Monday, March 21, 2005
The Kenya trip - medicine and missions.
As I mentioned last time, our project ran into a major challenge early on, which was Peter's health. While we were still in Nairobi, Peter started noticing a rash, which he first attributed to insect bites. But each day it turned worse, then suddenly hives appeared on his large parts of his body. Dana Witmer (who is sitting at the end of the table in the picture above, next to her youngest son and across the table from Ted), being a doctor at Kijabe, diagnosed Peter as having an allergic reaction to the anti-malarial drug he was taking. She prescribed benadryl which helped Peter to sleep through the night, but didn't appear to touch the hives. Now Peter's younger brother Adam had had an allergy just before Christmas that has responded well to prednisone, so I mentioned this to Dana and she prescribed that as well. The hives then became periodic, leaving in the morning and returning in the afternoon. This began to look like food allergies, so we restricted Peter's food, but never saw any clear cut response. The itching interfered with Peter's ability to do his programming and Dana was concerned about the possibility of anaphylactic shock, which would have put Peter in the hospital as a patient, rather than a programmer. She warned us that if Peter didn't improve soon, she was going to call off a safari trip we had planned for the weekend, since it would put him too far from medical care if he needed it. But on Wednesday night Peter saw some significant reduction in the severity of the hives, and Thursday there were only a few spots left. We all heaved a huge sigh of relief, and packed our bags for Mara Safari club in south west Kenya, where we were to have the most remarkable exposure to African wildlife any of us had ever experienced.