Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chapter 6: My test results were lost!?

It has been four weeks since I was able to visit Nomsa.  When I saw last  her we were waiting for her TB Culture results to come back. If they were NEGATIVE she could leave the hospital. If they were POSITIVE she had to start the extensive treatment over again and was in the hospital for another 6+ months.  

Just after I left for the US we found out that her lab results had been lost.  Each culture takes six weeks to grow so they had to do another test and now we are waiting six more weeks for the results.  I know that everything is in His perfect timing and so I was anxious to hear how she was doing when I got home.

When I went to visit her I found her curled up asleep in her bed in the middle of the day.    She had been in bed for two days and was not strong emotionally.  The day before I visited her she had taken a double dose of her ARV’s accidently and was really sick, so tried to sleep it off.  Then this morning she told the nurse that she wanted to be discharged and leave the hospital.  The nurse reminded her that she can’t do that and that she must stay until she is well. It has been a long journey thus far, and it may be far from over.

So she got up, was happy to see me and started to unpack her “goodie” bags – roasted pork ribs, fragrant hand lotion a few PEOPLE magazines can sometimes bring light to a gloomy day.  Then I gave her a "Learn to Crochet" book and some yarn that my friend Becky sent for her.  We plan to her how to crochet so that she can be a part of the Khutsala Artisans Shop when she is discharged from the hospital.  After that I decided to show her some photos from my trip and we ended up looking at pictures from the first day we met at the back of the ambulance. It was an emotional time.  She never imagined that she would still be alive today, and honestly, neither did I.

Crocheting project from Becky Fern.
Nomsa had never seen a computer before. She was shocked at how small it was.  When I opened it my FaceBook page was there.  She had heard of FaceBook, but didn’t know what it was. Fortunately I had my “dongle” (cellular internet device) with me so I connected to the Internet, also new for Nomsa.  I was able to show her photos on my FaceBook page and then I took her to this blog site so she could see what people are looking at when they read Wednesdays With Nomsa. Each week I bring her a typed copy of what is written, but she hasn’t seen it in blog format.  To know that thousands of people knew who she was and were praying for her really started to sink in.

Nomsa looking at photos of her twins the day she gave them to us.
 Then I took her to the site where she watched a video of me telling a short version of HER STORY!  I hadn’t seen it myself so the two of us sat and wept.  To think that people around the world could hear about her, care about her, pray for her and even give financially to help build her a room while she stayed in bed and cried, was too much to imagine.  There were no words for her to express the emotion she was feeling so she just cried and shook her head.

Kayla Ferris putting out a challenge to help Nomsa.
 Then I decided to introduce her to skype.  By this time we were both getting excited.  She had never heard of Skype.  Suddenly there was Chloe inside the computer talking to us!  All the other women in the ward were standing behind her shaking their heads in sheer wonder.  Next, we Skyped my cousin Kim in Canada.  Imagine that?  These women who are suffering with HIV/AIDS and Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis were able to talk to someone in Canada through a little machine on a side table at a TB hospital.  It was an exciting day that is hard to put in to words (I realize as am trying to type this).  The world suddenly became much smaller and the room she was in became much bigger.  Hope appeared in the form of a computer.

Nomsa and Chloe Skyping.
When it was time to leave Nomsa walked me to the top of the stairs.  She looked and me and cupped her hands together in front of her the way you would scoop water or hold a tiny bird.  She said, “I feel like the Lord is holding me in the palm of His hands and that I am safe and secure.  Even though I am sick and have been alone for a long time, I am not alone anymore.  He loves me and I know that for sure. I am okay now Janine.  You can go and we will meet again. I am okay.”

Once again, Nomsa showed me the power of the human spirit and the importance of faith, hope and love … the greatest of these is love.   


PS – The woman in the photo has been asking for a bible in siSwati for many many weeks.  I have had a hard time finding one, but found one on Sunday in a random box in our house!  When I gave it to her she screamed, danced, shouted and sang praises of thanks for giving her the only thing that she really wanted … a bible.  It was the perfect end to a great visit.

Doing a happy dance when she got her siSwati bible.


  1. Loved today's blog! It was the epitome of God's perfect love and guidance...Thank you, Janine!

  2. Fantastic! Just fantastic that she understands she is not alone.

  3. Crying. Beautiful. Hope is an amazing gift!