Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 7, 2016

It was the best of was the worst of times!  Oh my goodness!  Has this ever been a wonderful/terrible 2 weeks!  We started out with a trip to Trincomalee.  This city is on the opposite of the island .  It is on the east coast and north.  There is a beautiful  harbor....the second largest natural harbor in the world.  We had always wanted to visit the other side of the island.  We got our chance when Pres Nihal and his family were taking a trip there.  It was a family reunion of sorts for Eashani's family.  So there were 32 of us!  A few of the families had come to Sri Lanka from Australia for a wedding so they made a vacation out of it!  We felt very privileged to be able to be on this trip with them!  They were so very nice to us and we enjoyed them so much.  Pres Nihal and Eashani are wonderful people and friends.  They always made sure we were well taken care of and had everything that we needed.  They were always concerned about us eating the Sri Lankan food or having to pay the "foreign" price for everything!  We even rode in the air force car all the way there!  They really spoiled us.  We stopped on the way for some short eats before hitting Anuradhapura.  This sacred city was the political and religious centre for over 1300 years.  There were a lot of ruins and Buddhist sacred places.  We also saw the "Tree of Enlightenment".....a giant Bo tree, grown from the sapling of the one under which Lord Buddha gained enlightenment.  Some of Eashanis elder family members gave Steve and I the history as they are all strong Buddhists.  It was so interesting to learn!  We then arrived in Trinco and boy....what a beautiful place!  I really loved it.  We were able to stay at a golf resort for the Air Force people.  The resort was right on China Bay and was absolutely beautiful....oh yes...I keep saying that!  They greeted us with drinks and got us all checked in.  Steve got to play golf with one of the other guys.  He was pretty excited.....but oh was it hot!!  But he even got his own caddy!  The caddy carried his clubs, set the ball down on the tee and gave him pointers on where to stand, how to hit better, and where the ball would be breaking on the green!  It was fun watching!  There was also a guy that would go down the fairway and watch for your ball after you teed off and let you know where it was!!  The course had peacocks, snakes, monkeys, exotic was pretty neat!  We had dinner after golfing and then everyone sat outside visiting.  It was very nice.  People were curious about us....and about the Mormons.  Had some great discussions!  Then it was off to bed.  Tuesday started out with Steve being able to golf again.  Different caddy today.  Hot again!  We had breakfast and then headed to see the sights!  We were able to go to the Navy museum.  It was very nice.  We took a ride on a boat in the harbor !  It was also great!  We learned a lot of history about the wars that took place there.  We went to a Hindu temple that sits on the highest point of the cape, overlooking the harbor.  It was very interesting!  Lots of deer and monkey wandering the area.  We then went to Marble beach...a very famous beach in Sri Lanka.  The water was so warm and the sand was so nice.  There were a lot of sea shells there too!  We were on the military side of the beach so it was private and not crowded.  I decided that I had to get in!  I didn't get totally wet....but it was so nice!  Steve had the chance to go get a head massage from one of Nihals friends.  That is a first for Steve!  And he loved it!  He said it was the greatest thing ever!  The guy massaged for almost a half an hour!  We went back and showered and went down for a barbecue in the club house.  It was really nice.  Everyone visited before eating and had a great time.  After dinner, there was singing, dancing, and a lot of laughs and fun!  But Steve felt extremely tired that night, so we went back to the room and went to bed.  However....that is when the terrible started.  He did not sleep very well and by morning, felt like he had the flu.  He did not look good in his eyes.  He was weak and tired and didn't feel hungry or anything.  We checked out and headed back to Anuradhapura to see some more sites!  There was another Buddhist temple and some hot springs.  Steve just stayed in the car in the air conditioning!  We stopped for lunch at the air force golf course there.  Then we headed home the rest of the way.  Steve didn't eat much but kept trying to drink a lot. He went straight to bed.  We sure had a wonderful trip to Trinco though!  One of the highlights so far of our mission experience!  Thursday, we had promised one of our converts to take him and his girlfriend to lunch.  Steve did not feel good but wanted to go do this.  It was nice to visit with them but Steve was miserable.  He went straight home while I ran some errands.  He kept sleeping while I taught the English class and did the piano classes as well.  Friday, he first thought he felt a little better and got up and started moving about.  It didn't take long for him to realize that something else might be wrong so he decided to go to the hospital to see a doctor.  First, the elders came and gave him a blessing.  It wasn't too crowded so our wait was not very long.  The doctor took one look at him and could tell what it was....but he wanted to get a blood test to make sure.  We got the test and then headed home.  The doctor told him to go to bed and send someone back to get the results and to talk to him.  But we got a text saying we could look up the results on we did.  Dengue.....POSITIVE.  Steve figured as much.  He had looked it up online and read the symptoms.....and he had about half of them.  He was weak, tired, extremely thirsty, no appetite, very a sunburn (which is the rash), had a bad headache on and off....and he didn't look like his normal self.  I left him home and went to talk to the doctor.  I had to wait awhile this time.  There were so many people in this area.  This was a private hospital.  People had to pay to be seen here.  In the government hospitals, you get free care....but it is wall to wall hospital beds, no a/c, etc.  I felt good about this well as the doctor.  He said we needed to admit Steve.  They only had the more expensive rooms left but it was really a good room and very quiet.  The bed was a little small but it worked.  They put an iv in him and got him hooked up.  I found out that I needed to stay at the hospital with him.  That all dengue patients have to have someone with them at all times.  Pres Nishan was at the hospital waiting for us when we came.  Pres Nihal came soon after.  They took me home to get some things so that I could stay.  The nights were long.  The nurses always coming in to take vitals, blood, etc.  We had to monitor all fluids going in and going out...for the full 5 days.  He wasn't able to drink very much which was interesting....because the fluid gets caught in the lungs and in the stomach.  He could eat anything he wanted but could not drink anything red.  They said at one point that his kidneys were swollen also.  On Saturday, his counts had gone down.  Normal was 150000 and above and he went down to 69000.  The nurse gave him a nickname of PINKY because he looked like he had a sunburn all over his body.  The name stuck with everyone.  Someone even posted the Pink Panther on Facebook!  On Sunday, we were able to watch via Skype, 3 baptisms that happened in the branch!  One was our sweet Radi....Brother Hagobians wife.  We were so excited for her.  And she was really excited and happy.  The other 2 were Mali's children!  They are 12 and 16.  So happy for that family!  We wanted to be there so badly.  During that day, I think the entire branch came to visit at one time or another.  Everyone was so nice and caring.  They brought fruits and juices and crackers, etc.  We felt so many well as prayers from home.  Someone had posted a picture of Steve in the hospital bed so that sparked lots of messages and thoughts!   But I think all the people that day wore him out.  On Monday, he was miserable.  His numbers kept dropping and he felt terrible.  He slept a lot of the day.  That day, they decided to put another port in his other hand so they could take blood more easily twice a day.  The nurse was terrible.  She got it in but it never worked.  So the next day, she tried to redo it.  Couldn't find a vein...but kept poking and poking.  She finally put it in a strange place...on the underside of his wrist.  Very painful.  The doctor came in later and could not believe it.  They got a specialized nurse from the pediatric ward to come and put it in.  So much better....but not after bruising all over.  Tuesday was also not a very good day for him.  The redness was starting to get tighter in his hands and feet...and he started to itch quite badly.  That was a good sign...but still miserable.  Finally by Tuesday evening, his blood counts went higher.  They had gotten down to 50000 at the lowest point.  That night, Primali and Pres Kolitaha came by and got me out to eat a burger at McDonalds!  So nice.  Ann and Radi and Mythili sent us a lot of food also.  By Wednesday, his blood count was to 100000 so they said he could go home!  But it took a while to get everything figured out so we could go.  The total bill for Steve to stay in the hospital for 5 days....with the doctor and nurse fees and lab fees, etc....was 241,000 rupees.  This came to about 1,700 US dollars.  Quite the bargain!  And we had the church insurance so our portion was about 7 dollars.  What a blessing.  The doctor told Steve he needed to stay put at home for another week and then come back and see him and get another blood test.  That has been tough for him.  He has slept a lot and relaxed but really hadn't eaten much until Saturday.  He started to feel a little better.  He hadn't slept well either until then.  Pres Kolitha came and brought KFC for lunch that was tasty!  Steve was sure he was going to go to church today...but I played mean wife and told him he could not go.  The doctor said to stay stairs...and to stay on the floor of our apartment.  I want him to get better for when the kids get here!  So he stayed home!!!  I have been able to get lots of paper work done, laundry and just some catching up.  We feel very blessed by the wonderful members and leaders here in Sri Lanka.  They are so loving and wonderful.  I went to church today and even taught the mission prep class since we forgot to get someone to teach it.  The seminary teacher didn't show up so I taught them all together.  It was fun!  So here we are!  Ready for the coming week!  Hopefully we get great news on Wednesday and Steve can start to get out and about.  He is so ready.  He is starting to feel better and able to eat a little more.  I feel so bad that he had to go through such a terrible time.  We are not sure when he was bit....he has no bite mark and can't remember being bit.  We do know there are certain places we go to visit members that have mosquitos in the air.  So he will be more careful now and use bug spray.  I try to remember to use it a lot because I am so sensitive to the bites.  But we will do better!  Steve has also lost a lot of weight because of all of this.  I think we have now scared everyone away that was going to visit us here.  Hope not though!  Sri Lanka is wonderful and beautiful.....and we love it!  So grateful for prayers and many friends and our dear family.  We couldn't have done it without all of you!!!
PS  We had 148 people to church today!!  It was amazing!!!

