Sunday, February 07, 2010
In spite of the fact that the GI specialist felt that I had Crohn's disease, the surgeon informed me Friday that the tissue studies showed that I had ulcerative colitis. This is really good news because with my entire colon gone, it will not recur, whereas Crohn's disease could recur since it is a disease of the entire digestive system. I am so glad for God's mercy to me!!!
While removing some of the stitches, he said that rather than packing the holes, he would put drains in and will see me next Wednesday again. In the meantime, I and the visiting nurses are to change the dressing 2 to 4 times per day (depending on the amount of drainage). He also said that one of the holes is about the size of an egg, but should diminish gradually.
I am gradually regaining energy, and my appetite is close to usual now. Praise the Lord!!!
The prayers I need now are for continued healing and for no infections. Thank You, Lord and thank you, my friends!
Monday, February 01, 2010
Haiti the place where the earth shook and God was there in the midst of it all!
The team was met, the luggage collected, and the supplies needed to be picked up in PAP and we would be ready to work. Two of the 3 vehicles went on ahead to Fedja to settle in. There were a few errands to run and I had not slept all night. So I was taken to a home for rest while they went to attend to necessary tasks. My place of rest was a home built into the hill with 2 stories below the street level and 2 stories above the street level. I was on a level below the street.
I remember thinking "I feel a little dizzy" and then "Earthquake!" I bolted up, put on my shoes and tried to stand - it threw me one side and then the other, finally I was able to stand. As the rumble grew very loud I asked God "Am I going to die today or will you save me?" The sounds of cracking walls and breaking glass became overwhelming. Then I realized all the usual earthquake helps did not apply - ie: No bathtub to lay in - No frame in the doorways etc. I then said "Lord, I don't know what to do, tell me what to do!" I heard a soft voice say "Stand Still" so I did. The dust was too thick to see thru, I heard things falling and crashing, people screaming.
As the quake subsided I found myself in the center of a space an arms length each direction from my body containing only me and the dust. It was amazing! Thank you God! The stairway was on the exterior of the house and covered with the crumbled house that had once stood next door. I climbed out and up, with help, to the street level. Only to discover the houses on all three sides of the house I was in were flattened to the ground, "Lord, I was in the red cord house!!!"
We began to hug and pray with people, to help with injuries and to dig people out of the rubble. Sitting in the center of the street the entire evening the singing and the praying was wonderful! Very late in the night the singing became softer ~ and they began to sing "It is well" in French. I sat facing the house I had been in earlier. I looked up and the thick clouds opened a circular space. To my delight the Big Dipper appeared posed as if it were pouring it's contents onto the house. I was told as a small child by my Grandfather, If you miss me too much or are afraid, find the Big Dipper and know it's God pouring out his love on me! I smiled and said "Thank You God!"
Watching the men dig and pull people out of the rubble was a sight I will never forget! My last moments on the street were hearing Ricardo call again for the sheet which meant the women they had worked so long to free was free. I watched him emerge with her in his arms and running with her to the safe place up the street ~ THANK You God!
Please continue to pray for Haiti.
Friday, January 29, 2010
About three days ago, I got home from the hospital. Wow, I am not very energetic and have very little appetite.
However, it wonderful to be home with my daughter's family to help me out and with Mercy, my other two doggies, my kitties (plus my daughter's kitties), and my chicken. The chicken seems to know my appetite is terrible, because she isn't laying right now. I am doing a fair amount of the animal chores, but do need my daughter's help for heavier tasks. What a relief that she CAN help.
I am praising God that the operation went well taking somewhat over 7 hours. I was in the critical care unit for a while for low blood pressure and then later in an isolation room since I have had MRSA before and they were taking precautions just in case.
I am also praising God that I do have a visiting nurse service for a while to dress my incision ( a looooong one), and to supervise my changes of the ileostomy bag. There is one embarrassing part of having an ileostomy -- you have no control over THOSE sounds. I am assured that they aren't as obvious to others as they are to me, but after being teased by my youngest daughter, I know that most people are pretending they don't hear.
Additionally, I am praising God that I have been approved for a lot more hours of choreworker service, which is very handy when I am being weak and need some assistance.
