Sunday, April 21, 2013

The New Normal & What's Next: Balancing Ministry, Opportunity and Recovery.

I was tethered to an IV for about 8 days in the hospital to make sure that I didn't succumb to the infection I received in the same hospital during a prostate biopsy. Now I am free! Almost...

They let me go home Friday, but a nurse has to come to my house for the next 21 days and give me antibiotic through an IV. She comes to our home and sets up everything in our living room. She hangs the IV antibiotic dispenser on a hanger on the window curtain bar and then inserts the IV into a vein in my arm. I sit on the couch for about 15-20 min. as it drips into the tube and I receive the full dose for the day.

When the nurse leaves, she leaves the IV connectors in my arm for the next time she comes around. I can go about my business, but I decided to wear long sleeve shirts and light jackets to cover the apparatus so that I won't alarm anyone.

Ministry wise, I have had to call in a lot of substitutes and slow down some of our activities, but the work is still progressing and moving forward. I am having our Puerto Rico Bible College kids fill in at our church Sunday until I feel better. My Bible college kids are to do their school projects on video and submit their homework by email.

My Civil Air Patrol Chaplaincy application is just awaiting for the final references to come in and they already have appointed me the rank of Captain, based on my education and experience. When I get final approval, I will be able to speak on a regular basis to the flight squadrons here. There are about 14 pilots in the local squadron that I attend. I am also scheduled to be the speaker at Summer Camp this July and also we plan on a Summer Vacation Bible School for a week towards the end of July.

Late May or early June is when I have to schedule the procedure for the prostate removal. I understand that the recovery time from this can take a while. Please pray for us that we will strike the right balance between doing too little (which doesn't seem to be happening) and doing too much (which tends to happen more often.)

Maybe it's time to green-light some back-burner projects. As a "Father/daughter" project, I am studying Japanese, because my daughters are doing it and it gives us a project in common to work on. I have been stuck on disk 3 of a 9 disk program, so I might catch up on that. I also do have a high frequency radio transmitter and a FCC license to use it ( I am WP4NVR), so if I am house bound for a few weeks, I might explore extending our ministry that way while I recuperate.

Please pray for our emotional stability also during this time. I have faith, but I am nervous about some life changing side effects that prostate surgery may bring about. Whatever happens, we are committed to seeing the work here advance. We are encouraged by your prayers and support that makes it possible.

Please keep us in your prayers and take some time to encourage us as you are able.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Week in a Puerto Rican Hospital: Why it happened and Why I Need Your Prayers

A few months ago, I used a hammer drill to remove a concrete step in our carport. I spent about 2 days using a little plastic carton as a stool. I sat on that thing for about 6 hours both days as I chiseled out all the concrete. I got a bit of joint pain and a sore bottom later and took some Ibuprofen and didn't think any thing of it.

Over the next few weeks, the pain did not go away. The pills helped, but I was afraid of hurting my liver and kidneys with too much medication. So I went to Dr Jordan, our family Doctor. He sent me to get an x-ray to check for arthritis or a damaged ligament.


Then he sent me to the Gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. The results:
He: "Your fine."
Me: "Why do I hurt?
He: "Check with another specialist"

Back to the family doctor. This time he guesses the prostate may have swollen when I was sitting on it so hard for so long, and swelled and pinched a nerve. So he sent me to a Urologist for a prostate exam.

So I went to the Urologist. During digital exam:
He " It is slightly enlarged. Do you have any trouble usung the bathroom?"
Me: "None whatsoever"
He: "Just in case, we will schedule for an ultrasound."
Me: "Could sitting on it make it swell and cause nerve pain?"
He: "What? Who told you that? I never heard of such a thing."


The ultrasound showed a small nodule, which lead to a biopsy, which lead to an infection and prostatitis, giving me all the symptoms that I didn't have before I saw the doctor. So I have to spend over a week on intense antibiotics to purge myself of a microbe that I didn't have before I went to the hospital. After all the medication I was given, I actually got worse the first 3 days I was here.

I am typing right now from a hospital bed, hoping to return home sometime next week. I just had a consultation with Yuri, an infectious disease specialist who will be planing some tests for me. The closer I seem to going home, the harder it gets. Please pray that I make it back home.

All this did find some localized, early stage cancer. Even though the cancer did not cause any of this pain, it was the pain that led to it's discovery. We don't want to fool with cancer, so we opted for the complete removal, maybe near the end of May or early June. Please pray for Tina and me as we face this new challenge of cancer and some unpleasant side effects that may occur.

The doctor says that prostate removal involving an early caught and localized prostate cancer has a very high success rate.

After all this...

Me: "Doctor, Is this the reason I am having pain in my lower regions? Will this help me sleep without using medicine?"

Him: "Nah, It's probably hemorrhoids. You should see a Proctologist!"

Friday, April 05, 2013

Being "Anti-Church, Anti-Religion, Pro-Jesus" Is Not Helpful to Missions

It is popular today to bash the church and to denigrate religion, but does popularity mean that it is a good thing to do?

I say "NO!"

Instead of picking on the church, we should take our place in it and serve the Lord in some capacity to make it a better place for new Christians to grow up in and an effective home base to launch and sustain mature Christians as they take the gospel into all the world.