Another sickness story!

Oh come on, you all know you love reading about people getting sick on random missions trip to other countries! I tend to be the one that can easily laugh at myself because really, I can do some pretty dumb things and if I don’t laugh at those things my life would be utterly miserable.
I just remembered this story a few minutes ago and thought it would be good to share. When I was 12 years old my parents thought it would be a wonderful idea to send me on my first missions trip to the Bahamas! I really wanted to go and they were very much okay with me going. I went with 150 people from my church. We were gone for two weeks so that we could do a vacation bible school and also help build a church. We flew to Nassau and stayed in a gym where the showers had just been built the week before we arrived! We had a wonderful time ministering with the local churches. The second week we took sail boats back to Miami. It was during this part of the trip where things took an ugly turn for me! Apparently no one told me sitting underneath a blue tarp with the sun reflecting off of it would cause me to get the worst sunburn I have ever had. We had been sailing for two days, swimming in the Atlantic, going to small uninhabited islands exploring, snorkeling and generally having a wonderful time. I believe it was the third day we were sailing I decided to spend some time on our boat underneath the wonderful blue tarp. I am not sure if it was that night or the following day but I started getting really sick. (side note: I am going to share some of the gross details…it’s apart of the story. :))

I had been throwing up and my face started swelling. Thankfully there was a nurse on the trip and they were able to get me to her boat so that she could figure out what to do with me! I finally stopped throwing up and they put me on the “yacht” boat and I slept on an inflatable mattress on the deck. Apparently some of the leaders and the nurse were debating on whether or not to call for a helicopter to come pick me up because I was very sick. While this debate was going on some roaches decided to start crawling around where I was laying and the nurse and two others were trying to kill them and move me at the same time. I didn’t move at all… I just laid there limp. I mean what could I do… jump up, scream and run around because there were bugs crawling by the mattress?! I am sure it would have freaked out the people on the boat if I had had the energy to do that! 🙂
The pastor of our church was on the trip and the following day he came in to check on me. He didn’t say much, just “how are you feeling?”. A friend of mine brought me a book thinking that would help pass the time while I was on the other boat. Did I mention that my face swelled up like a balloon? I couldn’t see to read! (Yes, I am laughing at that memory!) After three days of recovering on the “yacht” boat I was finally given the okay to go back to the sailboat I had started out on. We finally reached Miami and the swelling in my face had almost disappeared. We then had a 14 hour bus ride to get back to Charlotte. When I got home I had started peeling and I looked like a snake shedding it’s skin! I had the worst case of sun poisoning I have ever heard of at that point in my life!
Even though that trip was 20 years ago my pastor to this day still looks at me and asks me “how are you feeling?”! I always laugh and tell him I am feeling just fine!
You know, now that I think about it… it’s a wonder my parents ever let me travel with out them again! But they did!

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