HomePrayer UpdatesAn Unusual Cause of Arthritis of the Hip

An Unusual Cause of Arthritis of the Hip

I was asked to see an elderly man in one of the Health Centers in the Palorinya refugee settlements (Moyo District, Uganda).  I approached him, and the Clinical Officer gave me a brief history.  He had had an accident some years back, and now had right hip pain.

"Feel," the old man said, taking my hand and guiding it to a divot in the flesh of his right flank.  He gestured to similar scars on his left thigh, left arm, and chest, and again said, "Feel."

"He's asking you to 'feel' where he was injured," said another Clinical Officer.

"No, he's speaking Arabic," replied the first Clinical Officer, with me in agreement.  "'Fil' means 'Elephant'!"  

I have never before seen chronic hip pain / arthritis caused by a previous elephant attack (additionally, I haven't seen many, if any, that have survived an elephant attack!)!

"Rabuna saidu ita," I commented to the man.  God helped you.  He smiled, but didn't seem to agree.  Oh well, I thought, I'm only called to declare the truth about God's mercy.  And then I prescribed some Tylenol for him.

(When I relayed this story to my family, our kids, who are learning Madi and previously learned Arabic, suggested the saying "Leah, feel the elephant."  Leya is elephant in Madi, Fil is elephant in Arabic, and... well, the last is English!)

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:06

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