the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

The Akha have Allergies Too

We actually used to wonder if the Akha were allergic to anything. They all seem to be able to eat anything, and we have yet to meet an Akha with hay fever (at least, we haven't met one who was willing to complain about it). Anyway, in the last year of doing minor medical exams we haven't run across a single significant allergic reaction - until this morning.

When we arrived for church this morning, we saw one of the girls from our village - 5 year old A Mi. This precious little girl had a swollen cheek like we had never seen. Immediately, I assumed it was an abscessed tooth and began examining her teeth, but they all looked fine. As I was looking in her mouth her father came up and told me what happened.

Swelling face from Bee sting - Akha girl stung by beeApparently, A Mi was in a tree this morning (a common place to see Akha children) when she was stung twice by a bee. Once in the arm, once in the cheek. We still haven't figured out if the stings were inadvertent or whether she was attempting to get some honey, but that is neither here nor there. When I heard she was stung, I looked at her arm and found a nice swelling welt there as well, confirmation that she was definately allergic to bee stings.

The swelling was so severe that we were afraid her breathing might end up being affected. Fortunately, she was breathing fine and other than her obvious self-consciousness about her cheek she wasn't in any pain. However, our anti-histamine did not immediately help the situation and her cheek continued to swell.

Off we went again, another Vernon Ambulance trip - this time to the local clinic in Mae Salong. They were able to prescribe her a liquid anti-histamine for her to take over the next day or so.

Please remember A Mi in your prayers as she continues to heal.

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