Monday, April 11, 2016

Hannah's 4th Birthday

Time is going at an incredible pace these days. I feel like life is a blur. It was so hard to believe this past week was Hannah Lynn's 4th birthday. Our little ballerina enjoyed her dress up station made by mommy just so special for her. Far cry from last year's birthday. I still had that darn line in my arm. So grateful to celebrate her life a little differently this year. Just enjoying the moments. So blessed to have our sweet girl in our life. What a light she brings to the world. My dearest Hannah, may you love God with all your heart and share His love with everyone.

Thanks to everyone who called, gave gifts and sent cards. She loved every bit of it. Sorry to all who called on her birthday and did not get a hold of us. My phone crashed the night before so it took me a day or so to get a new one.

Funny fact. I made all four layers of that cake, gave Hannah a bite and she promptly told me that she did not like it - then asked for a chocolate one. Really? Well sure sweet heart I guess I will make cupcakes too :)

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Friday, March 11, 2016

The Last Year In Speed Review

It was a year ago today that I was sitting in the hospital here in West Plains and wondering if I would ever leave it. Everything had been completely normal the days before going into the hospital, and as a matter of fact I had spent the previous three days shoveling our very long drive way which had gotten over a foot of snow – and yes, I was 27 weeks pregnant. I KNOW, I KNOW what you’re thinking – that’s crazy – and it may have been but I have actually done crazier things during pregnancy. I moved to Peru at 30 weeks pregnant with Hudson, and moved back to the US when I was about 7 weeks pregnant with Taylor. You would think the move back to the US would have made things easier and actually it may have just saved my life.

We left Peru in October of 2014 to come back to the States. We came back early from our “to be” three year commitment which actually only ended up being a year and half sadly.  It was an emotionally, physically and spiritually tough time on us. Our kids were sick – but not just sick – really sick. Everyone has been asking and it has taken me this long to answer, ridiculous, I know. We went through a battery of tests to figure out why our youngest two kids seemed to be wasting away before our eyes. From the minute we got back home we spent the next month off and on at the Children’s hospital in Denver. For over two months our 16 month old completely stopped eating solid foods. Our kids looked sickly and pale when we returned. Hudson christened quite a few rooms in my in-laws house with vomit. He had been throwing up for two months. I remember buying our tickets in August to leave Peru in October and it just couldn’t have come any sooner. We were wrestling with getting visa stuff through and just couldn’t leave any quicker even though my heart wanted to for my children. What was even more frustrating was not being able to find out what was wrong with them when we got back. The doctor we were working with was great, and had been following our case closely. He believed we were probably dealing with something environmental and he actually recommended we come back from a medical stand point because our kids had fallen so far under the growth curve that they were not on it anymore and he believed it would take a year or more for them to start to return back to normal. Little did we know how accurate he had been with that assessment.  They found all kinds of inflammation in the kids’ intestines. They did blood tests, genetics testing, endoscopies – you name it- we probably did it. Only to find no direct cause and my youngest was still throwing up everywhere, and not eating solids.  Only time would tell.

We found out we were pregnant with Taylor about a month or so before we left. I was excited – excited to be back where I could have access to all kinds of yummy “craving” foods. Not once did it cross my mind that this pregnancy would be my hardest – I mean I did deliver one baby in Peru, and how could you top that story. Things started going awry though in the midst of getting all the testing done on the kids. We were SO spent. So emotionally, physically and spiritually just drained, and then I started bleeding. I cannot describe what kind of crazy thoughts went through my mind at that point.  We thought we were losing the baby. I could not believe that we had moved countries, changed up our entire life to follow what we clearly knew God wanted us to do and then this. This was probably an all-time low for me.  More cramping, more bleeding and NONE of this had happened with any of my other pregnancies. The timing could not have been worse. We were still living with family and on top of that we had the director of the hospital from Peru actually visiting to do some fundraising and everyone had to know what was going on (this is just not something you feel like announcing to the world especially as it is happening). All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and sink down into a hole. True story.  That’s the closest we have ever come to losing a child – and those emotions were raw, painful and terribly real.