In your prayers for me, please pray for a better appetite, that I gain strength and that I heal well and quickly. Thank you Lord and thank you my friends!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Today I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off! (When other chickens see that, they run around also, trying to flee and making lots of noise!!!)
I am trying to get everything done as much as possible before I leave for the hospital tomorrow. All those little details of house and critters and packing, etc.
Tomorrow my daughter Kristen takes me to the last appointments to prepare me for the surgery. I see the surgeon again for instructions, the exact time to arrive for the surgery, and questions, I see the nurse who will mark my tummy for the proper place for the ileostomy, and then I see the people for all the details of the pre-admit.
That evening and night, I will stay at my son Bryan's house and do the clear liquid diet and the "prep" which will require me to "live" in that little room for a while. Then I get some sleep (hopefully). Bryan's wife or mother-in-law will take me to the hospital the next day, wait a while until I get registered and take charge of my "valuables" until after the surgery.
The surgery itself is expected to last 7 hours or possibly more. Whew! I will be out, but the poor surgeon and other medical personnel need prayers for their stamina. Then I will begin the healing process. I am told that it is desirable for the "plumbing" to return to functioning very soon. That is one of the things they are particularly concerned about and most likely will be listening for signs of its occurence -- what we would call tummy rumbles.
I will not have Mercy with me for a while until I am able to get up and about. Hopefully then I will be able to have her. I do get a little concerned since she weighs only slightly over three pounds and doesn't eat well when she is not with me.
Please pray for my prompt healing and for Mercy. Thank you, my friends! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your love and healing!!!
Monday, January 18, 2010
This is from another SP member. Thank you so much for letting me know!!!
Haiti Earthquake Update
Pastor Bernard's Family is Safe
January 14, 2010 Rev. Thomas Bernard, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Port-au-Prince, is alive. He was traveling with a Canadian mission team to his church when the earthquake hit. The e-mail states: "The ground and trees shook like a dog shaking off water. We shot for Pastor's Church and got out. The wall on one side of Thomas' Church fell into the inside down the whole length." After assessing the damage to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School, Pastor Bernard left to check on his family.
Also, Roro, the principal of Good Shepherd Lutheran School is reported to be alive and well. So is his family. However, his house collapsed and his car was destroyed.
January 15, 2010--Rev. Markey Kessa, President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti, was able to make a short telephone call early this morning to Rev. S.T. Williams, Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Los Angeles, CA. Pastor Ahlemeyer spoke to Pastor Williams around 11:30 am this morning and heard the good news that Pastor Bernard's family is safe.
No news has been reported regarding the status of Pastor Bernard's home. Pastor Kessa reported that the situation is tragic:
* Port au Prince and Jacmel are in ruins
* Over 100,000 are feared dead
* 3/4 of the population are sleeping on the streets
* No electricity or water
* At this point the Lutheran pastors have no idea how many congregational members or school children are dead
* The Lutheran pastors are busy going from church to church, conducting services and funerals
* Pastors and church members are trying to keep the injured and the suffering alive until medical care arrives
* The needs are overwhelming. Pastor Kessa closed by saying, "Pray and bring assistance immediately. Please."
PS I talked with Pastor Ahlemeyer, from Trinity Lutheran, Vallonia IN at 4 o’clock this afternoon (Friday). He said that all the confessional Lutheran pastors that form the Ev. Lutheran Church of Haiti and their families are alive, but there are many members of their churches who are dead or missing. The pastors have been up for three days straight helping with the wounded and conducting mass funeral services at their churches. Although there has been relative peace in the neighborhoods for two days, the situation is beginning to unravel, stealing, rioting, people wielding machetes and gun fights are making the situation worse. They are hoping that the military presence comes quickly before things get worse. They do not recommend that anyone goes to Haiti unless they have medical or military experience. Better to wait two to three weeks to let the professionals and soldiers work first, then volunteers, to help clean and rebuild later........
Brothers and sisters in Christ, We pray for wisdom, guidance, mercy, and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ as we respond in faith and Christian love. Kyrie eleison. Amen.
Pastor Kevin Kolander First Lutheran Church- LCMS 600 W. Sumner Ave. Lake Elsinore, CA 951-674-2757
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