Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A New Water Tower

We often  have water shortages.  We have a well and we have towers with huge tanks sitting on them so we can store water and, hopefully, have water most of the time.  A couple of weeks ago, the guard came to the door and told Marc there was a problem with one of the towers.  Marc went to look.  And he wasn't kidding.  There was a huge problem.  One of the towers was about to collapse.  It had two tanks on it.  Since it was Saturday morning, there wasn't a lot that could be done, but waiting until Monday would have been dangerous.  Marc kicked it into high gear and did what had to be done to prop up and support the tower until Monday.

On Monday, the first thing that had to be done was drain the tanks.  That was sickening  Knowing how valuable a resource water is, and how often we do without it, made me ill to think of all that water being drained.  We salvaged what we could.  Then the old tower came down.

This is what the top of the tower looked like and why it was about to collapse.

Everything was disassembled and, of course, took far longer than anyone expected, taking more than a week to rebuild.  There was welding and running for more parts and more welding.  When completed, the new tower was no where near the concrete pad on which the tower was to be.  So, what's the problem?  There wasn't one in the minds of the workers.  The huge heavy tower was carried to where it needed to be.

Then it was uprighted on the pad and set it place.  And then, a few days later, the tower was complete, the tubes reattached, the water hooked up, and we had water again.  



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sixth Grade Graduation

People in Honduras do not receive the same amount of education as we do in the United States.  The majority receive no education.  For those that do, completing sixth grade is a huge accomplishment.  Therefore, sixth grade graduation is a big deal in this country and cause for big celebrations. 

This was Casa's first year to have sixth graders.  And we had two that graduated today, Brayan and Pamela. 
Preparations for this day have been underway for weeks.  We do not like to wait until the last minute to get things done, but Friday night no one knew where the ties were.  I was going to send Matt to buy two ties on Saturday, but before that was necessary the ties appeared.  Pamela started last night getting ready.  Ironing her shirt.  And her hair. 

After graduation, Marc took Brayan and Pamela to town to eat at Chili's.  Neither one of them have ever been to Chili's.  They were looking very forward to that treat.

Congratulations to Brayan and Pamela.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fire, Fire, Fire

It has been a busy week.  It is quite possible that this soon after surgery, I might have done too much this week.  I awoke feeling exhausted and knew this was going to have to be a day of rest for me.  Matt called at 7:30 and said one of the employees was here for her check.  I forced myself out of bed and got dressed.  Before I could even get out the door, Matt called and said he made a mistake, Elena wasn't here.  I was thinking what wasted effort, but just a few minutes later, I was so thankful I wasn't still in gown.

I told Matt I was going to fix a pan of biscuits, did he want some.  He said no.  I turned on the oven and put the biscuits inside.  I was going to sit in my bed for 10 minutes while the biscuits cooked.   Yesterday, we ran out of water with a load in the washer.  Since I knew we had water (again, thankfully) I pulled the knob on the washing machine as I headed to the bedroom.  I waited 9 minutes and went back to the kitchen.  As I sat on the bed, I thought I was hearing the washing machine finishing its cycle.  Surprise.  It was not the washing machine.  Their flames coming out of the back of the stove and licking their way up the wall. 

I ran outside and saw Elvia and Reina arriving.  I began to yell help me, help me.  Fire, fire.  The ladies were a ways off and could hear me but not understand me.  They waved.  I yelled louder and both came running.  We all walked into the kitchen and the knobs were popping off the front of the stove.  Reina turned and ran for her life.  I followed her outside.  Elvia is never good in situations.  Her eyes as big as dinner plates, she ran to get Dorian.  Elvia was running and screaming all through Casa.  Nicole came running down here.  I turned and walked back in the house to get my camera and computer with Nicole and Reina both yelling at me not to go back inside. 

