrician believe it or not. I had labs done, received an x-ray and a sonogram, and had a prescription filled- all for under $100!
In the end, it turned out to be a pretty bad kidney infection. Cipro and some pretty awesome pain meds became my best friends for the next few days. Our friends loaned us a real ice pack and my ground beef returned to my not-so-cold freezer. And by Thursday I was healed.
The Lord had provided.
I share this story not to ask you to feel sorry for me or anything. Instead, I share it for two reasons:
- To share how the Lord provided for me in a time of need. He is SO good.
- To share how thankful I am for doctors who come to Haiti to share their talent and serve this country. Haiti has a long way to come in the field of medicine. And those who come to team with the local professionals and assist in the hospitals and clinics are helping a great deal!
So you see, being sick in Haiti is NOTHING like being sick in America.
And in most cases it sucks.
But this time, God provided in ways that may not have happened in America. The fact that I saw so many specialist, had so many tests run, and got really good medicine for under $100 is proof of that! Or that I had friends with a feasible enough schedule to help me for two days straight. The Lord provided all that I needed and more.
For the average Haitian, medical care in Haiti is expensive. Most could not have afforded the care I received at the hospital simply because they couldn’t afford it. And for them, we must continue to pray that the Lord will provide healing and care for them in His own indescribable ways. And if we have been given the talent, means or opportunity to help, that we would never turn down the calling.
I praise God for His protection over me last week. May His healing hand continually be upon us all no matter where we live in the big world.