Well, I had just finished saying that nothing too exciting has happened medically for quite some time. I won't ever say that again!
Last Saturday morning I received a all at 7:30 am from Elder Munton. He was treated for glaucoma several months ago and was doing quite well. No problems at all, We had pretty much decided that his glaucoma was stress related. He was serving as a Zone Leader in Labasa. He called to tell me that when he woke up his peripheral vision was gone in his right eye. He was freaking out as can be imagined. He was on exchanges with a couple of the missionaries about 45 minutes from Labasa. He headed for Labasa and I called the Dr. here in Suva that has been treating him. The doctor said we needed him to get to Suva ASAP. I called the AP's and they immedicately began looking at flights to get Elder Munton back to Suva. As luck would have it all the flights were booked out til Tuesday. I told the missionaries to take off and go to the Airport to plead their case in person. They did and were on the next flight here. I took him to the eye doctor who was perplexed as to what had happened. He sent us for visual field study. He was to see the Doctor first thing Monday morning. I was sick so he went to the doctor without me. after 2 hours he called for a ride home. Dave picked him up and got the news that Elder Munton needed to return to the USA ASAP for an MRI. It just so happened that a group of missionaries were leaving to go home on Thursday so he went home with the group. He was to be released in October so it cut his mission short by about 6 weeks. We haven't heard from him so we have no idea what the outcome of the MRI was.
During the same week a sister serving who had completed her mission in Vanuatu came through Suva on her way back to Napal. She was an outstanding sister Missionary, probably the best in Vanuatu. For about a year now she has been complaining of her feet hurting. Some days they hurt so bad she could hardly walk. It never once slowed down her missionary work however. About a year ago, she had her feet checked on two different occasions. The first time was by someone that was not a doctor who suggested that she may have Rheimatoid Arthritis. The second check was by a regular doctor who said she did not have RA. For a year now she has continued her work without complaint. Sister Ostler wanted to have her checked here in Suva before returning to Napal. I took her to see Dr. Lavenia at SPH. She examined her feet carefully, ordered blood work and did x-rays. When she got the x-rays back she came to me and said "we need to talk!" My heart sank. She showed me the shocking results of the x-rays. The bones and joints of both feet had large lesions indicative of ir-repairable damage done by Rheumatoid Arthritis. My heart sank because of my knowledge of the terrible prognosis of RA. We talked for a long time. She met 4 of the 7 criteria for RA. The final blood test which would confirm RA was not back yet but there was no doubt that she had RA and that the damage done was ir-reversable. It was a very sobering visit to the Hospital. Tears where shed and reassurance was given that she would receive what help she could get before going back to Napal. She was started on Methotrexate and Prednisone. We had to quickly extend her Visa so that she could stay here in Suva for a while for treatment. She has a follow-up visit with a specialist this week.
How sad for a young 23 yr old beautiful young return missionary. As I thought about it through the week I came to peace knowing that because of her diligence, hard work and because of all the days that her feet hurt so badly that she could hardly walk but got up anyway and went on with her missionary work, the Lord would take care of her.
In Sunday School Dave taught a beautiful lesson about Job. As we talked about Job my thoughts kept going back to Sister Pariyar. She is an elite spirit and has this difficult test in her life for whatever reason.
It has been a privilege helping her get the care she needs.