As I get more and more excited, I cannot think fast enough to speak in Spanish.  I was saying there are fire extinguishers in all the cars.  Reina, not understanding a word I was saying, gave me blank look.  Nicole ran for the car.  Anita came down from Karen's and no one was really thinking straight.  Had we been doing the Keystone Cops or some such thing, the things that transpired would have been hilarious.  And now that everyone and everything is ok, it is sort of funny.  But at the moment, my house was on fire and we were bumbling around and it was not funny.  Everyone was afraid the gas tanks would blow. 

Nicole showed Anita where the water was and she began to fill buckets.  She carried the first down to the door and there was no water in it.  The bucket had a crack in the bottom of it; she lost all of the water as she carried the bucket.  Everyone was just running around. 

I had gone back in the house for my camera and computer, but I wasn't going back in to get my cheap little phone.  I followed Reina to Casa and asked to use someone's phone.  I never ask the employees to use their phones because they never have but just few minutes of time on theirs.  Nevertheless, I asked.  Reina was dialing Marc's number and Elvia had dialed it first and grabbed Reina's phone and shoved hers in my hand. Marc answered and I screamed, :."our house is on fire" into the phone and then hung up.  By the time, I walked back to the house, Marc was here.  That was fast.  The preacher and someone else was here.

Dorian was wetting towels and throwing them onto the flames.  That was slowing the fire down.  Nicole began to grab the towels off the clothesline and wet them.  And Dorian threw more and more towels onto the fire.  He got the gas disconnected, the fire out.  He and Jorge, the preacher brought the stove outside.  The stove is history.  The back and the top is burnt.  Inside the oven, there was no fire, no flame.  Nothing cooking my biscuits.  They were still as doughy as when I put them in there. 

The stove is toast.  The wall above has heavy smoke damage and will have to be repainted.  The cabinets beside the stove did not catch on fire.  No one was hurt.  Praise God.  Praise God.  Praise God.

After the fact, I had a complete meltdown.  I then read my Bible and listened to Michael W. Smith.  I am cool, calm, and collected now. 

I am thankful that this Keystone Cop wasn't running around through it all in my nightgown.  I am thankful we had water today.  I am thankful for my little cinder block house.  And above all, I am thankful no one was hurt this morning.  God is good...all the time.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving At The Casa

Another great Thanksgiving in Honduras is now history.  

As everyone else did, we started early to get everything ready by 2:00.  Nicole and some of the kids were making desserts in the Casa kitchen.  Nicole knows part of the fun of Thanksgiving is sampling as you cook.  The kitchen staff did not think she should be letting the kids sample desserts.  They were sure the kids were ruin their appetites for lunch.

After Nicole finished, the kitchen staff reclaimed their kitchen and made salad, guacamole and potato salad.

At my house, I had kids helping all day.  Brayan came down before breakfast and we got busy.  I fed him biscuits and milk before he got too busy.  Biscuits is not a Honduran food.  Brayan kept asking ,"now, what are those called?'  And said he would be willing to come help me eat biscuits any time I had some.   Matt helped me get the first turkey on before 7:00.  Then Brayan and I went to work on dressing.

Brayan working on the dressing                           One really large pan of dressing

Antonio and Jackson basting the 2nd turkey.   They called it painting the turkey.

Everyone wanted to help.  Some of the kids were just thrilled to help carry something up to Casa.

When Marc began to carve the turkey, there was no shortage of those wanting to help.  And sample.

A true American feast

The kids were so excited it was if they all had ants in their pants. 
The kids had to say one thing for which they were thankful.  And then we still had to pray.  There was a lot of squirming during that prayer.  They were just sure they could not wait another second.

Some ate dessert first

Some enjoyed dessert immensely

And some ate entirely too much dessert

With the kids, the employees, the group, there was over 50 people here.  I was exhausted, but I was truly thankful for the food, the fellowship and the fact that we could celebrate my favorite American holiday in a third world country.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Helpers

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Honduras.  But the Casa kids know of at least one place in Honduras where it is celebrated in a big way.  They are giddy as visions of filling their plates as many times as they want dance in their heads.  They were all eager to help today.

