Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tuberculosis of the Spine.

Last summer, I went to ask Dennis a question while he was treating a young girl. At first sight of her, I forgot my question momentarily and just stared. It was rude, I’m sure, but I’d never seen anything like her.

She was very sick, and she knew it.

Enlarged lymph nodes on her neck restricted her breathing, and large nob protruded from her back at a right angle, causing her to bend unnaturally forward. Plus, she was emaciated; a shell of skin with no substance.

Thin, weak and hunched over, she looked more like a wheezing hermit crab than a little girl.

Equally curious and horrified, I asked what was wrong with her. Dennis showed me her back and neck while explaining she had tuberculosis of the spine.

Fortunately, a Catholic charity in town runs a clinic that tests for HIV and tuberculosis. Dennis referred her to them for treatment.

Over these last few months, I’ve thought and prayed for her often. She was too small to be so sick. The image of her face and hump wouldn’t leave me alone. So, when she came in this week for some minor aches and pains, I was overjoyed!

I didn’t recognize her at first; her mother had to point out the nob on her back and I had to review her book before I connected the waif of last year as the girl before me.

She was vibrant and healthy, even dancing to music while waiting in line. I couldn’t believe how drastically she had changed!

Sure, the hunch is still there (I’m told her back will never grow normally again), but the vacant stare of death is gone. She smiled so sweetly during her examination, moving her neck with ease as I examined her lymph nodes (which are still enlarged but improved). I loved it.

Just thought you would all like to know her story. Pray for her as the Lord leads. Thanks.