Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time to head home--feeling well!

The last few days before I went to surgery I was able to visit with family and friends.  On the first of September, Dr. Dale Erickson, our first doctor at Chidamoyo in 1968 came up to have lunch with Sylvia and I.  He was in San Francisco at a medical conference and drove up to spend the afternoon with us.  He is a nephrologist in Albuquerque now and it was great to see him.

On the 3rd-5th of September, Sylvia and I went with my brother Dennis and his wife Kathy to Reno to visit my older sister Carol and her husband Mike.  We had a wonderful  visit and the penny slots kept us busy and got some shopping in!

We drove straight home on the 5th and straight to the hospital.  We left Reno at 4:30 a.m. and at exactly 8:45 a.m. I was checking for surgery.  I went in at 11 a.m. and by 1:30 p.m. I was home and feeling well.  I was still a bit groggy from the anesthesia so took a pain pill and slept for the rest of the day and night and woke up about 3 a.m. and read for an hour and then back to sleep until 7 a.m.

Since then I have felt so well.  No pain, no fevers and no fatigue!  Taking the gallbladder out seems to be the answer--yeah!  the liver biopsy showed cirrhosis and am doing some more blood tests to find out why but I am fine.

Since then I have been visiting family and friends, shopping and just enjoying my last few days in the US. 

On Friday I was honored to be presented with the Paul Harris award from the Sebastopol Rotary for my work in Zimbabwe.  This club has been so helpful in supporting our work at the hospital.

God has provided for all my medical expenses and doctors and has blessed me with such great care and concern from all of them.  Thank you to all who have helped in sending donations, gifts, taken me out for meals, praying for me and the surgeries and called.  I feel so blessed by all of you.

Saturday I fly to Zimbabwe.  Major texted yesterday they are counting the hours--me too!  I have always felt so lucky to have 2 homes in life!

Fall is on the way here and how nice it has been to be home and see some of the leaves already changing colors, cooler evenings and sun going down earlier.  These are things we don't get to experience in Zimbabwe so it is special to me! 
Dale and Sylvia

 Brother Dennis and sister Carol with me
 Nellie and I having lunch--a Chidamoyo alumni and an RN
The Paul Harris award being presented by Rotary

Celebrating my birthday with Bible Study friends at Sebastopol church
Enjoying cheesecake with Sue my forwarding agent!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

From the tables to the table!

My friend Sylvia who is Zimbabwean and a nurse in a local hospital here in Santa Rosa, California, and I have been spending our time visiting local doctors.  They did ruled out TB and the scans show my liver has enlarged over time.  After consultation with doctors and a surgeon I am scheduled to have my gallbladder removed (it is non-functioning) and a liver biopsy on Wednesday (Sept. 5th) of this next week. 

On Monday Sylvia and my brother Dennis and sister-in-law Kathy and I are driving to Reno, Nevada to spend 2 days visiting with my older sister Carol and her husband Mike.  We will stay at the Atlantis Casino and enjoy some penny slots, good buffets and visits with the family. 

We will get up to  leave by 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday and drive straight through to the hospital to be admitted by 8:45 a.m. to have surgery at 11:00 a.m.  I will have it done  laproscopically and hope to be home shortly after I wake up from anesthesia.  I told the doctor I hate hospitals and need to go home ASAP!

In the past couple of weeks I have been feeling better and fevers have almost all disappeared.  I have been busy visiting with friends and family and shopping.  One suitcase is full and packed already!

Thanks to so many people who have sent money for my medical expenses and for all your prayers and thoughts!

Yesterday the hospital called to tell me that the $48,000 I owe for the 2 surgeries have been taken care of by the hospital through the generous help of Dr. Jim Palleschi!  God is good!

Chidamoyo Christian Hospital seems to be going on well and they keep begging for me to return soon.  Maybe they miss me?  The Recovery room is opened now and Dr. Kellert is keeping it full with surgery patients.

Yesterday I read something in my devotion book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  I thought it was so good and wanted to share it with you.  The book is writing as if Jesus is speaking to us directly:

"Grow strong in your weakness.  Some of My children I've gifted with abundant strength and stamina.  Others, like you, have received the humble gift of frailty.  Your fragility is not a punishment, nor does it indicate lack of faith.  On the contrary, weak ones like you must live by faith, depending on Me to get you through the day.  I am developing your ability to trust Me, to lean on Me, rather then on your understanding.  Your natural preference is to plan out your day, knowing what will happen when.  My preference is for you to depend on Me continually, trusting Me to guide you and strengthen you as needed.  This is how you grow strong in your weakness."

I have set my date of return for September 22 if all goes well.  Stay tuned....
Friends from Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

Dr. Kellerts daughter on right and her friends Diana and husband

Friend Gail Onyette any Sylvia and I

Friend Julie Johnson--we went from primary school through high school together

Mission committee members at Sebastopol Christian Church

Reba, Bill and Julie Harrison--we worked at Chidamoyo together in 1972-73

Jim and JoAnne Minnis, Chidamoyo Alumni

 Laura (Minnis's daughter), Stephen, Laurenrachel and Emily Clayton

Sylvia's quilting club--4 of them are SRMH OB nurses I worked with in 1989-90

 Eileen a Chidamoyo alumni and financial supporter of Chidamoyo