After they did their math worksheets, they rushed to my house.  I handed them cheese, onions and celery.  They grated six pounds of cheese in about 5 minutes.  Chopping onions and celery took quite a bit longer.  Some came to the house and made cornbread for the dressing.  Everyone is begging to help, in whatever way they can.  Nicole has major cleaning plans for them in the morning.  I hope they will still be so eager to help.

I am having to do a lot of directing.  Sitting and giving instructions.  Believe me, that is not in my nature.

At the end of the day Haley got to help Grammy make the pies.  She was so happy with that idea.  She walked around carrying the coolwhip saying "Haley make pies."  I promised she could lick the bowl.  She started eating before everything was put together.  After we poured the first layer in the pie pans, she took one bite right out of the pie.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  She definitely liked licking the bowl best.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today's House

Last week when the grim new statistics came out in the paper, there was also an article about being poor in a poor country.  It focused on one community in particular.   A community so poor, there is no health center, no schools,  no water.  Where people live in hovels of scrap wood, metal, and cardboard.  Whatever they can find.  It said poor people have no dreams and no hopes.  How sad is that. 

The article also focused on one family and showed a picture of the house.
With gaping holes in the walls and dirt floors, I can't imagine how cold they are at night.  The nights lately have been quite chilly. 

Marc contacted the newspaper immediately.  Someone there put in touch with the family.  In yesterday's paper there was an article that said a new house would be built for this family of nine. 

The top picture is of Luis talking to the family.  The bottom left is of Marc looking at the house.

Today, the group built a double wide house since it was such a large family.
The old house, before construction began.

During construction

Nearing completion

And, the finished new house.

There was one happy family and one happy group that they could build this house today.

I am thanking God for the nine people that gave up their Thanksgiving week to come build houses.


Monday, November 21, 2011

The Sweetest Thing I Ever Saw .... And Heard

This morning Karen and Dorian left for town early as Karen's contractions had become worse.  We were still praying that labor would be stopped.

One of the workmen needed to buy a coke from the store.  Nicole was busy with the children and I went to open the store.  The man bought what he needed and I asked Brayan to stock the coke machine.  He was putting cokes and diet cokes in the machine and I was standing there watching him.  One of the other children ran into the store and said Nicole wants everyone in the house to pray for Karen.  At that moment, I knew no details, but I walked over to the house with Brayan.  The workmen also joined us.

Nicole had all the children and all the staff in a circle, holding hands.  A c-section was being started on Karen.  Nicole led the sweetest, kindest, most passionate prayer for Karen's health and the baby's health.  Then she gave everyone in the room the chance to pray.  Karen is mommy to these kids.  Most of the kids prayed very passionate prayers for Karen.  Some cried.  None of the staff wanted to pray but Dilcia.  She prayed.  And cried.  Denis prayed.  Some of the workmen prayed.  It was the sweetest thing Iever saw.  And heard.

And praise God our prayers were answered.  Karen and baby Korbin are fine, at last report.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

When Things Get This Crazy....

When all of my kids were home, we usually had a lot of fun.  Sometimes, it was silly fun and we sometimes sang, "Ain't it great to be crazy, ain't it great to be nuts like us..."  That song has been playing through my head the last couple of day and I don't think anyone is having fun or being silly.

I still can't drive, can't lift.  There are several things I cannot do and very few I can.  I am trying to sit in bed with my computer and work on some of the endless paperwork.  Even that I can't do for long stretches at a time.  I feel good; I just can't do anything.  I am bored and frustrated and want to be up doing like I always do.

Friday, Karen started having contractions.  She saw a doctor yesterday.  She is on bedrest and meds.  Karen and I are never out of the country at the same time and we certainly are not to suppose to be on bedrest at the same time.  Nicole is being baptized by fire.  We are breaking her in good.

A group is here to work for the next week.  Marc and Matt are busy with the group and the logistics and running around that involves. 

