Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mystery solved

For months she had difficult swallowing and eating because she had sores of her mouth.  She was losing weight and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on.   Every blood test and Xray proved negative for any specific diagnosis.  Not thinking she would get better, she wanted to come home to be with her family. 

Her family, brought her to Kudjip to be seen.  Her mouth sores had been going on for almost 9 months, but in the last month she also developed sores and blisters of her skin.  When I saw her in the ER, my heart just went out to her.  She didn’t want to move because every movement brought pain through her body.  Her lower abdomen, whole back, and most of her arms and legs were crusted over from infection of the sores she had, and there were some vesicles and bullae that hadn’t ruptured yet.  She wasn’t able to swallow well due to the sores of her mouth, and it was obvious she hadn’t been eating much recently.  With the skin lesions now present, her diagnosis was no longer in question, it was clear she now had a condition called Pemphigus Vulgaris. 

We treated the infection of her skin and started her on high dose steroids and other medicines to stop new lesions from forming.  They didn’t all resolve, but thankfully, they got better with the treatment we gave her.  She started eating again and not being in so much pain.  She was able to leave the hospital after a week and has returned for follow-up visits, where we continue to alter her medicines to keep her disease under control.  Unfortunately, we can't cure her from the PV, but we will do what we can to control any new lesions, to decrease pain she has and to keep her eating.  

It is such a blessing to serve here and be able to help and care for so many of God's children.