Desert Doctor

Administering healing salves in a Bedouin encampment

(Greg) When David Livingstone traipsed across the African sub-continent, he and his exploring band were afflicted by all kinds of nasty maladies: tsetse fly-borne sleeping sickness, malaria, yellow fever and skin disorders of all types. So, as the 6 explorers, we were kind of hoping we might have the same kind of authentic experience. As we emerged from Kenya and arrived in the Sinai, we did. Or rather, Alexandra did.

Large, hard, red, juicy, infected abscesses started popping up on her legs. They would grow, explode and then get really bad. Considering where we had been – and the fact that half of Livingstone’s men either deserted or died – we thought seeking modern medical help would be prudent. Alexandra and I took a pickup truck to the local doctor who fortunately had a huge Italian-made cast iron hyperbaric chamber in his offices; which was comforting because one of the nasty beasties on her leg was likely to soon envelop her head and throw her into decompression bends.

The magic black tar stuff is in the tub in front

The doctor hummphed and huffed over her active flowing calderas. He cleaned them and prescribed an oral antibiotic, some special salves and ointments and – most important – the magic black tar stuff that was guaranteed to “pull the sickness and venoms from inside her.” His prescription booty is pictured to the left (except the Colgate which I included cuz it looks cool). I was to dress her wounds 3 to 5 times a day, come back in 2 days time and see. I assured him that I would do my best to nurse her but there was no cause for concern as I had three other kids. This humor was lost in translation.

Now a week and 3 more visits later, her fever is gone and the legs are starting to return to normal. I will, however, continue to carry both small tubs of magic black tar stuff with me in case we have headaches or dental issues over the next 9 months.

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7 Responses to “Desert Doctor”

  1. Doctor Greg I presume? I thought that the two months in Africa would prepare you to deal with any medical problems! Good call to go and see a doctor though, I guess though that this will not be the last for Alex as she has a tendency to attract mosquitos and tsetse flies and react to their bites. A way to stop these bites from getting infected would be to carry these antiseptic swabs and to scratch using these, a multifunctional approach: scratching, scrubbing and disinfecting. Let’s hope that this will be the worst medical issues that you will have on your travels. Happy exploring.

  2. eeeeewww! I’m so glad she’s improving and a little impressed with Greg’s nursing skills. Let’s hope that’s the last of the nasties. Black tar stuff rocks 🙂

  3. Grandfathers don’t like to read things like this.
    Great-grandmother was (as always) right: you should be home already!
    Love. Vorrit

  4. Hi White Explorers!,

    From the sounds of this message all ended well with the medical medicine man.

    This is so impressive, I look forward to future adventures. This is wonderful!

    Fondly, Mrs. Spriggs

  5. Karen Raymond 10. Oct, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Alex and family,
    Sounds like the desert doctor helped you out!!!Hope you are feeing better . I am following your fabulous adventures!
    Safe travels,
    Mrs. Raymond

  6. Alex, way to shoulder the Livingstone Experience!! Glad to see the little black kitty is standing guard, making sure your dad gets it done. I bet that was no fun, but don’t doubt you were able to get through. Hoping for smoother legs ahead!!

  7. Tiffanie Benfer 23. Oct, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Must bring home any left over tubes of black tar goop! Maybe you can market it as the next miracle drug! Any moans or groans from Clancey or Cameron and I can threaten them with black goop.