Rescue from Dengue Fever

I was healed from Dengue Fever between two and six days from an initial mosquito bite (or bites). The pivotal point was Faylene’s prayer for me on the July 13 that was immediately followed by a cessation of extreme stomach cramps and pain. Other symptoms left quickly. My platelet count (by the time I got to a Philippine hospital ER a day after her prayer) was in a safe range and confirmed to be climbing in successive days. I did not earn the healing or take any treatment (right now there is no treatment that cures it and no acceptable vaccine is in the Philippines). By Friday July 16th I went back to a 20 minute per day exercise routine. Rarely does Dengue Fever recede so fast to permit a return to normal activities.

The story begins in our quarters as we were getting ready to travel to Iyam Lucena City on July 11 and Batangas City on July 12 where we were to conduct one-day biblical creation curriculum training. A couple days before leaving Faylene noticed a welt on my side, where a mosquito had nailed me during the night. I thought nothing of it. Who does not get bit with mosquitoes in the Philippines? I had a decent night’s sleep a day on Saturday, and Sunday was filled with packing all the exhibits and books for the training trip. I was exceptionally tired that day and got more tired by Sunday evening by the time we reached Quezon City. I was itching from more mosquito bites that I received the night before in our hotel room.

The five-hour training on Monday was hot with no air conditioning. My eyes were aching and I was not feeling very good. The intensity of the training for this 15 people meant I did not think about it. The ride to Batangas that night was uncomfortable with my eyes puffy, watering, and in pain. Somehow, I bit my tongue eating a snack during the ride, and it bled profusely for 20 minutes. Usually bleeding like this stops within seconds. I thought it strange but passed it off.

We ate that night and the food did not set well. I figured it was just the different kind of food and kept moving ahead. Sleep was welcome that night but the food the next morning did not set well either. I did not eat much. I just wanted cokes for the day during training breaks to settle my stomach. Stomach cramps and aches were happening during the five-hour on-your-feet training, but I was motivated so I did not notice the discomfort. By the time we left for a four-hour return trip to our Philippine mission station, I was miserable. Stomach cramps were severe and I was clammy all the way home. Tueday night’s sleep was fitful and uncomfortable. I woke Faylene with my groaning several times but never knew it. She prayed for me quite often.

Faylene was concerned since I rarely have physical issues and have never had a rash of combined symptoms like this. She examined my chest on Wed morning. There was a solid red rash. I still had a fever and my stomach cramps continued. She had a word of faith for me after considering all her findings before the Lord. She firmly addressed my condition. The rough stomach cramps stopped within a minute of her prayer.

I went back to bed and slept. She did research while I slept. She knew that all the symptoms added up to Dengue Fever, which her daughter had had years ago in Central America. She contacted our friend, Christian, one of the IFL nurses, who put things in gear for me to go get tested. He left for a hospital that same day with extreme weakness, nausea, and a fever.

By noon I awoke in a sweat and the fever had broken. By the time I got to a local hospital my eyes were normal, the rash was gone, and my temperature was normal. The ER confirmed that I had Dengue but the symptoms were rapidly subsiding. I wanted to do an exercise routine late that afternoon but the Spirit forbade me. By late evening I returned to the ER for the doctor to check me with the lab results in hand. There was nothing to do except receive an order for seven days of lab testing and give me instructions about how to take care of myself. I was to stay hydrated, note any bleeding, and not have any excessive activity. I noticed that the ER cubicles were all filled, and there was a fast lane for Dengue Fever patients. The doctor said there was no room, but I said I had no intentions of staying anyway.

The next three days of blood tests showed a steadily increasing platelet count (from 202 to 234). I was healed. By the weekend, regular exercise resumed and the light twinges in my stomach were gone. I will take one more test in a few days to verify the absence of Dengue.

Note: The biblical creation curriculum includes an important fundamental: miracles happen and are part of the biblical world view. I teach it every time we do training. I don’t order the physical miracles; one cannot invent them. It was our second experience with a miracle between the two of us in the last 30 months. The first is a story that might be told by Faylene in a future post. It was even more dramatic and rapid than mine. Hers happened in the middle of a conversation and without warning. The effects in other people as well as her body were quite astounding. So, miracles happen today, but they are not as common as the record of them in the New Testament. Besides healing people, the miracles authenticated Who did them (John 14:11 “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” [ESV])

I am immensely thankful for God’s touch this week. My friend, Christian, remains in the hospital, and we are going for a second time to ask God to touch him. His case of Dengue Fever is much more severe and elongated, though only recently diagnosed. If you are believer in Him, like I am, you can pray for him.

Postscript: Christian’s platelet count bottomed out and began rising with 48 hours of groups coming to pray and anoint him with oil. His fever broke. He and his wife are leaving the hospital to come home. RB

Medical note: Dengue has been declared a national medical emergency in the Philippines. Infection rates this year (2019) are several times what they have been in the past. This mosquito-born virus has no current treatment or vaccine. It is the cause of around 600 deaths in PI this year. Prevention is simple to understand but hard to ensure: don’t get bitten by mosquitoes. Communities with high rates of infection are often fumigated. While the fever is the most prevalent in PI among all Southeast Asian nations, the rates of infection are even higher in parts of the world. The Philippine site for Dengue information is https://www.doh.gov.ph/Health-Advisory/Dengue.

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