In the middle of ALL that- trying to figure out what was going on with our kids and possibly losing Taylor we were trying to figure out just where God wanted us in the States – and again this was another emotionally exhausting decision. Stay in CO with family or move back to MO? Tough. We were driving back and forth from CO to MO to look at what they had to offer – which was totally MISERABLE. I wish I would say I was one of those cute, bubbly, pregnant women who never ever got morning sickness, but if I told you that I would be doing an injustice to my husband who extends loads of grace to me during pregnancy. I felt like I was going to lose my stomach every five minutes on those 12 hour car rides to MO and absolutely nothing made it better. With all the other pregnancies I had had trouble with UTIs and actually had one when we returned, but of course that did not seem like a big deal then – BUT it would be later. I was measuring really big, which isn’t totally abnormal for having three going on four kids, but John was worried and I could see it in his face. I was still sick which was a good sign, pregnancy-wise, and in-between trips we got an ultrasound to find out what was going on with Taylor.  It was such a relief to see that ultrasound and that little baby bouncing around. No twins, and everything looked okay. So strange.

On Thanksgiving Hudson ate three grapes – and we were going around telling every family member how excited we were that he ate three grapes. It was the first solid food he’d eaten in months! Poor guy was so miserable.  Hannah was feeling terrible too and originally that is why we came back the first time in May of 2014, but before we left Hudson’s health took a drastic turn.

December came. I was still pregnant, which was exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. We felt we were being called to MO and not CO which was incredibly difficult. We packed up our things at the end of December and moved one snowy day to our home here in MO. We had no family living here and just a couple of friends. John and I have never backed down to adventure but this was going to get interesting.

It was a year ago today that I woke up to a terrible pain on my left side. I knew immediately that something was terribly wrong. Never once had anything like this happened with the other pregnancies and I tried not to let my mind wonder to the possibilities – which wasn’t too hard because I was in an incredible amount of pain. I literally could not get out of bed – I tried and fell to the floor. Immediately I called John because I thought I would have to get an ambulance. He raced home, got the kids in the car, and we raced to the hospital.  Tests confirmed I had a kidney stone – no big deal right? –WRONG. Having had two kidney stones now I can confirm I would rather go through childbirth ten more times. The good news was that it was only a kidney stone and Taylor looked great on the monitor. They gave me a bunch of pain medication, but I was running a really high fever as well so they sent off some blood cultures and started antibiotics. As the night wore on, still waiting for the stone to pass, I started to feel funny. The pain medications had helped quite a bit but my whole body started going numb, and of course this happened during the 20 minutes John had to leave my side to drop off clothes for the kids. I started having trouble breathing and even talking. My face looked like I had had a stroke. I was having an allergic reaction to one of the many pain meds I was on. I can now say I have experienced epinephrine via IV, not just the EPI pen, and let me tell you – that is an experience I will never forget. Turns out I was having an allergic reaction to a pain pill that continued to dilute in my body throughout the night which led to more epinephrine throughout the night. It was super fun – SUPER fun. I then started to have contractions, probably put on by just plain stress, which complicated things. Over the next couple of days I ran a very high fever with chills like I had never experienced, and we discovered that my body was going septic - I had infection in my blood but from what? We had to get a CT done to discover I had an abscess in my kidney. The UTI I had had in October apparently was not taken care of by the antibiotics I had been given in CO and eventually festered into an infection in my blood, developing into an abscess on my kidney.  I can remember being in the hospital barely being able to move from sheer exhaustion. I eventually left the hospital after a week, but had to be on IV antibiotics due to having an infection that was resistant to nearly every antibiotic tested – that part was so tough. I took IV antibiotics every 6 hours for 6 weeks before I delivered Taylor and another 4 weeks after I delivered her. I returned home but couldn’t do anything – I could not even change a diaper. I could not administer my own antibiotics. I could not even walk to my own kitchen without feeling like I had just run a 400m dash, huffing and puffing. We were so blessed to have my sister-in-law and her mother come and take care of the kids for a few weeks (who dropped everything to come and help when I went into the hospital) and then my mom and my dad (who stayed for another 5 weeks). We could not have made it without the friends and family who brought by food, took the kids for the weekend, and offered to come by and run my antibiotics. We had only been attending church for about a month and still so many people reached out to help us.

We spent the next days and weeks monitoring the abscess on my kidney. We had to go to Springfield to consult an infectious disease doctor. Some docs wanted to drain the abscess and some didn’t, but I was pregnant so that complicated everything. In the end they decided to do IV antibiotics until the abscess went away or until after I delivered Taylor for safety reasons. You cannot really do IV antibiotics for very long before your veins just cannot handle the poking so eventually I had to have a picc line put in my arm which was easier to use but painful and it really freaked people out because it was visible.

The rest of my pregnancy was rough. I failed my glucose test the first time and had to do the 3 hour test and barely passed that one. I started to develop preeclampsia, with high blood pressure and I started seeing spots.

