Monday, April 5, 2010

Moms on Adrenalin

So you've heard of the mom that was so filled with adrenalin, she lifted a car by herself in order to free her trapped child. What, you mean you haven't heard of that? Well you should have. It's urban legend. An average mom can suddenly be filled with superhuman strength or abilities when it comes to taking care of her children.

And sometimes she can find herself in very unusual circumstances for the same reason ...

While serving as missionaries in Uganda, we lived in a small town on the border between Uganda and Kenya. Once a month my husband would make the eight hour round trip to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. He would pick up our support money for the month. He would also shop for meat, cheese, milk, and some other things that were difficult to find in our small town. Often he also had to deal with the myriad of paperwork involved in serving in a third world country. All of this took a great deal of time, so these monthly trips usually involved two or three days. We had another missionary family staying near us, and the two men decided to make the regular trip into Kampala together.

The men had been gone for about a day when my two youngest children got sick. Joel and Nicky were two and one years old at the time, and both started running high fevers. Joel kept vomiting until he had nothing left on his stomach, and Nicky's fever shot up to 105 degrees.

One of the things I had been given before I left for the mission field was a book entitled, Where There Is No Doctor. I think the title's self-explanatory. Anytime one of the kids came down with something that was not easily identifiable, I'd haul out the book and compare symptoms. "Okay, so there's fever and vomiting, but no headache, so I think we can rule out typhoid." It was an interesting book, but it didn't do much to diagnose my kids that day.

As Nicky's fever climbed higher, I got a little frantic. None of the children's tylenol I had was doing much to bring the fever down. My husband wouldn't be home for two more days, but my children needed help now.

Unfortunately, there were not a lot of medical options in our small town. In Ugandan schools, 30 is considered a passing grade. I wanted a doctor that got more than thirty percent right on his medical tests. I was discussing the problem with Lisa, the other missionary wife, when she had an idea.

Lisa had heard a rumor that there were American doctors in Mbale, a town thirty minutes north of us. She thought they were going to be starting an orthopaedic clinic that was funded by a mission organization. We didn't know if the rumor was true. We didn't know if they'd even started building their clinic, or if it was something planned in the future. We didn't know exactly where in Mbale it was located. So we did the only thing we could.

We went looking for them.

We loaded all eight kids (her two and my six) into our Isuzu Trooper, and set off on a quest to find medical help for my children.

This post is part of my Monday Memories. Part Two of a Mother on Adrenalin will be posted next Monday. In the meantime, what unusual things has motherhood called you to do?

To read the next installment of this memory, click here.


  1. Scary! I haven't had any intense moments like that. I guess I would have to say motherhood has given me the ability to simply function normally on like 2 hours of sleep! :)

  2. ps-you need to delete your first comment! :)
    You've been spammed!

  3. You're going to make us wait til next Monday?!?

  4. Wow, Jill. Talk about stepping out in faith.

    I'll be waiting...

  5. I can't believe you're leaving it like that!!! Can't you finish the story tomorrow???

  6. ok.. I am just getting to read your story. What a great start and a great memory. I can´t wait to read the rest. going now. ;)
    I have missed reading your blog.


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