Monday, August 14, 2006

Fighting Disease with Prayers

Jules, Chary and I visited Len at her place last Saturday. It was a truly welcome sight to see her at the doorway. It was only a few weeks ago when she was in a hospital bed stripped of her memory.

Len was down with Encephalitis a few weeks ago. I wasn't familiar with that disease. I looked it up and got this definition:

Encephalitis literally means an inflammation of the brain, but it usually refers to brain inflammation caused by a virus. It's a rare disease that only occurs in approximately 0.5 per 100,000 individuals - most commonly in children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems (i.e., those with HIV/AIDS or cancer).
It was Mary Rose who texted me about Len's condition. She told me that Len was at St. Luke's due to persistent high fever and swelling of the brain. It was scary to receive such news and I hurriedly called some other friends to pass the news.
I wasn't feeling well myself so I texted her husband that I might not be able to visit her at the hospital. At her condition, I did not want to risk passing anything to Len. Her immune system was down and it was best if I kept my distance for a while. I just kept in touch daily with Marlowe.
The first few days at the hospital brought a scare to everyone. Len lost most of her memory. She could not remember names and events. She could not even remember the name of her husband. There was a point when she experienced difficulty standing up and suffered involuntary body movements. Len could not even eat by herself.
I felt helpless not being able to see her at the hospital. Some friends who were able to visit told me how sad it was to see Len in such a state. She was always full of life and it was hard to accept what has happened to her.
While Chary was visiting Len, she found out that the doctor told Marlowe that they should start praying because it was a serious disease. There was a big chance that Len might not be normal again. That news brought tears to my eyes.
Sheryl and I organized a daily prayer session among friends. I composed a short prayer and forwarded it to some friends. We all agreed to spend a few minutes each day to recite the prayer for the benefit of our dear friend, Len. A few of us even taught our children to say prayers for their Tita Len.
I realized how strong prayers could be. God is very kind because he answered our prayers. He gave Len a new chance in life. Len came out of the hospital with no trace of her illness unlike some people who was able to fight the disease but remained burdened with partial paralysis or other bodily disfunctions.
Len told us that it was a virus. She may have gotten it anywhere. She could have gotten it at the mall, at the sports club or the supermarket. It's a scary thought that we are so vulnerable to disease carring agents because they are often invisible. We can keep those disease agents at bay by taking vitamins to improve our immune system and living a healthy life.

It was great to see our friend back to normal. Her experience made me appreciate my life more. I realized how lucky I am that my family is in good health. On this day and age, many types of diseases are evolving and we should always be grateful for each sickness free day that we have.

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