We had a healthy baby girl born May23rd, the day after Caleb’s birthday. What an answer to so many prayers. Despite a septic blood infection, an allergic reaction and a kidney stone and abscess, we had a healthy baby girl. We are still so grateful. God is good.

Four days after I delivered Taylor, I went into the hospital for another week with another septic blood infection and kidney stone #2.  We spent our anniversary in the hospital running a 104 degree fever.  So this was a part of our vows 7 years before “in sickness and in health”.

I am finally feeling normal again. No picc line in my arm. I can do my own laundry, play with our kids and make my own dinner. I am so incredibly grateful to have experienced another year. I did not deserve it but God is good. His timing is perfect. We came home from Peru 18 months ago because our kids were sick but little did we know what was in store for me and for Taylor.
Our kids are doing so much better. At about the one year mark we noticed the kids have started growing again. With confidence we can say they are actually gaining weight. If you have met either of us, you know our kids will never be big people, but they are growing and for that we are grateful.  So what was the cause of the kids’ illness? We still don’t know for sure, but months after we left we read an article about dangerously high levels of arsenic and E. coli in the water in Arequipa – the same city we had done language school in Peru for 9 months. We will never know what happened or why, but we know that God always has us in his hands.

We want to say a special thanks to everyone who has helped us this past year. We are so grateful for your sacrifice and friendship.  We also want to thank our Lord Jesus for carrying us through all of the good times and all of the difficult times. We can do nothing without Him and through every experience come to know that we can trust Him, even if we may not understand it during the trials that come. 

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

We Are Coming Home
        First, we’d like to thank everyone for your prayers and continued support of our family. We are so incredibly grateful to you all for everything that you’ve done for us and the Peruvian people. Here is an update. Please excuse the length and lack of pictures from this letter.

        As many of you have read on our recent blog, we have had some medical issues in our family, especially with Hannah and Hudson over the last number of months. Hannah had started to gain weight, but now she is starting to “plateau” again and has started sweating, complaining about abdominal pain and does not want to eat again.  We have done a number of stool studies, but continue to have negative results.

Hudson has also had some serious growth delay and even though neurologically he is meeting all milestones, he is severely underweight. We took him into the hospital a few weeks back and found that he has severe inflammation in his small intestines which explains why after just a couple of bites of food, he loses his appetite and starts to fuss. We tried to do stool cultures and an MRI, but have not come up with the cause for all of the inflammation. Due to the inflammation, he has little to no appetite and even though we give him anything that he’ll eat, he still has serious growth delay. In May, we noticed that he had dropped off the growth chart and now is even further behind the curve that he was on 4 months ago. In June, we got some limited testing done on him while we were in the US and found infections and figured that this was the cause. We treated him and he seemed to feel a little bit better…for awhile. At this point he was at the 1st % for weight (this means 99 out of 100 babies his age weighed more than him). But then starting in the beginning of July, he again was not acting right. With weekly weights, we have now found that he had gained only 3 ounces in the last 10 weeks. This put him somewhere around the 0.1 % range (999 out of 1000 children his age weigh more than him). The most concerning part about this all was that he didn’t get better with antibiotics and he tested negative for campylobacter and C. diff that he had previously had in the US and now over the last week he has lost nearly a pound.

This of course is all very concerning to us and so we contacted Hannah’s pediatric GI doctor in Denver. He had previously been in favor of us returning to Peru, but with this new information, he is now not so comfortable. In fact, he is giving the recommendation at this point to not only return for further testing, but also to return for long enough that the kids have time for “catch-up growth.” This is more of a long-term type of treatment. Crystal and I have been praying about these recommendations and discussing them with the kids’ doctors here because of the implications of the recommendation. After much prayer and many tears, we have decided that it is in the best interest of our children to return to the US indefinitely. This has been a very tough and trying decision to make, because we really enjoy living here in Peru and because God has been using us in the ministry that is being done here at Hospital Diospi Suyana. We also have really enjoyed all of the people that we work with and feel like we are letting them down, as well as the patients that are waiting in line, by leaving. All at the same time, we know that this is the right decision and our leadership has felt the same way. We can’t with a right conscience, stay here and ignore the needs of our children that God has given to us to personally care for and to protect. We have always said that God comes first, then family, then our ministry. With that order, our kids’ needs are what we need to take care of.

