Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Hurt that We Might Heal....

One of the hardest things for me as a medical provider is inflicting pain to help bring healing.  This summer I became aware of a slum on the outskirts of a small community center just a 20 minute drive from our home.  This slum has over 600 family units living there.  One of the challenges faced in this community is that of chiggers or jiggers.  They are extremely small bugs that imbed themselves in skin and lay eggs there.  They create itching, pain, inflammation and infection that can destroy the tissues in the feet. Because they imbed so deeply in the skin they must be removed using needles and scalpels.  It is a tedious and painful process; but necessary in order to treat the patient. 

This hurting to heal makes me stop and contemplate a bit.  Just as in the medical profession it often takes pain to bring healing, so it is in our spiritual walks.  There are times when we endure emotional pain that actually leads to growth and health.  The key is in sitting still while we allow God to use the scalpel and needles to dig out the root of the problem.  It’s in remembering that He also has the soothing salve and dressings to help heal the wounds so that we might be better off in the long run.

 But let me get back to the main subject of this blog, the community with the chiggers!  Since the discovery of this need, we have been able to make a few trips to do chigger care clinics.  The first time we were joined by a few ELI interns who helped sponsor the outreach.  Click here if you would like to see some pictures from that outreach.  This most recent trip was made possible by a team of nurses and nursing students from UCLA who also helped us with the treatment of the patients.  Our next chigger outreach will take place on October 10th with a few team members from Water of Life Church joining us.  They have also raised funds to help purchase shoes and socks for the patients being treated. 

Walking through the slum with supplies
Tools of the Trade
Setting up the Work Stations

The feet needed to soak before beginning treatment

This little Girl kept screaming at the nurse that she was going to call the police and report the nurse

Making the incision to remove the chigger

And there is the chigger with larva

Bandaged feet and waiting for socks and shoes

We were also able to distribute de-worming medication to the community

At the end of the day I climbed up on the rock behind the church to get a shot of the team with some of the patients and the local pastor


Anonymous said...

Wow, good work, Michelle and team! You really helped relieve a lot of suffering with these treatments.

Mama Griffith, said...

Thanks for all the pictures. It is awesome what God is doing through you. Where do you get the shoes from?

Michelle Kiprop said...

I'm able to purchase shoes here in Kenya for around $2.50/pair. If anyone is interested in helping they can make tax-deductible contributions here: by selecting "William and Michelle Kiprop" from the dropdown menu. Then just let me know via e-mail that you want the donation to apply to the jigger project.

SMC said...

Very cool--love the close-ups :) Now I know what chiggers look like (I had a patient who I think had bed bugs, but chiggers were on the DDx) :) Love you!!