Sunday, June 02, 2013

Thailand Episode 1

We are once again in Thailand.  Paul is once again going to teach three weeks of "history of missions" at the Institute for Global Opportunities.

This time we're staying a house maybe a quarter mile away from the school.  We have nice accommodations there and best of all, air conditioning in the bedrooms.

Everything is going wonderfully except for one thing.

Back on the 23th of May the whole family [all home for Steven's graduation] was out at the coast.  We went hiking on Cape Perpetua.  During and after the hike I felt this irritation on my neck.

It was a tick, firmly attached.

I freaked out.  LYMES!!

An internet search assured me I'd soon be cursed with chronic Lymes.  And we were leaving for Thailand in a few days.

It didn't help that the bite was quite painful and it swelled up.

I went to the doctor.  She put me on high-powered antibiotics for ten days.

We went to Thailand.

Soon after we arrived, my ankles started itching.  I developed pink spots on my feet and ankles.

Mosquito bites, I figured.

The dots spread.  Bedbugs??!!!!  Horrors.   But Paul didn't have them.

Poison oak?/  Surely not.

By Saturday it drove me crazy to walk anywhere.  By Sunday I was starting to be miserable but I went to church.

By Sunday evening I had dots and spots almost all over.

Today I am a mass of itching, burning red splotches.  Arms, legs, back, front, places where I walk and sit and lie down.

And of course it is very hot here.
It is horrible.

FINALLY by Sunday evening I put it together that this has something to do with the medicine I'm on.  I Googled it.  Yes, it's not uncommon to break out on the 5th or 6th day with Amoxycillin.  And of course, this being the internet, I'd soon go into anaphylactic shock.

But I'd rather go through this than Lymes, so I kept taking the pills and trying to tough it out.

It's very hard to make international calls from here.  Most people use Skype Credit but it wasn't set up on my computer.

Plus, it was the weekend back home, and the middle of the night, so with all that I couldn't call my doctor.

The nurse here gave me Benedryl.

We emailed my nurse sister and Paul's doctor sister.  They both said to cancel what I'm on and take Doxycycline.

So Paul walked to a pharmacy just now and got a packet of ten Doxy. for less than a dollar.

 I am so woozy from Benedryl that this may or may not make sense.

But I know what I'm saying when I say "Please pray for me" and "I will always have the deepest sympathy for someone who breaks out in hives.  Yes I will."

Amy and Jenny are off shopping with the secretary.  Paul and Steven are studying.  So, "other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" we are doing great.


  1. Oh, my, Dorcas! This is just horrible! I'm so sorry. Unless your condition does a turn-around soon, this could be a trip ruiner. The only bright spots I saw in your whole story are that (1) you have air conditioning, and (2) your two family medical contacts both agreed on what to do~~which must have reassured you. Well there's actually a third bright spot which is most significant of all: Thank God that there is a remedy against Lymes disease! But on all counts, I will commit to pray for God's mercy, healing, and protection from further complications (and bedbugs!) for you.

  2. Oh, I'm sorry for you. I have much empathy for you because we recently got back from a trip to Ukraine, where we all came down with various combinations of coughs, colds, fever, and tonsillitis. It's dreadful being sick in a foreign country where you can't speak or read the language, aren't familiar with the medications, and don't have a reliable doctor at hand. I hope the new meds help you. On the plus side, isn't it great to walk into a pharmacy and get antibiotics off the shelf?

  3. On our recent trip taking 17 Spanish students to visit Guatemala, my husband broke out with a severe case of hives over his whole body. Turned out they were on his liver, kidneys and lungs too. Which explained his elevated sugar levels. The culprit was the antibiotics he was on (for an earlier accident requiring stitches) that contained a sulfa based drug. Best wishes on your recovery!

  4. Our daughter one time broke out in a rash after a tick bite. The doctor treated her for spotted rocky mountain fever. (I suggested it since I had just read about it. He treated her for it knowing if it was not that the meds would not hurt.) She recovered quite nicely. He did warn us of possible side effects - that her teeth could darken by the time she gets into her late teens. Never happened.

    God bless you, Dorcas. May God's grace go with you. Sandra

  5. I will pray for you, absolutely. Thank goodness for modern medicine and nurses in the family :)

  6. Oh goodness, I'm so sorry! Feel better soon. And yay for AC! :-)

  7. Well, I certainly sympathize with you. Years ago I went to a Dr (mistake #1) because I had some odd rash only on my ankles. I believed his diagnosis (mistake #2) and did what he said (mistake #3). After I did what he said the rash spread literally all over my body. Thanks to my dear wife, aveena baths became my next-to-best-friend for a while. Then, all the skin on my feet peeled off, so I not only felt terrible from the itching I couldn't even walk around much. Ended up missing a week of work -and, that Dr is likely glad to this day that I was of the Anabaptist persuasion by then :).

  8. Wow, 10 Doxy for under a dollar!? You should stock up on those and bring a bunch back with you, because over here they're getting real expensive! The cheapest I found was 24.95 for 20 pills! At this one drug store, the other stores were a lot more!!!

  9. Thanks to all for your kind words that helped me feel remembered in a very foreign land.