Wish I had my leg back

3 weeks into this pilgrimage thing and I’m all busted up

I’m broken. Literally.

My left leg hasn’t quite scabbed over from the motorbike accident. The scrape fully covers the part of the knee that bends so every move of my leg is painful and it is still sensitive to the touch. Seems I had the least serious of the injuries from the accident, but in the worst of places.

Might right leg is numb and from my shin to the bridge of my foot I’ve paresthesia and complete loss of feeling. Truth be told, while I’ve been waiting for electricity to publish messages on Facebook, this has been the real reason for delay. After an hour nap I awoke to a strange feeling I couldn’t explain. As I stood up I fell flat. It took two more times before I realized that I had no sensation in my right leg to hold me. And I’ve the same worrisome sensations in my left leg and both arms, to a lesser extent. To complicate matters more, Ghana is experiencing a doctors’ strike that just started last week so every hospital is without care. With the help of a new friend we were able to find a private doctor to visit. On the way to the doctor’s office I didn’t lift my leg high enough as we neared the second floor. I fell on the stairs and since there was no lower balcony nearly rolled off the steps and down 10 feet had my guide not caught me. Walking without any feeling in your leg is a beast. The doctor thought it was a mineral deficiency and prescribed me potassium chloride and a super concentrated Vitamin B-Complex.

Today however, my wife confirmed through elite investigative measures, that the culprit could be Doxycline Hyclate — my malaria medicine.

“Loss of sensation, numbness and tingling, paresthesia, sensory loss, tingling and numbness could be caused by Doxycycline Hyclate, especially for people who are female, 40–49 old, have been taking the drug for < 1 month.” (Thanks Tyree from the Healthy Living Women’s Clinic)

That’s me, save one small difference (you guess). Thanks to the band of warriors praying for my health. I asked the wonderful wife to not post it on Facebook. (Yes, I’ve some ego issues, I confess.)

On top of that, the waakye got me too. Yours truly, Mr. Iron Stomach, who came to Ghana declaring thou shalt not eat any American food got taken down. I should have requested it to go, served in a container of leaves or plastic box, but in a misunderstanding of moments accepted it on a plate. I knew something wasn’t right … I saw stains on the plate. These cramps I’ve been experiencing are in no way worth the 4.5 Cedis I paid for them. And to make matters worse, the prescription “just in case you have awesome stomach aches and constant flow” medication caused my stomach to hurt even more.

Waakye, the guilty culprit. If you look at the right edge of the plate closely you can see the red stains.

But I’m taking it like a soldier: “pain is nothing more than weakness leaving the body.” (Somewhere I’ve a bud from my Corps & Army days saying amen to that.) I had to keep talking and meeting folks, so when I met with the Anglican priest of the church the Ashanti King attends I was good … for a solid 20 minutes, that is. He was sharing that he was a healer and telling me how he’d had so many revivals across the country healing people through the gift God has given him. I think I was in the middle of sharing how I did not have that gift, but greatly respected those who had it, and right about now I thought I needed it because I was extremely nauseous. He walked me over to the outdoor shower where I arrived just in time to 20 minutes of vomiting and dry heaving, and he patted my back and prayed for my healing. Amid heaves and coughing I received my blessing. The vomiting stopped — Amen — but my foot/leg aren’t quite cooperating with God right now.

On top of all of this I’m having quite a deal of emotional unrest at my trip to the Ashanti region. (You’ll hear more of this later,) So I’m broken on the outside and on the inside. Yes, this is where I am.

It’s moments like this when people of faith like to ask, “What does this mean?” Or “What is God showing us at moments like this?” I’ve no answer right now. I’ve spent the last couple hours walking through the dark, down unformed roads, lifting my right leg high so I don’t fall over myself or step in some waste (human or otherwise) related, just so I could arrive at a Pentecostal worship service that freaked me out — and this is a brother that loves action in a worship service. Then I had to walk back, praying the same prayer on the way and trying to process with God what this means. I don’t have an answer.

Sorry to leave you with a dead end like that.

I sent a text to my wife last night that I’ve too much ego to share. Yes, I’m in a tough space right now and I miss my family, friends, and all those things I take for granted, including my legs and a stomach that doesn’t bring my whole body to a halt when it cramps. My wife asked me what’s the next step after liminality. I told her there is no other step- you stay in the in-betweenness until you get out. And my in-betweenness has about 5 more weeks to go.

I’ll let you know when I find out why.

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