Right as we were in the middle of deciding what needed to be done, we were at Bible study studying the book of James and came to James 4:13-17 that says: “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” We really felt convicted that even though God had called us to Peru, maybe the duration of time was our idea and not His. After praying about it, although we are very sad in our hearts for having to leave such wonderful people and such a great ministry, we know that God has other plans for us elsewhere and we just need to be ready and willing to leave behind our pride and listen to what He has asked us to do.”

We have talked with our leadership and have been given the okay to return home in mid-October and we will get appointments set up for the kids shortly afterward. If it is the Lord’s will, we would love to connect with each and every one of you over the next few months to talk about the great things that God has done and the ministry that will be continuing here without us.
So that being said, we just want to say thank you SO MUCH for all of you who have been such a tremendous support for us! We could really not have been able to make the impact here without each and every one of you. Since starting work at the hospital, John has been able to see over 2,000 people, of which every one of them has heard the gospel! We don’t know the eternal impact that was made during this time, but we are sure that many more people will be with Jesus in eternity because of all of your faithful support. 
Please continue to keep John in your prayers as he will be presenting an idea to the local community church leaders that will get them as well as other church members involved with talking to patients, listening to their stories, troubles and pains and also sharing the gospel with them as well. We feel that this will be an even better way for people to truly understand the gospel in their time of need, as well as to get local Christians involved in spreading the Good News of Jesus. Please pray that we will continue to stay focused over the next month so that we can finish the mission that was set out for us here in Peru.

Thank you all for your incredible support of the work being done here in Peru as well as for our family. We have felt so loved through this entire process and wouldn’t have been able to be a part of God’s work here without you all! May God continue to bless you all in your own personal ministries as well!
Prayer requests:
· That Hudson’s weight doesn’t drop anymore and that he and Hannah will start to grow again.
· For peace with our decision, that we can find work quickly and that God will continue to do great things in Peru!

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Difficult Decision

Well, we just wanted to post a quick update about how our family is doing health-wise and to ask for continued prayer.

First of all, Hannah, 2 years old, seems to be doing much better. Praise the Lord! Even though she has continued to test positive for C. diff and still has foul-smelling loose stools, she no longer has signs of inflammation in her intestines on ultrasound and she is gaining a significant amount of weight. She also has had a better appetite (although it still takes a fair amount of coaxing to get a full meal in). With these results, it seems less likely that she has Celiac disease like we had once suspected and the possibilities still exist for infectious causes (although less likely due to the extended period of problems) and inflammatory bowel disease that is currently out of a flare. Please pray that we will have wisdom in how to continue her diagnostic work-up from here and please also thank the Lord for healing her body if not permanently, at least for now and putting some weight on her.

Regarding Caleb, 4 years old, he seems to be growing well now and has also put on a fair amount of weight since being home. He is benefiting from the high calorie foods that we have been serving to Hannah and we are glad to see the weight gain. We haven't had any real concerns about him, but of course is getting the normal infections that would be expected from going to school with a bunch of other 4 year-olds. Thank the Lord that he is growing.

More recently, our concern has been for Hudson (almost 14 months old). Just as Hannah dropped off the curve before a  year old, Hudson also took a dive with his weight at 8 months of age. With Celiac disease being in our extended family, we actually decided not to give him anything with gluten in it until he turned a year-old just to decrease his risk of developing a problem if he did carry a gene for it. That being said, he still dropped off of the charts at 8 months of age. We got some labs done in the US in June and found that he was iron deficient and had the same GI infections that Hannah did and so we treated him for them and he tested negative for all GI infections one month ago. That being said, he has not gained even 0.1 kg in over 7 weeks of weighing him. He has lost all of his appetite and after just a few bites, refuses to eat anything else. He is drinking fluids which is sustaining him, but a child that is barely one year old should be eating and gaining significant amounts of weight rapidly. So, about a week ago, we took him to the hospital and did an ultrasound and found that he had significant inflammation in his small intestines similar to what Hannah had but with negative stool cultures. We decided to get an MRI (Since it won't expose him to radiation like a CT would) in Cusco to see if the inflammation showed any patterns that could lead us to a diagnosis (like Crohn's disease for example which if left untreated can cause serious bowel death, fistulas and abscesses leading to multiple surgeries over a life-time). Unfortunately, the company that did the MRI was less than helpful, told us that they had no oral contrast (very useful in diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease) and when they gave us the reading, didn't make a single comment about the intestines. To top that off, the CD that they gave us of the MRI had images so small, that it was nearly impossible to see much larger organs like the liver, much less the intestines. We called and asked for a better image quality and they said it wouldn't be a problem. So, Crystal went back to Cusco (2.5 hours away on winding roads) to get them and they said that she would have to come back on Monday. After a series of blatant lies that I will not bore you with (6-8 in a row), they sent Crystal on a hunt for a very specific DVD to burn the images that apparently is not actually sold in Cusco, with directions to a street that has no stores that even sell DVD's. We assume it was just to get her to leave them alone. We are finding that the MRI has and probably will be completely useless to us in making a diagnosis and that our chances of figuring out what is going on with Hudson and/or Hannah here in Peru is getting quite slim.

