Posted by: macahajo | May 24, 2015

It happened to me

I thought it was a boil.

So, I researched how to treat a boil. I started to put warm compresses on the area, as well as Young Living’s Melrose and Lemon Oils, that were suggested.

But when a friend told me that the boil she had last week did not itch, I started to wonder if it was a boil, or the dreaded Mango Worm.

I heard about Mango Worms several years ago when we came here for our Vision Trip. Mango Flies lay their eggs in contaminated soil or on damp clothing or bed linens.  The eggs hatch in 1–3 days and burrow into the skin, producing swelling like a boil.   People often get Mango Worms when they wear clothes that are still slightly damp.

I cringed at the thought, and hoped that we would never have to experience this dreadful thing!  Since we moved here last year, I have been very careful with our clothes.  After they’ve hung outside all day to dry, I put them in the dryer for a little bit to make sure they’re completely dry.  Or, if I don’t put them in the dryer because they seem to already be dry, then I still let them sit for 2-3 days before putting them in the drawers to make sure they’re really dry!

Late Friday night, after we cleaned up from having some of our kids’ friends over, I decided to put Young Living’s Animal Scented Ointment on the area to sooth it a little. That’s when I saw a black spot in the middle, like a black head, starting to move up and down.  I nearly freaked out.

(The Animal Scented Ointment worked like Vaseline, which people have put on the Mango Worm’s breathing hole, thus suffocating it, and forcing it to the surface for air. And that’s the best time to squeeze it out, when it’s popping out.)

Well, when I realized that this was in fact a Mango Worm and not a boil, I called for Mark. He tried to get it out, but only a little puss came out. It was well after midnight, so we went to sleep. There wasn’t really anything else we could do at that point.

The next morning, I was emotionally drained.  I was so tired from staying up late, and not getting a good night sleep. And I just wanted to get this Mango Worm out, but it wasn’t showing itself like it did the night before.  Mark tried to squeeze it out again, but it didn’t come out.  So, in the afternoon, Jessica, one of my friends here who is a nurse,  brought her Cameroonian friend over to help.  Jessica said that the best people to help with removing Mango Worms are Cameroonians because they often have a lot of experience with it.

She squeezed. And squeezed. And squeezed, until it finally came out.  It hurt so badly, but she got it out. The pain was so excruciating that I had nail marks on my leg from where I tightly squeezed while she was removing the Mango Worm.

During this dramatic experience, I thought I am not a tough missionary!  I am not the camping type!  I don’t like bugs or worms.  I like nice hotels.  I am an American suburban girl!  🙂  But, in the end, I know that God has called me here, and He is my help and strength.  The hope and dreams that I have for serving Him here, help me to endure these kind of difficulties. There is no place I’d rather be.

Serving Christ in Cameroon,  Cathy Lynn









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