It has been a bit since I last gave you an update. It was a busy December and I felt a bit dragged out, but to be expected as still quite anemic and the clinic was quite busy with lots of problems, including several months of sinusitis and bronchitis. In late December, I started running a bit of a fever and a cough, so started some Zithromax and Mucinex and that seemed to improve some. I also developed a GI bleed, no obvious source but knowing I have a remnant of stomach left hooked directly to my small intestine, I worked harder on acid suppression. I was not winning, my White Count went up and my Hemoglobin down, exactly the opposite I was hoping for, so switched to Levaquin, a powerful oral antibiotic a week ago, as I cannot afford to infect my port in my chest and last weekend got some blood cultures, which so far have been negative, thank the Lord. I keep going as the worst thing to do for a pneumonia is to sit around, it is good to get up and help blow the gunk out, and, as I have a wimpy job, I kept going, being careful to follow proper precautions, although I really no longer have a cough, though still a fever a few times daily. I got my regularly scheduled 3 month CT scan to follow my cancer progress, not sure what they have to offer me if it advances, so far, no results on the reading.
I repeated the blood count yesterday, my white count is coming down but also my hemoglobin, a smidgen. So, again, my office staff took over and arranged for me to get IV Zyvox twice daily, I got the first dose a couple hours ago. I hate to think what that bugger costs. I don’t think they were going to tell me much, knowing I protest a lot, but they needed my input into choice of IV antibiotics, as we don’t use IV antibiotics in the office. I have to keep up for my surgical boards and want to do so even if I may never do it. Also, at times we get donations of medications in Haiti and we try to put them to use. Pray that I will be able to quickly recover, I will likely give myself a couple units of blood once the infection and fever settles down, as it has been almost a year since I saw a Hemoglobin of 10 (normal is 13 to 16 for our lab). I would love to get a bit more zip in my ambling hither and yon. Dan Boerman, Jose Dominguez and his son, Eric, as well as the 3 Griffhorsts and 5 others just returned last night. I haven’t spoken to anyone yet, but Dr. Moise called me last night and again today about administrative issues and he was very pleased with the progress they made (not that any of us is surprised).
Lord Willing, I will be healthy enough by the 4th of February to travel with another team of 11 to do more house and roof repairs, as well as painting, whatever the chiefs Duane and Dan decide needs to be done. I am looking forward to a number of folks going with us, including my nurse, Theresa, her son in law (a house builder) and his son, who helps his dad a lot, plus Butch and his son, Gabe, again construction guys. The sons are a bit young, but have good blood in them and want to not only have them help us but also invest into their lives and encourage them in seeking to serve our Lord. Margie and her husband Gordy, Teri, who has gone several times and is a tiny lady but never see her stop, amazing. We have a couple more painters from Margie’s church to round out the team.
So, asking prayer for a good result on my CT scan (will be several weeks before Dr. Bartlett reads the CD sent to him, and his opinion is the most inclusive, as he knows what he did in there and what is left behind, etc), a rapid recovery from my pneumonia (my repeat chest xray yesterday didn’t show much improvement in my right lower lobe pneumonia), ability to transfuse myself soon and get everything in order for a return trip with the group. Also pray for Dr. William, now the cleaning staff and guards at the government hospitals are on strike, again shutting down access to care for the poorer patients. He gets discouraged as cannot make much progress in his training. I think that is the way of life in Haiti, one has to claw for every inch of progress, whether personally or corporately.
In His Service,
Bill, Karen, Rachel, James and Jenn Ten Haaf