Friday, January 9, 2009


Well, the holidays are over and I am getting things back in order, rested and getting my body cleansed. On Monday I, along with my daughter, started a 7 day liver cleanse. The first two days were tough with only lemon water and herbal teas to drink. It got better on the third day as we were able to add fresh fruits, vegetables and some rice to the menu. I must admit that I am feeling much better but it isn't without the process being painful. I find myself looking at recipes online and almost drooling just reading the ingredients.

Along with the eating we are to exercise an hour a day. Last night we headed out and I dragged myself through the city for an hour and was loving back safe in my house. That feeling was short lived when all of a sudden the house began to shake, there was a strong jolt and a loud "boom" noise. Usually I know where I want to be when an earthquake hits but the latest information says that you shouldn't get under things like we have been taught for the last 30 years, but be right next to a heavy object so the object doesn't crush you. Makes sense, but I just hadn't put any thought into how I would change my under the table safety plan. So...I just stood there with a panic stricken look searching for what looked like it matched the new "you'll be safe" model.

By the time I could get it all together, the shaking had stopped and only a few picture frames had fallen over. There were several other little aftershocks that we couldn't feel but there was one that set that panic feeling racing all over again. For now we are all safe and the nerves are calmed down and we're thankful we survived another earthquake in So Cal.

No One Plans Emergency Surgery

From an SM with James:

Hi friends,

I had all these good intentions of writing each of you personal long
newsy emails before we sent and received this week. I didn't realize
that this lazy Tuesday afternoon would find me hooked up to another
IV, recovering from surgery.

I had an appendectomy last night, sometime around 9:00 pm. Dr. Bond,
a visting surgeon, tells me that surgeries come in threes. Last week
we did three emergency strangulated hernias, in a matter of three
days. And this week was appendix week. There were two Chadian women,
late Sunday night, one inflamed appendectomy after another. I would
have never guessed that the third would be me.

I had had a gnawing lower right abdominal pain for three days. I'd
wake up at night, nauseated and sweating. But it would go away. I
went horseback riding and watered my garden. Dr. Bond told me he
thought I had appendicitis, but I was in denial. "If it was
appendicitis, I would be hurting a lot more than this. Maybe I have
worms," I thought.

Finally, an elevated white blood count convinced him that waiting any
longer was just increasing my changes of rupture. We called my
parents, and, after a few biting-on-my-lip-to-hold-t
hem-back tears, I
went to surgery. Kristin and Emily tied me down to the same table
that I had tied other patients to, just earlier that day. They hooked
me up to the monitors, and gave me shots of promethazine and diazepam.

I'm so thankful that they were there, in their masks and bright red
surgical caps, holding my hands. I'm thankful that I was able to have
a surgery performed at the best hospital in the whole country. Not
many people can say that.

I was given spinal anesthesia, so I could be awake during the
surgery, and skip the bad side effects of ketamine, the main general
anesthesia drug that we have here. Ketamine makes people crazy. They
talk, they sing, sometimes they drool excessively, they say all sorts
of weird things in different languages, they have awful dreams.
Ketamine is an old drug that isn't hardly even used in the States
anymore, and I've never wanted to know what it would be like to be on
it. Please no ketamine, I had told Dr. Bond before hand.

But the spinal didn't work. I could clearly feel him pinching my
abdomen with the forceps, right before he was about to cut. "Kristin,
give her 150 mg of Ketamine, now." I heard Dr. Bond say.

As I drifted off, Simeon, the Chadian nurse who assisted, leaned
over, sterile gloved hand on my tummy. "Ansley, God is so big," he
said softly in French, "He will take care of you, he will hold you."

It's twenty four hours post-op. I'm doing okay. I'm sore and tired.
I've slept all day long. I'm taking tylenol and getting pentazocine
injections for the pain. I am not allowed to eat or drink until tomorrow.

Emily said that the ketamine made me speak only in French, and that I
didn't say anything bad, or embarrassing. (I guess I'll never know
for sure). She told me that I kept asking, "Was it a good appendix,
or bad?" I was worried that the operation had been in vain, that my
appendix was fine, after all, and could have been left alone.

It was a bad appendix, all red and angry, ready to burst. We're all
glad that it is gone.

I love you all, and thank you for your prayers. God is so big, and he
does care for us.