I was in a meeting today at work (where else?) and before the meeting began I was telling the group about this insane article I had read earlier. It was about a "treeman" - who had this incredibly rare disease that didn't allow him to ... well I won't get into it- but here is his picture. Turns out if he has high doses of Vitamin A administered to him- this problem will likely go away. He was from Jakarta, Indonesia.
OK- I Had a picture of this poor guy up here - but it was just too horrific and I had to take it down. If you want to see the guy (who IS going to get better) you can see through this link here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/14/wtree114.xml
This story immediately prompted a dozen others from those around the table:
"Did you hear about the feral child in the Ukraine who was raised by dogs?"
"I saw a show last night about this woman who had elephantitus and her legs weighed 140lbs each"
"Well - did any of you see the Indian baby who was born with 8 limbs?" (I did see that one- another happy ending. A 36 hour surgery where the doctors removed a parasitic twin from the lively 2 year old- and she's going to be okay. The ironic thing is: If she had been born in Canada she would have been labelled a freak. She was born in India- where many of the Hindu gods have multiple limbs- and so she was revered as a goddess. In fact her parents named her Lakshmi- the same name given to the original goddess- wife of Shiva (the god of destruction) *ahem*.) Here is a picture of her- just before surgery.
I was just really struck by how many oddities the room was able to share- and moved to be thankful that, with all I have to deal with, my problems are miniscule compared to what some people have to face. And what could be a huge problem in a place like Jakarta is easily treated in a country like Canada. And while I'm sure that there are those with equally rare problems here- we have social assistance and health care to help. I'm so thankful to call this place my home! And I'm so thankful that right now I just worry about managing debt or finding time to exercise. I hear about these tragedies and say a prayer for those afflicted, and am thankful for the problems I have for they are not really problems at all.