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Friday, August 4, 2017

Irish Arrivals

The past few weeks have been an interesting journey for me.  The Lord is up to something... And for some strange reason He wants me in Ireland for a while.  :)  I'm not sure how this post will turn out, but I just wanted to share some of the thoughts and thanksgivings going on in my head.
For the past two months I have been feeling tired and I have a feeling that I never truly recovered from whatever sickness took me down in Kenya.  Then in the middle of July I got a serious chest cold and a urinary track infection and had a round of antibiotics... So when Mom and Dad asked me if I would meet them in Ireland for an 8 day getaway, I thought that was the perfect solution.... Not only for health reasons, but it would be the only time I see my parents this year... So off I flew.
I was tired on the flight from Entebbe to Dubai, so I never left my seat.  About half way through the flight I felt a Charlie horse cramp in my leg and never thought anything of it... During my time in Dubai I stretched out the muscles, walked around and rested while waiting for my next flight.  I was feeling great and was often up on the flight from Dubai to Dublin, but when I got off the plane, things started to change.  I wound my way through the line-ups at immigration and my small carry-on bag kept getting heavier and heavier.  I started breathing harder and thought it was very strange.  While waiting for my checked bag I started feeling dizzy and had to put the luggage on a cart in order to exit and find Mom and Dad.  Not the kind of grand visit we were expecting.  Mom and Dad could tell something was wrong.  Mom went to find me some water and came back with a snack lady who had a phone.  She called for help.  The police came first, then the ambulance.  My heart was racing, my pulse was up and so was my blood pressure.  We were escorted away via ambulance while the police kindly took all of our bags to the police quarters.  I felt physically bad, but I also felt bad that our 8 day whirlwind trip wasn't off to the start we imagined.
Beaumont hospital was great for me.  I feel like the nursing staff were very supportive and friendly and many of them were Filipino, so that made things fun for me.  I spent 13 hours in the ER before being transferred to the respiratory ward, in a room with 5 other roommates. The doctors did every test imaginable because I was coming in from "Africa", but it was soon noted that I had two major blood clots that had traveled from my legs to my lungs during the flight and they were stressing my heart.  I spent four days with a heart monitor on and got to know my Irish roommates in a fun way.  After realizing the trip wouldn't go as planned... We all just made the best of it.  God kept opening a room for Mom and Dad to stay next to the hospital and through GOM, I was able to meet some colleagues who said they would be willing to take me in until I was cleared to fly again.  God is good.
Mom and Dad did a few days trips on their own.  Actually, they were on the west coast when I was quickly discharged last Friday.  The doctors said I could either stay in the hospital for the weekend and have a CT scan on Monday, or I could be discharged and come in to do the CT scan as an outpatient.  I wanted to get out!! So, I called my hosts and they picked me up.
Saturday I joined my parents for 3 nights in a hotel and two fun bus trips.  We actually saw quite a bit in our short time together.  I kissed the Blarney Stone and walked on the Giant's Causeway... So what more can I say?!
On Tuesday I escorted Mom and Dad to the airport and then went back to the hospital to chase medical files for insurance.  Another CT scan was scheduled for last night - to check the stomach and pelvic areas as well - just to follow up on everything and make sure I go back to Uganda completely healthy.
Now I am trying to settle in to normal life.  I attended the Tuesday night prayer meeting at Jamestown Road Baptist Church and have bought a few new clothes - since I am staying much longer in a cold, wet country.  Yesterday some of the church members invited me out for a road trip, to visit some inner city campers and to have a glimpse at Trim Castle.
My next doctors appointment is August 21 and hopefully after that I will be clear to fly back to Uganda.  I never expected this at all... I am trying to organize 37 Ugandan pastors and church leaders to go to a conference next Sunday.  I was supposed to be traveling with them, but now it's lots of extra work and communication.
This morning I received a message from colleagues in Soroti... They wanted to make sure that I was okay and if I needed an escort, they would find a way to send someone over here to hang out and fly back with to Uganda.  I was very touched by such a loving gesture (and turned it down).  I am so glad to be a part of a fantastic "team" in Soroti.  Today I am resting... Maybe tomorrow I will see some sites in Dublin.
I am thankful for:
- Ugandans who are picking up the load of organizing for the TEA conference
- Good medical care
- To be out of the hospital
- a bouquet of flowers
- GOM and insurance
- The prayers of many saints
- Debi and Rob Millar who have taken me in to their home
- For history, yummy food, and a chance to really rest.