Last night Karen's mom was asking me to please make sure Karen stays in bed.  And I know that is absolutely necessary.  I was thinking, and said to Anita, Karen is not going to listen to me when I am not setting a very good example of staying in bed when I need to.  But, I do think Karen is listening.  If you hear stories of people being tied down at Casa de Esperanza, it is a couple of the adults, not the children. 

As Karen is suppose to leave for the States on Tuesday, both of us sit in our beds with our computers sending emails to each other, me with dozens of questions and her with all kinds of things that need to be done.

No matter how many vehicles we have, one or more is always broken.  And we are always one or more short.  That adds to the craziness when trying to work out logistics.

When things get this crazy, we all better be on our knees praying.  Praying for Karen's contractions to stop and for her to get to the States before this baby is born.  Praying that Nicole and Haley stay well and that Nicole has the wisdom and patience she needs.  Praying that I heal quickly and take it easy, not trying to do too much.  And praying that the group glorifies God in all they do as they build six more houses this week.  Please keep those prayers going up.   Thanks.



Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Great Start To Thanksgiving Week

Today starts our fourth annual Thanksgiving Build Week.  A group of nine have arrived from Alaska, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.  Though small in number, this group came prepared to build seven houses.  Today was travel day for eight of the nine people.  One arrived yesterday.  Since most of the group was tired, the afternoon began with a bit of fun, a campfire with the Casa kids. 

Our kids love to have campfires.  They knew this was going to happen and, according to Nicole, they were excited all afternoon.  Every time we have a campfire the kids act as if it is the first time.  It was the first time for Adonis and Lupita.  Burning hot dogs on an open fire. The mustard and ketchup flowed freely.  The kids whooped and hollered.

It was definitely a great start to Thanksgiving build week.  More good things to come this week.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nap Time

Matt and Nicole worked with the kids all morning.  Haley was right there in the middle of everything, getting her share of playing.  Nicole always brings her down here for a nap.  She doesn't always like to take a nap when it is just her.  She would never go to sleep in a roomful of girls.  She cried and tried not to go to sleep.  Matt finally went in her room and stayed until she went to sleep.

She normally takes about a two hour nap.  Matt and Nicole went back to work at 3:00.  About 3:30, it seemed like she had been asleep a really long time.  I thought I should check on her.  I opened the door to find an empty bed.  I looked on the floor and this is what I found.

I found Haley eating a few cookies instead of napping.  I sternly said, "Haley Grace."   She is not accustomed to Grammy speaking in such a tone and tuned up as if to cry, but kept eating the cookie she had in her hand.

I think I better move those cookies.  She might not ever take another nap.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shocking New Statistics

Some new statistics were published in Monday's paper.  They are shocking, to say the least.

Honduras now claims a population of over 8 million people, 8,127,696 to be exact.  Of those, 5,493,391 are considered to be poor.  That is almost 68%.  What the Honduran government defines as poor is anyone that cannot buy at least half of the basic food they need every month.  I would think anyone that cannot buy all the food they need for a month would be poor, but my opinion was not sought when making this determination. 

Currently, it takes $358 a month to buy the basic food for a family of five.  What it takes to buy basic food for a family of five each month is more than minimum wage, (minimum wage is about $324.00 a month).   I am quite sure I never ever, not even once, fed our family of five on $358.00 a month. 

Of the almost 5.5 million living in poverty, 3,810,354 (69%) live in extreme poverty which is defined as living on less than one US dollar each day.  That means dying of starvation. 

There is 54% unemployment.

These numbers are far worse than I thought.  I thought 50% of the population lived in poverty, not 68% and that 70% of those were in extreme poverty.  I also thought there was about 30-35% unemployment. 

These numbers are staggering.  There are thousands of children going to bed hungry each night.  And not receiving medical care.  And so much more.  But, it also means we still have a lot of work to do. 


