I have a sick husband.
Monday morning after a long night's sleep of approx 11 hours hubby gets up feeling ok but the hint of a headache which could simply be from him having had a long sleep after such a short sleep the previous night between two flights on his way home to Northern Ireland from Azerbaijan.
He makes the usual breakfast of tea, toast and banana, sits down at the table, takes one bite and a sip of tea and suddenly pushes the chair back and says I feel awful. After taking an advil for his head and starting to feel shaky he heads back to bed. About half an hour later he feels extremely hot when I touch his forehead but he claims he is so so cold. He doesn't even want a drink or some paracetamol because he feels sick. He just wants to lie flat in bed.
No lunch. The thought of food makes him feel sick and then he vomits and also has diarrhea. By 2.00pm he has a temperature of 99.86 and then vomits again so I think the temperature will have gone down but no at 2.30pm it is 103.1.
We continue with paracetamol and frequent sips of water but there are several more bouts of this 'double sickness' with his temperature ranging from 101 to 103 all day long.
During the night we seldom get it below 102 and I stay awake checking him every half hour - I have never seen him so ill.
In the morning at 8am it is 103 again and I ring the doctor as soon as surgery is open.
By this time our children who are all in different parts of the world (keeping in touch with us via Kakaotalk) have discovered that Malaria is increasing again in Azerbaijan and that dad should get checked for that.
Now we live in a small town
and the doctors here probably do not have people ringing up often saying
"just back from a country that has a risk of Malaria and I've a temp of 103
with vomiting and diarrhea"
but trying to be calm our doctor checks his manual and yes he sees about malaria and Azerbaijan but the symptoms could also be for any infection so he can't prescribe until Fred gets blood tests etc. done.
So he has to get out of bed, washed, dressed, and I drive him to the surgery.
Doctor checks everything about him including his heart and sends him to the treatment room where at least he is allowed to be seen before the 15 or more people already sitting waiting. During blood tests for a variety of things which they don't even name to him, they are not sure which type of container the blood for the malaria test should go into.
So here is the proof that in Banbridge, Northern Ireland
they don't take blood for Malaria testing every day.
I am very tired by this stage but don't want to sleep because I still don't like the state of him even if the doctor said his temperature was normal. And it certainly doesn't stay normal as he goes through more bouts of this awful sickness through the day.
Later that evening Fred tells me they said the results of all the tests should be back by Friday morning - this was Tuesday. I am not too happy about this as he is so sick and weak and such a bad colour.
He wants to sleep and insists that I sleep during the night so I only check on him every 2 hours and sleep on the couch downstairs where I would hear him if he called. Temp is around 101 all night.
Doctor rings the house at 8.30am to ask how he is and is obviously concerned when he hears the vomiting and diarrhea is not any less frequent but still doesn't want to prescribe anything until the results are through which he hopes might be Thursday instead.
Then at 9.30am the temperature goes to 102 again followed by another bout of sickness. 2 more bouts later and then he asks me when I think he will be able to fly out to Morocco (which is his next business trip and he should have been leaving today) as he sits up in the bed to make a phone call to change his flight.
If that was me in the bed having gone through all of that there is no way I would be asking when I should fly out I would simply be saying I have to cancel that trip altogether.
Sometimes I am so proud of my husband and sometimes I just shake my head at him but on this occasion I don't know which way to be.
Then at 4pm the doctor rings again - some results are back.
It's Food Poisoning.
Antibiotic to be collected and the Environmental Health authorities will be ringing us because it is a notifiable illness.
Off I go to get the antibiotics and get the first dose into him.
A little later as I lie at the foot of the bed and he is sitting up for a few minutes.
And I just smile as I think, yes I suppose it is,
but I had just done what he needed;
I didn't consider it a duty.
What do people do in these situations where for a few days or much longer, they are very ill and the doctors don't know what is wrong straight away?
How do they cope when they see temperatures that are high and their loved ones iller than they have ever been before?
I don't know.
I only know what we do.
We pray because we trust God to hear us and know he cares about us.
We pray because there is no-one else who can do more for us than God can.
I hope you turn to God in all circumstances too.