Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I went to Africa and got Typhoid Fever

"So, was it worth it?"

The burning question -- a question I have been asked countless times. My answer? YES.

One word. Yes. It was worth it. It is worth it every day. It will be worth it for the rest of my life.

Let me explain. I spent 2 months in Africa. I ate the street food, I ate the food in the villages. I ate with my hands when there were no utensils, and at times I was unsure if the water I was drinking had been boiled. I did NOT get the typhoid vaccination before going on my epic adventure across the world - that was my own fault.

So yes, I contracted Typhoid Fever. What is it? Typhoid Fever is obtained by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It is a bacteria that lives in the body called Salmonella Typhi. Individuals typically develop symptoms 2 to 21 days after being exposed to the bacteria.

I developed symptoms a week after my return to the States. Headache, nausea // vomiting, muscle aches, weakness, neck pain, back pain, the food poisoning scene from bridesmaids was my life.

I finally received my diagnosis of Typhoid Fever after THOROUGH testing over a month and a half of ER visits and Infectious Disease doctor appointments. My bloodwork was sent to the CDC [they really did the whole 9 yards.]

After finally figuring out it was typhoid, the doctor informed me I would have to complete the Typhoid Fever treatment. It seemed simple enough; just a round of the harshest antibiotics at the highest dose possible. No big deal. However, I was warned that the treatment often makes patients sicker than the actual illness. No problem, right? I'm tough. I've gone through everything imaginable. WRONG. Day 1 of that treatment was the roughest day of my life physically. But I got through it. Thank you Lord.

I was also informed that since going untreated for awhile, the Salmonella Typhi will always be in my blood. How exciting! But no worries everyone, typhoid can only be spread person-to-person through urine and stool. And I always thoroughly wash my hands after using the restroom ;)

I have been praising The Lord that typhoid is treatable. I have been praising Him that the treatment is only 7 days. He truly has blessed me; I am so thankful.

Now back to the burning question we started with.

"So, was it worth it?"

YES. It was worth it when I was sick. It's worth it now, being on the treatment and feeling worse than I did just with typhoid. And it will be worth it every day of my life, knowing I have Salmonella Typhi swimming in my blood.


Because I saw God's love, God's work, God's children. Because I was able to be His hands and feet. Because I felt His calling and purpose. Because even in the midst of life's circumstances, The Lord gives me joy and peace and hope. He gives me strength.

Take the world, but give me Jesus.