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Haley and Tibbie

I think Haley has liked dogs since the day she was born.  The times she has visited here, she has always been so gentle with Skillet.  Nicole knew that after they moved here, she would get Haley a puppy.  Nicole even said she might get a puppy before she got furniture.  She did decide against that.

And, then one day, Poppy shows up with a golden retriever puppy.  Haley could hardly contain herself.  She loves that dog.  Nicole and Matt asked Haley what she wanted to name it and she said Coca-Cola.   They vetoed that and asked her to try again and she said Tibbie.  So Tibbie she became.

All the children at Casa love Tibbie.  Tibbie gets to play hard with everyone.  The dog is usually exhausted at night.

Live with a potty-training toddler and a training puppy is fun.  While I was in the hospital and Nicole was with me, Tibbie peed in the floor.  So, Haley pulls down her clothes and pees in the floor.  Excitedly, Matt asks Haley why she did that and Haley replies Tibbie potty in floor. 

Nicole, Haley and Tibbie stayed here while Matt was in the hospital.  Since all I could do was stay in my bed, the conversation from this side of the door was quite amusing. at times.  "No, Haley."  "No,Tibbie"  "Don't open that Haley."  "Don't chew on that Tibbie."  "You need to go outside to potty, Tibbie?"  "Do you need to go to the bathroom to potty, Haley?"  I fully expected, at some point, for Nicole to ask Haley if she wanted to outside to potty and if Tibbie needed to go the bathroom to potty.

Tibbie doesn't like to be closed up.  Like in the bathroom.  She sleeps fine until someone puts her in the bathroom and closes the door.  Then she howls the rest of the night.  Some of the neighbors could even hear her. 

Nicole is teaching her to brush Tibbie.  They have a leash and collar.  I don't think Haley can quite walk the dog yet.  But it won't be long.

Oh, life is fun with this baby and her puppy.  She loves that dog and it is going to be fun watching them grow up together.


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Remember Annie and Yair.  Annie came here to live on August 17.  Her brother, Yair, came just a few days later.  Their mother showed up at the gated days later with a letter in her hand from the judge that said she had custody of her kids.  Everyone  was heartbroken and shocked.

Less than one one later, they were back at Casita Kennedy.  Back in the system.  We have been trying to get those kids back.  The judge was outraged that the mother would do this.  The social worker as outraged.  There was going to be a thorough home investigation.  That mother would never regain custody of those kids. 

In the meantime, IHNFA has laid off  many of its workers because they cannot be paid.  Many workers that have not been laid off are striking because they have not been paid.  The whole system is in turmoil.  We were told a home inspection had to be done before we could take custody of Annie and Yair again.  But! With the budget cuts there was no vehicle available to go to the home.  Marc said he would go to IHNFA and take the social worker to the home.  A time was set up to do this. 

Marc arrived at Casita Kennedy at 9:00 Monday just as had been agreed.  As Marc and the social worker started to leave, she asked, " you know where we are going, don't you?"  Marc says, "no, don't you?"  And she says "no."  Are you kidding me?

Again, there was outrage.  Again, promises to follow-up.  Oh, you better believe there will be follow-up.  We will keep on keeping on until those two little ones are back in our care.

One would think that with all the turmoil in the system, they would love to place two kids.   Welcome to Honduras.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shhhhh Quiet Zone

Saturday afternoon, as I was being dismissed from the hospital in Tegucigalpa, Matt was being admitted to a hospital in Ojojona.  Matt and Nicole had worked the morning shift at Casa.  Matt had a bad place on his leg, that he thought was a bug bite.  Because he thought it was only a bug bite, they stopped at the local hospital.  They thought some ointment and pills would be prescribed and they would be on their way.  Upon discovering it was not a bug bite, but a staph infection, he was admitted immediately.  Had he known was awaiting him, they might have driven to the city and found another hospital.