That being said, we want to exhaust our options for diagnostics here before considering coming back to the US. But, we also don't want to cause permanent harm to any of our children by wasting time/money/emotional stress on things that aren't going to help either.

So this is the question of the hour. We know that God has called us to be here in Peru and we have seen great things happen already. We know that God can use us here, or anywhere for that matter as long as we are willing to follow His calling. In our Bible study we were reading James 4:13-15 that says: " Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” " We want to be sure of two things.  First, that the Lord is still calling us to be here. We know that He has given us three wonderful children and that they are our priority above outside ministry, and therefore we need to take care of their needs. If we can't do it here in Peru, than that means in the US. But second, we also want to be strong and courageous just like God commanded Joshua as he was telling him about the Promised Land. We know that God is doing great things here and that Satan will attack us in anyway that he can to try and take away our strength. So with that, we know that our God is greater and stronger and higher than any other and that if that is all this is about, we will be fine.

In summary, we would love to have prayer from all of you about the following things:

1. How do we need to proceed in making a diagnosis for Hannah and Hudson
2. How can we best take care of them and make sure that they have no long-term affects from these illnesses
3. Do we need to return to the US for further diagnostics, try other routes here in Peru (Lima) or wait it out?
4. Is this God's way of calling us to come home to the US or are we supposed to endure so that God can be given the glory?
5. Give thanks that Caleb and Hannah are growing
6. Pray that Hudson will start gaining weight
7. Please pray for Crystal and I as the unknown is weighing heavily on our hearts and seeing Hudson waste away is tough to watch.

Thank you all for your continued support of our family and the ministry that God has called us to here! I apologize that I haven't posted about all of the wonderful things that have gone on, but I hope to do so some day soon.

God bless!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Huds turns OnE!

What?!? Where did time go? Hard to believe our little guy is one. He is such a tough little man with a compassionate heart for others. His smile and roar always brighten up the room. We were so surprised when he came into our lives and now we could not imagine our life with out him. We feel so blessed to have our little Huds. Here are few pics from his birthday party which was a month and half late. After I recovered from the pneumonia and the kids got healthy we finally had a party. There was no way I was not going to make him a cake for his first birthday. I think most people came for the donuts though, and not the cake. I mean who can resist a party with donuts? NO ONE.

I love having kids for many reasons that I am sure would bore you but I truly enjoy celebrating their life. I LOVE birthdays. This gives me a "one time a year" - times three- opportunity to bust out the cake tips. This was my first time trying this type of cake and I was loving it. Crafting seems to be the only thing that stays perfect in my life and for a recovering perfectionist that is important. I will never forget all the awesome cakes my mom made me every year. Thanks for teaching me how to decorate cakes Mom. I appreciate your cakes even more, now that I am making them for my own kiddos.  photo DSC_0001_zps55cf00d6.jpg
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Monday, July 28, 2014

An Interesting Sunday Call
So a couple of Sunday’s ago, I (John) had a fairly eventful day on call. I saw 6 patients throughout the day/evening/morning and here are their stories – the most interesting one is the last:

Patient #1: She was riding in the back of a dump truck, like many people here do including us at times, and across the top in the middle is a large log that had been tied on in order to keep your balance or tie a tarp onto. Many people were holding onto this log and when it suddenly broke, coming down and hitting her forcefully on the head. She said that after about 20 minutes of being unconscious, she woke up and after five hours of continued headache came to our hospital for evaluation. Thankfully, our CT scanner just arrived and has been operational for about 2 weeks. After a negative CT scan of her head with no signs of bleeding, I sent her home with meds for her headache.

