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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Community Dinner

Since I have been back in Ontario, I've been able to fellowship at lot at First CRC in St. Thomas... I feel blessed to be part of such a caring congregation.  Last week I was able to do the children's message and I'm happy to be sharing God's Will with the kids. 
Last night, I participated in the community dinner.  I am not able to lift much yet, so I was the ticket lady.  At 5pm, the doors to the Legion were opened and I was able to greet 176 low-income, homeless, struggling people.  That number hardly begins to represent the needs here in St. Thomas, but for one night, I was able to serve along with the church as we offered Christmas dinner and prizes.  
I went to bed thinking about the Poor Man's Christmas last year in Soroti and the Community Dinner here... what a difference and what a privilege to serve.  (For community privacy, I am not posting pictures of people)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Operation Karen

Well, it's the day after surgery and I think I have a few things to say:
The day before surgery, the internal medicine doctor called to say that some of my blood work is showing that I may be prone to blood clots... and that I might need to be on blood thinners for life.  But he also thought that maybe the Xeralto blood thinners I am currently taking could also make the blood work show up positive.  He said that after three more months, when I finally come off the thinners for 4 or 5 days, we could retest the blood work.  But I told him that I came off the blood thinners last Saturday - 5 days prior, in order to prepare for surgery... so he quickly rewrote a requisition and faxed it over to Lifelabs.  So the morning of surgery I went to have 7 more vials of blood drawn.  (By the way Canadians, we take things for granted... 7 vials = $528). Hopefully the blood work comes out negative, as I don't really want to take meds for the rest of my life.

I have always loved giving blood, but ever since I had malaria last year, the needles make me very nauseaus, and while preparing for surgery it took the anesthesiologist 3 tries to find a vein that would work... I don't even know how I fell asleep going into surgery at 11 am.  It was a 1.5 hour surgery to remove a large ovarian dermoid.  There are three small incisions in my gut... and they feel pretty good.  I actually can't feel the 1 cm cuts at all, but my whole gut feels torn apart and rearranged.  When I walk around I carry my gut like a baby because it hurts and if I cough I have to use a pillow to hold the incisions in place.

I woke up at 1:30 pm and by 2 pm Dad was back with me in post-op.  I was given my prescriptions... I now have to take an injection blood thinner for one week before going back to the Xeralto tablets for three months and by 3:30 pm I was home and resting in my own bed.  I slept for an hour and a half then had supper with my parents.  And I'm wearing compression socks for a whole week during the day.  Thankful for Mom to help me put them on.

At around 8 pm by right arm started feeling tingly and tight.  At 8:45pm a large lump appeared and after a little googling by Mom we were fearing another blood blot.  I really don't want to experience another pulminary embolism.  So from 9 - 2:30 am Dad and I were in the ER getting things checked out.  Thankfully it is not a blood clot, but a blood bruise from the IV trial spot.

I don't know how long it will take for things to rearrange and recover.  Apparently they put a bag in the right side incision to load the 10x7x7 cm dermoid into, along with half of the ovary... and pulled it back out through that tiny hole, so that side is more painful.  Ok... that might be a bit too much information... but that's what my body has been through.  My follow-up / post-surgery appointment is Dec. 16... so it most likely won't be until the new year that I will travel back to Uganda... but I want to make sure that I am completely better first.

I might do my church presentations first and then go home!
I am so grateful for the many people who have been sending prayers, cards, kind words, phone calls, and love through this whole process. I feel supported!