The last 2 weeks have been full of doctor appointments and medical tests. Bob has done more blood, urine, and stool tests in 2 weeks than the rest of his life combined! (OK, maybe that is an exaggeration…) One of the key results is that he tested positive for a parasite disease called Schistosomiasis. While the hospital we are working with found a positive result for schistosomiasis (colloquially, “schisto”, for the non-medical folks), the CDC does a more specialized test, and we are still waiting to receive their results. These worms enter your skin in fresh-water sources, carried by snails. Fortunately, there is a medicine that can cure people of schisto. For the last month, Bob has felt unusually tired and weak – lacking energy to go out or be active, and taking multiple naps every day. Yesterday, Bob took the medicine, praziquantel (it is just a one-day course). We are hopeful that in the next couple of weeks his energy will come back and his immune system will regain strength after its long fight with this parasite. We found out this week that I (Kristi) have also tested positive for schisto, although I am asymptomatic, so will also take the medicine while we are in the U.S..
Thank you for the many words of encouragement and prayers for Bob’s recovery! We trust that God is healing Bob’s body and will give us health and energy to embrace life and ministry in Congo!
Our hope continues to be that we will return to return to Congo in early October.