Patient #2: He was an 8 year-old who came in with his parents with pain in his arm. He apparently fell with his hand behind his back. An x-ray showed that he had fractured both his ulna and radius and would likely need surgery to have it repaired. We don’t have an orthopedic surgeon, so he was referred onto Abancay after a splint was placed. My primary concern was that the story didn’t seem consistent with the fracture. I’m not an expert of fractures, but I didn’t ask the father anymore in hope that in Abancay they will find out the whole truth about how the fracture really happened (a beating?). Any thoughts based on this x-ray and the story of falling with his hand behind his back?  photo IMG_1993_zps9c0e637b.jpg

Patient #3: A 28 year-old woman who came in with 3 days of cough and pain in her lungs. The chest x-ray showed a pneumonia. She followed up in 3 days and was greatly improved with antibiotics!

On the x-ray you can see a faint line in the patient's right lung between the middle and lower lobes.
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Patient #4: A ~75 year-old woman came with history of liver masses from a recent ultrasound in Cusco as well as labs and ascitic fluid being taken out of her abdomen and sent for analysis. When she arrived, her oxygen saturation was 75% (normal is 90% or higher). She was very dehydrated and looked terrible. I admitted her and in the morning ordered an ultrasound and labs. They showed that she had an 8-cm mass in her pancreas, cirrhosis of the liver and was in the beginnings of renal failure. Her chest x-ray showed what looked to be possible metastasis in her lungs. I talked with the family and told them of the poor prognosis and said that the only place to treat her cancer would be in Lima. I recommended that due to the severity of her disease and the extremely poor prognosis that she not get chemotherapy, radiation or surgery that would severely decrease her quality of life. Instead I recommended that she go home with pain medications. I then prayed with them that the Lord would be with her in these final days and that He would give her peace in Him. After a couple of days she was sent home feeling better, but also knowing that these would be her last days on earth.

On the x-ray there are some questionable nodule behind the heart concerning for metastases.

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Patient #5: This was a 50 year old woman who came with three days of pain her belly. An ultrasound showed that she had an infected gallbladder and she was admitted with antibiotics and will have surgery to take out her gallbladder.

Patient #6: This is likely the most interesting case of the day. He was an ~80 year-old man who lives high in the Andes mountains with his wife. Over the last 3-4 months he’s had more and more troubles with swallowing and eventually it got so bad that he could hardly get anything down for the last 3 weeks. His daughter came to visit him and his wife 3 weeks ago (with her 1 year-old son) and realized how sick he was and immediately took him to the health post in Cusco. They checked a couple of labs and gave him some medicine for pain and sent him home. He wasn’t improving so she took him back and they checked his urine and gave him some medicine for a urinary tract infection (UTI) and sent him home. He still wasn’t better and so upon the recommendation of a friend, brought him to see me at Diospi Suyana. Looking at him, he looked like one of those people you see in Africa that is starving to death or dying from AIDS. Just looking at him, I knew it was more than a UTI. His mouth was so dry that there was some dried mucous attaching his tongue and palate that he couldn’t remove because it had dried that way. He also had spots of blood under his mucosa throughout his mouth and throat. I gave him some fluids and unlocked the lab and ran a lab test finding that his platelets were only 29,000 (Normal 150,000-450,000). He also had signs of infection. I admitted him and did some tests in the morning finding that his kidneys were quite stressed from the dehydration and that his lungs looked terrible! See the picture below. The following day, Dr. Klaus John did an endoscopy and found that he had thrush from his mouth to the bottom of his esophagus and found tuberculosis in aspirates of his gastric fluid like we expected based on the x-ray. Even after just one day of fluids, he already looked SO much better and he and his family were extremely thankful for the treatment that he’d received. After a few days of care by Dr. Martina John (She saw all of my patients for a few days while I was stuck in bed sick) he was sent to the local health post now with a diagnosis of tuberculosis which they typically treat very well. We pray that he will not only find physically healing through this process, but also spiritual healing as well!  photo IMG_1994_zps530234b1.jpg

Thanks for your continued prayer for our family as well as all of the people that we are coming into contact with! God is working in their hearts and lives and every day we have more and more people coming saying that they know that they will get healing here because this is where God is working! We know that we may not be able to find physically healing for everyone that comes, but we do know that God is offering spiritual healing to everyone of them through Jesus Christ if they are willing to accept it. This is the most important healing that anyone can receive!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pictures and Cakes

I am a little behind on pictures and cakes. Here is a little shot from Hannah's birthday session with me that was in April. I still have not gotten around to making Huddy's first birthday cake or taking his or Caleb's birthday pictures?!!? So terrible but my excuse was that I had pneumonia. That is a pretty good excuse after all. I cannot believe how fast they are all growing up. photo CoffeeShop10Picblogheader_zpsa362764e.jpg