Sunday, May 25, 2014

My adventures having surgery

Yes... exciting stuff :) So a few weeks ago I had that same thing happen to me that was happening back in November when I had to go to the E.R. at St. Lukes... sudden intense back pain, vomiting, etc.... gross.  I also had a lot of blood in my urine (sorry, gross, I know, but true).  The whole intense back pain, throwing up deal was fortunately just a one-time deal, but I continued to have soreness in my back, off-and-on pain in my left abdomen, and the blood.  So, I contacted our Mission Pres.'s wife and requested an appointment with doctor to find out what was wrong with me.  Things didn't work out and so my appointment that was going to be for last Monday got pushed back to today.  Last Wednesday, my companion and I went out to work in the morning and I only lasted one appointment when the pain in my back hurt too bad and we returned home.  I rested all day long and texted Sister Revillo again, this time telling her I needed to be seen asap.  She scheduled an appointment for me for the following day at the glorious St. Lukes.  Sister Strebel volunteered to go with me and so the next day we headed out for the city.

The ride was a very expensive one but fortunately I was blessed to not be in so much pain that day.  We took about a 45 minute jeepney ride to Antipolo and then a hour and a half long taxi to the wrong St. Lukes in Quezon City instead of the St. Lukes in Global City.  I swear we told the taxi driver "Global City" like five times but he must have gotten confused by our American accents or something...?  So than it took us like another hour to get to the right hospital and total cost us 500 pesos to get there... ouch!  After that, we learned a much cheaper way to go home that only cost us about 240 pesos.... so much better. :)  
So we get there and Sister Strebel found herself in heaven... or at least in air-conditioning, practically the same thing. :)  We met with my doctor, Dr. Abraham.  He was very kind and probably the best person for the job.  He graduated from both Irvine in California and some big school in Texas so it was fun to talk about the U.S. for a bit.  He wasn't very pleased as he reviewed the notes from the ultrasound from the last time I was in the hospital back in Nov., which said I had no problems whatsoever with my left kidney.  He told me they would be doing a blood test, a urine test, and then I would have a CT scan later that afternoon.  

The scan went well and after that we went home. The ride was a long, crowded one back--- had a huge headache afterwards.  Woke up the next morning determined to have it be a normal day... I made it through getting ready for the day, then sat down to do my personal study and was in so much pain it was like... um, no.  So I spent all of Thursday at home.  The hospital texted me to ask if I could come in the next morning.  I texted back and asked if it was an emergency and they said yes, it was an emergency case and I would need to have a procedure done.  I asked for more info and they said the doctor would explain it to me the next morning.  So, I received a very sweet priesthood blessing from my district leader that night and then we left for St. Lukes again the following morning.  
Sister Strebel came with me again because we had investigators being baptized that day.  One investigator for Sister Sikotilani and I and two for Sister Strebel and Sister McCarthy.  I felt bad about missing the baptisms, but it was an emergency.  I know Sister Strebel felt bad about missing them too... but I also know she was looking forward to the possibility of getting to take a shower in hot water for the first time in almost a year. ;)  
When we met with Dr. Abraham, he explained that I had three kidney stones in my left kidney.  One of them was very large and is the one that was probably causing problems back last fall.  This stone was lodged between my kidney and ureter and was causing the bleeding as it would rub back and forth against the tissue.  He explained that they were going to blast it into tiny pieces during the surgery.  I then had to fast for eight hours before my surgery.  I felt so blessed... my mission president, President Revillo, came literally minutes before my surgery to give me another priesthood blessing.  He was so concerned and I just felt so much peace and comfort after the blessing.  
They then took me into the operating room where there were a gazillion nurses and knocked me out with drugs.  They also completely numbed me from my waist down so I couldn't feel a thing and the lower half of me was paralyzed.  I woke up to the doctor telling me that it was a success, definitely a good thing to hear :)  I then had to wait for a few hours before going back up to my room until I could feel my legs again.  Around midnight, I was finally able to return my room where Sister Strebel was beaming after just having her first hot shower in forever. :)  Seriously... I'm so glad I was able to be with her through all of this.  She was the perfect hospital buddy for me... she kept me distracted the whole time
Now I'm at the Missionary Recovery Center which is hooked onto the MTC here in Manila, right across the street from the temple, which I"m looking at right now. :)  It's been an adventure, but I feel so blessed that everything worked out and can definitely see Heavenly Father's hand in everything. :)  Our mission has a conference with Elder Christensen, a member of the Seventy, tomorrow so I will just be picked up for that and then will return home tomorrow night.  I'm hoping for a quick, smooth recovery... just gotta remember to pump myself up with water. 
Hopefully this next week will be a little less exciting.... :)
Love you all!!  Have an awesome week!
Love, Sister Dickison         

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