Mercer On Mission

2015 Blog

Tuesday-Week 2: Tori

Sunday night, I came down with some sort of sickness that took me out of commission Monday and Tuesday (today). I wasn’t able to go to clinics--or really even move out of my bed--and had to stay back at the Ranch. It was so very frustrating--I’d come so far to try and help serve in some small way, and there I was sick and unable to contribute to clinics. In my two days at the Ranch, I did a lot of writing and a lot of thinking. I realized that the people of the Agalta Valley didn’t even have the luxury to have a sick day (or two)--even when they really need it. They don’t have a group of pharmacists with them who have Cipro on stock and can freely give it to help quickly recuperate. I was ‘stuck’ in bed with a fever, nonstop nausea, and--well, I won’t elaborate any more--but I was still so lucky. I had so many resources at my disposal: medications, clean water to stay hydrated, the time and ability to sleep when I really couldn’t do anything else, and a group of people who could pick up some of the slack when I couldn’t work.

Mission trips reveal the small things that are so easily taken for granted--but we don’t usually think of sickness as one of those. When we’re in the clinics, we see how little access many of the people have to medications or treatments, but actually experiencing being sick adds a completely different dimension. With that being said--I’m certainly not recommending it to anyone going on a Mercer on Mission trip in the future. One of my Global Health professors last semester made a statement one time that was something along the lines of “Diseases affect you regardless of who you are. How diseases affect you is completely dependent on who you are.” She wasn’t talking about the pathogenicity of diseases or sicknesses--the statement was all about disease experience.

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