Pres Nihal and his driver...we are on the way to Trinco!

A little king coconut juice for the road!

Stopping to see the famous Sri Lanka sights along the way!  Buddhist temples and sacred places for them!

Great tour guide!

This is a grafted branch of the original tree that Buddah sat under when he received enlightenment.  They hold it up with these pure gold stilts.

Part of the original structure of the temple.

People write blessings they want to receive.

Original columns of previous Buddhist buildings

Steve thinks these should be National Geographic pictures!

Air Force Golf Course and Clubhouse

Pres Nihals buddy that is in charge of the Air Force Base

Arriving in Trinco at the Beautiful Golf Resort!

Nice room!

The view!!

Walking time with new friends!

Beautiful golf course on the bay!

Just a few peacocks and birds on the course!

The first swing after one year!

Steve got his own caddy!

Big old deer just hanging out!

Famous Hindu temple on the point of a mountain!

Eashani bought me a hat!

The Trinco Navy Base

Navy museum

Boat ride in the harbor!

Marble beach!

I just had to!

The sunset was amazing!

Barbecue and singing and dancing!

Lunch for the monkeys!

Sacred hot springs.

Another famous Buddhist temple

Kings bath

Queens bath

Alien markings!  The same markings are found in Egypt with the pyramids!

Indika's birthday lunch!

Dengue!!  5 days in the hospital.

This was on our door!

Our own private living room and waiting area!

One half of the room!

Our sleeping area

Our fabulous branch coming to visit!

The nurse that named Steve PINKY!

Our wonderful Indian doctor!

Pres Kolitha and Pres Nihal brought the sacrament!!


No comments:

Post a Comment