Health Update

Homemade sauna spa
Homemade sauna spa
Thanks to all of you who have been praying for my health. This has been a battle. When my respiratory problems first started during the second day of our Dreketi Outreach, I thought I was experiencing allergies due to a combination of factors—lots of dust and smoke, and from the anti-mosquito stuff used in our room during the night. Those were irritants, but I had contracted a cold/flu that is circulating around the island.

When I reached Aisake’s home on Sunday, his daughter, who is a doctor, listened to my lungs and told me I had pneumonia in the bottom of my right lung. By then the cough had become quite severe and I was having a great deal of difficulty sleeping at night because of massive drainage, etc. On Monday I got a prescription for erythromycin (I’m allergic to the cillans and can’t use them), started taking that and began the first day of our Savusavu Youth Camp.

By Wednesday, I had lost my voice entirely, though I seemed to be getting generally better each day, though not as fast as I desired. I was quite tired from coughing and from not sleeping well, as you can imagine.

I went to the hospital the next morning to see what was going on with my lungs. The doctor indicated the pneumonia had cleared, but she didn’t like how much I was still coughing. She prescribed a steroid inhaler to replace the rescue inhaler I had been given two days prior, scheduled a chest x-ray and took a throat swab and two sputum samples for analysis. She did not extend the erythromycin as she felt it was no longer needed. I finish the current course tomorrow morning. No more antibiotics unless the swab and samples show something else going on.

At Aisake’s home I was being treated to my own sauna. Select leaves, herbs, etc. are boiled in a large pot. The pot is put on a mat in the center of the room. I get into a sulu and sit under two thick blankets, leaning over the steaming caldera and inhale the infusion. It is marvelous and wonderfully effective.

This afternoon after about 45 minutes of this steam therapy, I took a quick cold shower, put on heavy coats, etc. and got into bed to be covered under several blankets. I feel asleep for about 45 minutes. When I woke, my chest was so much less congested and my voice was beginning to return. Marvelous therapy for which I would have to pay hundreds of dollars in the states.

So I pray that by tomorrow morning the cough will be significantly reduced or non-existent, my voice will be back, and I’ll be ready to head to Labasa for the next phase of ministry, checking up on the beekeeping project for two days before taking the ferry over to Suva on Viti Levu Island, to set up the GIFT Biblical Studies Room and catch up with other ministry partners.

Thanks so very much for your prayers and concerns.