I don't think there is anything wrong with this hospital.  We have taken the kids there for stitches, blood tests, pee tests, general exams, etc.  But, they are very, and I mean very, strict.  There are signs posted on the street on both sides of the hospital that you are in a quiet zone.  We usually have to park across the street.  Can't get those noisy cars too close to the quiet zone.  Our cell phones are taken from us before we can enter the hospital.  One night I took a neighbor who was having pain to that hospital.  Two other people were with me.  After our phones were taken from us, they said only two people besides the patient could come in.  We told them it was not an option for one of us to stand outside alone in the middle of the night.  They let us in.  We really were being quite.  We were just visiting as you do when you wait.  We were speaking in whispers and sometimes could not even hear each other.  We were told several times we were being too loud.

Well, poor Matt has been admitted to the quiet zone.  Of course, there is no tv in the room.  No cell phone.  He had his ipod in his pocket that no one had seen.  He got caught more than once using this contraband. 

Visiting hours are from 3:00-5:00 everyday.  And then only one person at a time.  No exceptions allowed on times of visit or number of people.  Nicole went to visit Sunday afternoon.  She was there at 3:00.  Haley had just gone to sleep and we thought surely she would sleep the whole time Nicole was gone.  We, of course, were wrong.  Haley got up a little before 4:00 and there really wasn't anything I could do.  Just a few minutes later, my phone rang.  The number showed Matt Fitzgerald.  My daughter, who has pretty much followed the rules her whole life, had to sneak a phone into the hospital and then sneak into the bathroom to use it.  It still hurts to laugh, but the vision of this was funny.  I could hear that song "smoking in the boys room" being sung as "phoning in the girls room".  (Side note: she did leave and come rescue me and Haley).

In this quiet zone Matt has been unbelievably bored.  One day, he got up and walked back and forth across the room 500 times. 

Thankfully, Matt will be home today.  He will be so thankful for some noise.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Bible Studies and Baptisms

One of Matt and Nicole's goals when coming here, was to start Bible studies with the older children.  When they mentioned it, Ana could not wait.  They began studying in Matthew.  Ana was full of interest and full of questions.  By the time they got to the baptism of Jesus, Ana was ready to know more about baptism.  She said she had been wanting to know ever since she was nine.  She will be 11 in January.

Matt and Nicole studied with her and she quickly decided she wanted to be baptized on Sunday afternoon.  At that point, some of the other kids wanted to study, too.  Some wanted to study with Jorge, the preacher.  The next afternoon I left the house with my hands full of things to be filed in the office and I encountered the sweetest sight.  Jorge was having a Bible study on the concrete pad with Pamela, Antonio, Ana, and Mirian, the houseparent.  Nicole was there, too.  All were deeply engrossed in this Bible study.  After studying with Jorge, Pamela and Antonio decided they, too, wanted to be baptized on Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, the youth group was going to go into the community and invite other kids to a youth group function that afternoon.  During the morning, Brayan began to study with Jorge and he decided that he, too needed to make this decision.

At 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, everyone went to the church building and watched as these four precious souls were baptized into Christ.  We are rejoicing as we know the angels in heaven are.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


After a huge Honduran thing about payment, I am home.

I am glad to be in my sweet bed, with my pillows and my blankie.  I missed the cool night air of the mountains.  It was so hot and oppressive in the city, even with air conditioning in my room.  The a/c is another story for another day.  There is no place like home.  And, I am oh so thankful to be here.

I am doing remarkably well, especially when compared to last time.  I was so sick for so long last time.  I have had no nausea or vomiting since surgery.  Praise God.  I am already eating, even though in the hospital I was forced to eat a bit more that I was truly ready to eat.  Now that I am home, I can choose the amounts.

It is sometimes easy to criticize someone else's decision.  I am guilty of that, too.  When I do that, I usually do not understand the entire situation or all the factors involved.

