Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Guest post: Parasites!
Today I welcome Lorilyn Roberts, the author of many books and founder of the John 3:16 Network. While this excerpt from her book leaves the reader without knowing what happens, rest assured that Lorilyn's daughter is alive and well today.
I recall having parasites. Actually, I had an amoeba inside me for about six months when I lived and worked as an adult in the Philippines. Ugh. I remember having to drink two containers of a white substance to kill the thing. Very nasty. Inside creatures really wear you out.
Here's an excerpt from Lorilyn's book, Children of Dreams.
The orderly pushed Manisha’s gurney over to the CAT scan room. I had found a pay phone and called my mother.
Her first comment was, “Do you know what day this is?”
I remembered what day it was. September 18th. Four years to the day and almost to the hour, my father had died of a brain tumor. It was about 5:00 p.m. It was too surreal.
She promised to get the first flight out of Atlanta that she could. After the CAT scan had been done I heard the nurse calling for a doctor.
“A doctor will be with you shortly,” she said and walked out. I knew something was wrong and snuck over to look at the scan.
There was something big and glowing. I nearly collapsed from fear, but the nurse returned and chastised me for being there. She quickly escorted me out without answering any of my questions.
Manisha called for me, and I hurried to the CAT scan machine where she was still lying.
“I love you and everything will be okay,” I told her holding back tears. I looked into her eyes wondering what was inside her head that had caused this evil and horrible thing to happen.
I prayed, “Dear, God, please don’t let her die.”
A few minutes later Laura arrived with her husband, Dr. Jay Lynch, an oncologist at Shands. They each gave me a hug. Their presence meant so much because I wasn’t sure I could go it alone. Jay left to discuss with the doctors what was on the scan. Laura handed me some clean, dry clothes and I discarded the ones that were soiled.
My world, as I had known it, had been turned completely on its head. One moment I had a happy, healthy seven year old daughter that I loved more than anything in the world. The next moment, I feared she might die.
A pediatric neurologist had been called in to meet with me and discuss Manisha’s case. Jay had returned.
“I want to do some research on something and I’ll be back a little later,” Jay said.
One of the nurses dripped something into her IV and walked out leaving me alone with her. Suddenly she started itching violently. I ran out of the room trying to grab someone’s attention.
“Please come help my daughter,” I cried. “Something is wrong. Please come now.”
One of the nurses ran in and stopped running the IV.
“What is in the IV?” One of the doctor’s asked.
“She must be allergic to the Dilantin. We’ll have to use something else.”
After that, Manisha settled down and rested more comfortably. I was shaking and scared.
“Please God,” I cried, “Don’t let anything else happen.”
A short while later Dr. Kohrman, a pediatric neurologist, walked in. He was warm and engaging and his demeanor helped to put me at ease. He told me he had looked at the scans and wasn’t sure what was going on.
Dr. Kohrman performed a neurological evaluation on Manisha. About that time Dr. Lynch returned. He and Dr. Kohrman discussed Manisha’s scans in doctor lingo as I sat and listened.
Along with the neurological evaluation, Dr. Kohrman took a medical history. I told him how I had adopted Manisha when she was three from Nepal. She had chronic diarrhea when she arrived and had undergone testing to determine the cause, but nothing definitive ever showed up. It had eventually gone away with good nutrition.
She also had a stool sample with parasites, but they were never able to confirm what was there because the second stool sample was negative.
I came to appreciate how important the medical history was along with a medical examination. Both Dr. Lynch and Dr. Kohrman agreed they weren’t sure what it was, but considering Manisha’s background coming from a third world country, there was a possibility she had something called neurocysticerosis.
Anything that wasn’t cancer had to be a better diagnosis, I thought.
“What is that?” I asked.
Dr. Kohrman explained, “Neurocysticerosis is a parasitic infection of the nervous system. It is caused by the larvae of the tapeworm, Taenia solium, normally found in pork. When the larval cysts travel to the brain, either the invasion of the organism or the death of the organism can cause symptoms, oftentimes seizures.”
“Of course, we must be sure of what we’re dealing with,” he went on. “If it’s a brain tumor, she’ll need surgery. We will need to admit her so we can work her up.”
I had always found uncertainty difficult. To have my child have something serious and not know what it was caused me excruciating pain. Jay took me into a private room away from the bustle of the emergency area and gave me words of encouragement and prayed for Manisha. I was thankful to have a Christian doctor and friend interceding for us.
Children of Dreams is being showcased by the John 3:16 Marketing Network as part of their August Book Launch Event. Be sure to visit http://bit.ly/Christian_Books for a chance to win a Kindle, a $25 gift card and a $10 Starbucks card, as well as purchase Children of Dreams.
Lorilyn Roberts is a Christian author who writes children's picture books, adult nonfiction, memoirs, and a young adult Christian fantasy series, Seventh Dimension.
Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama, which included international study in Israel and England. She received her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College and is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature.
Lorilyn is the founder of the John 316 Marketing Network, a network of Christian authors who are passionate about promoting books with a Christian worldview.
To learn more about Lorilyn, please visit her website at http://lorilynroberts.com or blog at http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com. You can follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/lorilynroberts