Monday, April 28, 2008

Surgeries Comparied

Don't read if you don't like details and needles.

In June of 1996, I had my gallbladder taken out in the same hospital that I was just in to have my thyroid out. My cousin dropped me off at the front entrance of the hospital and I went in for surgery all by myself. Now you need to have a competent adult with you. Back then Steve had only been on the job for 1 ½ weeks and didn’t feel he could take off work. I remember having to get stuck twice before the nurse got the IV in. I remember going into the surgery room, getting on the table, and someone asking me are you asleep yet? No. Are you asleep yet? No. Are you asleep yet? No. I’m wondering when they are going to quit asking me that question. Then, Rita wake up. You need to wake up. I’m thinking no I don’t, this feels to good, leave me alone.

Fast forward to Monday, April 21. Steve and I walk go to the out patient building and up to the fourth floor to AM Procedures, wondering why there since my surgery is in the PM. No one was at the reception desk, just a sign to call this number and say that you are here. OK. We are called back to a room. I get in a lovely gown of purple. It has a nice liner inside that hooks up to a hose on the wall. So if you are cold, they can warm you right up. Two different nurses try to get and IV in with no success. I have my mother’s veins. Our worship pastor is with us and time seems to fly. I had to be there by 12:30 and surgery wasn’t until 3:00 PM. Around 2:00 I’m wheeled to the elevator and down 4 floors, through a maze of corridors to another elevator bay. Then Steve is given directions to the surgical waiting room and told to check in. I wheeled into the elevator and up one floor.

In the pre-surgery room (I’m sure it has a better name than that, but it is escaping me) my nurse gets all the info again. I have said my name and birthday two or three dozen times by the time I went home on Wed. She tries to put in the IV with no success. Up to this point in my life I have had five IV’s without problems, but you have to consider the last time I ate any food at this point was 17 hours ago, my last drink had been 5 ½ hours ago.

The nurse finds someone who might have better luck. She didn’t. So far all these people have been women bending over trying to do this. One lady did jack my bed up higher, as she was pregnant. They let my hand hang over the side of the bed and they bend over it trying to find a vein and insert a needle. They did numb each area first, but that involved a sting and a burn every time. That sting and burn was annoying, but I was glad for it. All I could feel was pressure from them probing; no numbing I think would have been more painful.

Finally, a man pulls up a chair and tries. For pulling up a chair – I give him a lot of credit. His eyes are finally at the level of my hands. He does get a vein on his second or third try. I don’t know which. I have 8 places where I was stuck to try and get an IV in and bruises. Two places were blow-outs, which makes for bigger bruises. Just this morning Steve said I look abused. I still have a bruise on my arm where they took blood when I pre-registered for surgery almost two weeks ago. It was a blow-out too! So 8 sticks and 5 people later I have an IV in and it is 2:50.

The man that pulled up the chair gave me a shot in my IV and said that this will only seem like a dream and will be funny. I don’t really remember much after that must have been pretty potent stuff. I don’t remember leaving that room and going to the surgical room. I do remember the cuffs on my legs starting to work. They help keep you from forming blood clots in your legs. I remember thinking, boy they feel good and someone saying, “She is still with us.” I don’t even remember the post surgical room.

Surgery Update

Surgery went fine and I got to come home on Wed. morning. I have been slowly getting around. Basically, I feel wiped out! This morning I went to the surgeon to have my stitch taken out, not fun. The report on what was in my thyroid was back. It was cancerous, but it was in the thyroid and not on the outside of the thyroid which means thy hopefully got it all. So now I have to go to an Endocrinologist to see what we need to do next. Please keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Our call to Missions involves surgery for me

In the spring of 2004, while reading John Piper's book "A Hunger for God" that my husband felt called to the mission field. I didn't feel the call until September 2006 at a CESA Summit (Central, Eastern, Southern Africa) in Nashville, TN. By this time my husband was already in Seminary. In December of 2006 we started the application process with the International Mission Board which is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. This process usually lasts about a year. As you can tell we are beyond a year now. More on that later, if I remember.

In February, we went to Candidate Conference in Richmond, VA. It was a wonderful week. It involved complete medical physicals. The Dr. there said my (Rita) right thyroid lobe was enlarged. All medical information has to go through Travel Health America. About 2 weeks later we were informed that I needed to have follow up with my family Dr. My family Dr. couldn't feel anything. She did do more in depth lab work, which showed nothing. She did schedule an ultra sound, which showed lumps on both sides of my thyroid. She sent me to a surgeon.

On Monday, April 14th I saw the surgeon. He did his own ultra sound. He showed it to me and pointed everything out, which is helpful in my thinking. You can see for your self what is going on. He did not do a biopsy. My family Dr. had told me he would. He will biopsy the thyroid after it is out. The biopsy needle is only so big. If is is malignant they might miss the malignant part with the biopsy needle.

Surgery is scheduled for Monday, April 21st at 3:00PM. Our church here has lined up several women to watch our kids. :) I will be in the hospital for three days. Please keep us in your prayers.

Welcome to our First Post

Our first post - what to say? I have been following several peoples blogs over the last year. I keep thinking I should start one, but they (the blogs I follow) seem to be very witty people. Their blogs are fun and make you laugh. Their lives sound like a lot of fun.

We are starting this blog because we hopefully will be moving over seas to Mbala, Zambia, Africa to live and work. This blog will be a way for people to keep in touch with us. You will be able to read our blog and have a look into our life as we live very far, far away from you - our friends and family.

So, Welcome! I hope you enjoy reading about our lives. We look forward to hearing from you all too. Please remember to email us once in awhile so that we can keep up with all that is going on in your lives too. If you have a blog, tell me, I probably will check it out.