Verse of the Day

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sickness and Sadness

A virus of some sort has invaded the household: headache, sore throat, nasal and chest congestion--- the typical late summer, early fall bug. These viruses are more of a nuisance than a threat. I don't worry about a cold developing into something fearful and deadly. All I need to do is monitor my kids' temperatures, measure the Motrin, hand out extra vitamin C, and pray for healing. I know I can take my child to a physician if I need to; I'm not all that concerned about them... it's only a bad cold.

Try telling that to a child who equates sickness with death. Mr. B. was crying last night: was his little brother going to die? Poor, sweet B.! He wailed with fear and anxiety. I tried to settle him, reassuring him that Asher only had a cold and that he would, in fact, recover. Daddy also talked with him--- in this incidence the "doctor" was able to convince him that all would be well.

This afternoon, Miss G. asked me if she would die because she had a sore throat.

These kids have witnessed so much sickness and death. They've seen people in their own families die, usually after developing a cough and fever. How long will it take for these kids to be able to comprehend the vast difference between American health care and the virtually non-existent health care of Ethiopia?

Did you know there are only 0.0286 physicians for every 1,000 people ( in Ethiopia that has population of over 85 million people? Compare our statistics:  The United States has 2.3 physicians per 1,000 people (CIA World Fact book) and population of approximately 310 million... and we are said to be entering a time of "physician shortages." Talk about a stark contrast in health care access!

The next time you casually pour the liquid Motrin for your febrile child, be thankful that your were born where you were born. Be thankful for all that you have access to. Be thankful for physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and medicine. And then when you have a moment, start to think about what you could do in addition to being thankful. Let's look beyond our own lives and our own children; consider for just a moment how you might be able to make someone else's life a little better.

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1 comment:

  1. o wow. didn't even think of our Ethiopian kids being fearful of "regular" sickness. thank you for posting this ~I can be more sensitive when the cold or flu hits us!

    praying for your sweet kiddos -not only for their physical health but that the Lord would comfort their fearful hearts.