The big event of the past week has been Micky’s reparative surgery. On Wednesday afternoon at the Duke-Raleigh hospital, she underwent a robotic laparoscopic repair of her urinary fistula which was a consequence of her previous surgery in June. Both the bladder and the ureter (tube from the kidney to the bladder) had been damaged in the first surgery, leaving her without urinary control. During the 5.5 hour procedure through six small incisions, they took down the fistula, repaired both sides and re-implanted the ureter into the bladder. I am pleased to report that she came home yesterday and is doing well. She will be somewhat limited in her lifting for six weeks. She has x-rays scheduled in four weeks followed by the removal of the bladder catheter at that time and then a removal of the ureteral stent in six weeks. We deeply appreciate your prayers for her and ask that they continue so that she will completely heal.
During this experience, I realized three things. First, I am much better on the sharp side of the equation than on the waiting side of the equation. Secondly, I still hate sleeping overnight in a chair in the hospital and I don’t bounce back as fast as I used to do. Thirdly, I was very much relieved to get her home and past most of the risks of the procedure.
We were deeply appreciative of our friends, the Hogges, who stepped in and provided jitney service for Sean, fed him and gave him a warm bed for three days.
Ministry: On the dates of October 14-16, I attended the Prescription for Renewal conference hosted by Samaritan’s Purse and World Medical Mission at Billy Graham’s The Cove Training Center. Keir Thelander, the planned replacement for me within PAACS, was there for the first time with his wife, Joanna. She spoke to the women. We spent a few hours doing some PAACS work and then enjoyed the speakers and the interaction with almost 500 who feel as strongly about short-term medical missions as we do. We, of course, did our best to recruit some of those.
Micky was not able to attend the PFR because Sean had school that day for the first time all week.
PAACS work has been constant but with no particular interesting detail to relate. Lots of financial reporting and issues to be resolved, especially as Micky faced the post-surgical time where she would not get much done for weeks. She wanted to make sure things were up to date. My assistant with PAACS, Terry McLamb, also had four levels of her lumbar vertebrae fused and will be out for six weeks.
I recertified as an instructor for Pediatric Advanced Life Support at the local hospital and also taught Advanced Trauma Life Support for two days in Greenville. As soon as I get my card from PALS, I will send all the cards in so I can be judged qualified to teach at the CMDA-CMDE conference in Thailand.
Upcoming events: Besides appointments with two doctors and the dentist in the next week, the next big event is the Global Missions Health Conference (www.medicalmissions.com) held on November 10 – 12. I will be leaving for Louisville on the 9th. On the 14th – 16th, I will take a quick driving trip up to Lapeer, Michigan and back with my son, Ryan, to get some furniture and memorabilia from my mother’s home there. We are all still adjusting to the absence of my mother.
I will then leave RDU airport early Friday morning on the 18th for the two day PAACS Commission meeting in Chicago. In the interim, I will be spending much of my time the next two weeks helping Dr. Thelander get ready for his first one as the functioning Chief Medical Officer. Then, for once, I will actually be home on Thanksgiving to celebrate with my family and then go to Kenya and Egypt in early December for two weeks.