Many people think we are crazy for not getting to the States for this.  There are many factors involved here.  The first one being I was too sick to get to the bathroom, much less on a plane.  Most airlines would not have let me on if I was that sick.  The three major airlines that leave Tegucigalpa leave once a day and all arrive in the states between 4:00 and 4:30.  Then there is the issues of clearing customs and such and still finding a hospital and a doctor, having tests, making decisions all in unfamiliar territory, as Houston, Miami and Atlanta are not very familiar to me.

We arrived at a private hospital at 5:45 a.m. on Sunday morning.  I did not have surgery for over 48 hours.  All the while I was having blood work, urine work, sonograms, x-rays, catscans, consultations.  By trying to leave for the States, that would have delayed the whole process by a minimum of 12 hours.  For that time, I was on pain and nausea meds, not that they helped much.  But I had a good team looking out for me and caring for me.

We have friends here.  Some of which are quite wealthy and could seek treatment anywhere they chose.  When we moved here, we asked them where they would take their kids in the middle of the night, or if they were sick.  Without exception, they said Hospital Viera.

We live here, we work here.  We help the people.  As missionaries, to be effective as much as possible, we have to put our trust not only in God, but in people here.  Yes, this is a third world country.  Yes, the public hospital is horrible, as many of you well know.  The private hospitals are different. Even some of those aren't too good.

There are very well-trained, very knowledgeable doctors here.  Most have been trained in Honduras and are proud to be here helping their country.  We, again, were blessed with a very knowledgeable surgeon.  He kept waiting because, as he explained to us, the readings on the catscan and the reading on some of the x-rays were conflicting.  He was not wanting to do the major surgery I had, unless it was absolutely necessary.  He wanted to be absolutely sure.  Since it was my belly on which he was cutting, I could not fault him for that.  He called in an exceptional internist to help him decide.  Like the surgeon, the internist wanted to be absolutely sure.

I have received excellent care from the doctors and the nursing staff.  I could not have asked for better.  Anywhere.  The nurses were gentle, kind and patient, even one night when there was a communication problem over the iv.  The four nurses and I were beyond frustrated with the situation that was no one's fault.  Yet they remained in control and professional.  Wish I could say the same for myself.  I acted like any mature adult would.  I cried.  They begged me not to cry and assured me all would be well.  Ultimately it was.  It didn't seem like it ever would be at the time.

Another factor is cost.  Since becoming missionaries, we pay a lot for insurance premiums that, we have discovered, don't pay much of anything.  Last minute airline tickets are expensive.  There would have been two, one for me and one for Marc.  Not to mention an ER, tests, doctors, surgery.  Hotels and meals have to be included as well.  Since we were confident we could receive good care here, we could not justify all these expenses.

We were in ER for six hours.  I had multiple x-rays, a catscan, a sonogram, an EKG,  blood work more than once, urine work,  tons of meds ( a week's worth), a team of three doctors, a two hour surgery, etc., etc., etc.  Our total bill, for doctors and everything was $6053.00

You can rest assured when you are here, and you dehydrate, or cut your finger and need stitches or even have an attack of appendicitis, we will take you to Hospital Viera.  You would not want to go anywhere that we wouldn't take ourselves.

Again, I thank you for the many, many prayers.  I covet those prayers to continue as I heal.  And while you are praying, please pray for Matt, our son-in-law.  As I was being dismissed from the hospital, he was being admitted for a staphy infection.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Double Whammy

I had such a good time at that retreat.  And just a few hours after I posted that blog, I was in the ER with extreme pain and vomiting.  After two of tests, and more pain and vomiting, I was taken into another emergency surgery.  This time for another intestinal blockage (only partial obstruction this time) and for gallbladder issues. 

I had surgery on Tuesday.  As of this morning, all tubes and such are gone.  I will be in the hospital until Saturday or Sunday.  Hopefully, Saturday.  I feel better everyday, but I have a long ways to go.  I haven't felt like reading all the FB messages yet.  But, I know there is a whole bunch of people praying for me, thus the reason I am doing so well.  You guys are awesome.  Keep those prayers going.