Four Pill Miracle

I didn’t think people could turn this particular shade of grey. It was ghostly, the color of deadly illness, or at least the closest I had ever come to what I imagined it looked like. And it was the color of my husband as we drove home from a San Jose Sharks hockey game one Saturday night in late January. For the last three weeks, Matt had been suffering from great intestinal discomfort which a round of antibiotics, a steady diet of bland foods like bananas, rice, and applesauce, and a complete avoidance of caffeine and alcohol had done nothing to temper. I believe it was that night or the next day Matt told me that he could no longer stomach the idea of eating. Period. It was too painful. On Monday, I started calling his doctor demanding some results on tests that had been taken. I was very anxious and was incensed that due to patient privacy rights I wasn’t allowed to know the results. Of course, Matt was continuing to go to work despite his discomfort and was working his usual long hours but now on very few calories and in excruciating pain. If this wasn’t a time for prayer, I don’t know what would be!

A few days later, Matt was called with the results. He had giardia, which we later concluded he must have gotten from drinking contaminated water while mountain biking. The recovery was a true miracle. The doctor called in a prescription for four pills which I promptly picked up from the pharmacy. Matt took them that night when he got home from work per the doctor’s instructions. By the next morning, he was able to eat a normal breakfast and drink a cup of coffee. Hallelujah!

For four weeks, I had watched my husband steadily decline, waste away, grow discouraged, irritable, and despondent. All it took was four miracle pills and his health was completely restored.

Shortly thereafter, our church invited a missionary organization to come and speak. The team highlighted the plight of those in Africa who have no clean water and end up drinking water that has raw sewage in it. They listed giardia as one of the top killers because this parasite is contracted from unclean water and because the four miracle pills to cure it are very hard to find in rural Africa. How shockingly real this situation in Africa became for us. Matt and I left church talking about the awful reality of people dying from the same symptoms as Matt had all because the medicine we find so easy to get is simply not available.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you are probably aware that something is about to start, something that has to do with tea and possibly with an organization known as CareNow Foundation. The CareNow Foundation was founded in 2005 in response to a growing awareness among a group of people that health care of any kind is nearly, if not completely, non-existent in rural Africa. The foundation funds the shipping of donated medicines to clinics in parts of Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa. One of the founders, Wendy Bjurstrom, recently explained to me that the clinics CareNow supports are actively working to provide de-worming medicines such as those necessary for getting rid of giardia.

CareNow also believes in and supports the training of local medical professionals who are willing to stay in Africa to serve their fellow countrymen. Part of the foundation’s goal is to empower rural villages and communities with medical knowledge so that they can become self-sufficient. Please visit for more information about this wonderful organization.

Because no one should die from giardia.

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