Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Joy woke me up at about 2am on Tuesday complaining of a growing toothache, and headache that was spreading to the right-hand side of her neck. We thought the pain would die down as the night progressed and she rested. Her Monday had been rather hectic and we thought it was part of the reason for the pain.
However about 3am the pain as she described had more than tripled….it was at 100%.I have never seen my wife in this mode. The only option was for us to find someone to help. I picked up my phone and called Pr Martin and Tracey Ssempa, who we usually call whenever issues like this come up. They advised that we go see a doctor……..most likely a dentist. They actually gave us a phone contact of a dentist they personally knew. We jump into the car to find our way into the city where we could get some help. We woke up the dentist with our phone call and all he could say was he was unable to help us because he was at home sleeping.

We then decided to call the hospital where Joy has been attending her prenatal and will be delivering…….their response was…..we have no one to help her right now.(by the way this particular hospital is one of the best in Uganda) I am quickly beginning to run out of options when I remember another upscale 24 hr clinic in the city centre. I was met by a nurse at the entrance who quickly assured us ….they were not able to help. It is about 4:20am and I could only imagine what pain my wife was going through.

I drove to a gas station so I would think of what next. I then called James, our ministry admin who suggested another clinic that was close to where we were. We quickly dashed there and when I asked if there was a doctor, they assured us there was one who would attend to Joy….. abit of relief rushed thru me. When the doctor showed up we explained what was going on and to say the least all he did was listen to us and recommend three types of medicine that from our own private reading was dangerous to Joy and the baby. We did not feel comfortable with the doctor. He had just woken up from his sleep and he would occasionally doze off while talking with us. I did not trust his medical decision because it was obvious his mental absence.

I t was at this point that we remembered a doctor friend of ours in our couples ministry and we called to check with her about the medicines the doctor was recommending. She told us to take only one of them(a milder pain killer) which we did and went back home shortly after 5am.

The medicine helped relieve some of the pain. Joy told me that at some point she cried, not so much because of the pain but because she missed her Vegas doctor(Dr Edward Spoon)

We literally drove thru the entire city of Kampala and called whoever we could and all we got was mild pain killers….I thought to myself about the fact that if this was a much serious complication that had Joy’s life in balance, that the story would be different.

We woke up at about 7am and got ready to go see a dentist. The pain had returned. The first place we showed up said to us they can be able to attend to Joy sometime in the after……5hours later. Frustrated we left and went elsewhere…after waiting for close to 20 minutes we left because there was no sense of progress. we needed a place that would treat this as an emergency……
I decided in the midst of driving to call the hospital that we will be delivering at and this time round they said there was someone available to see Joy. I asked if they would see her right away…they said yes.

We finally saw a dentist but it was after waiting for another 30 minutes. The problem according to the dentist was Joy’s wisdom tooth which had gotten badly cracked.(she has had pieces of her teeth break during this pregnancy) She ended up removing it. The pain has died out and Joy is at home recovering and resting. We thank God who sustained and preserved Joy in the midst of all of this.

SP Onaba