Health Capades

Probably, the last you heard from me was when I was in the hospital receiving treatment for colitis. I was discharged after four days. When I got home, I noticed the place of the IV was sore, like a bruised muscle. The next morning I needed to run to our health clinic and then go to the office. I wasn't feeling well. The arm was now hurting, swollen and warm. I pointed this out to the clinic doc, who said put alcohol on it. I slept for awhile and then left for the office - a big mistake. I was definitely crashing.

I met with the client and worked some with my partner on another case, but I could no longer concentrate. He suggested I rest awhile in the office. I did and left. It was around 6. As I was driving home, my conditioned worsened. Somewhere along the way, I no longer knew where I was going. I knew I needed to get home but was losing the ability to navigate. After some time I recognized I was driving in Nazareth. I didn't know why or where I was going. Eventually, i reached some wall and stopped. The next thing I remember is wandering on a Nazareth street, shivering and shaking. I remember multiple phone calls but never answered them. A few Arab boys approached me, but I couldn't understand them. Finally, two Arab teenagers came to me and asked if I was okay. I said no. They pointed to a few blocks and said that's a hospital, do you want to go there. I said okay. The one Arab boy wrapped his arm around me and escorted me to the hospital. When I arrived, I was completely incoherent. As it turned out, I had a raging staff infection from the original IV site.

Of course, my family couldn't find me. However, when I stopped the car in Nazareth, I blocked in some residents, who called the police. The police contacted my family. No one could figure what my car was doing in Nazareth. Stacy kept calling my number - I never answered - but now someone in the ER of the Italian Hospital answered and said I was there. Judah, our son-in-law, had already come to her place and now they raced to the hospital. I vaguely remember them there. Finally, the docs gave me a fever reducer and started me on antibiotics, and I came back into my right mind. I was admitted for the night at this hospital.

Before I continue this saga, it is an absolute miracle I didn't crash the car, get killed, get robbed (had $1000 cash on me) or just die in the streets. It was also a miracle my family found me. As someone mentioned those Arab boys were like the Good Samaritan in the New Testament. While Arabs are not Samaritans, their plight in Israel is similar - a marginalized community. God uses the weak things of the world to shame the strong.   

We reached my main gastro doc who strongly recommended we return to the Afula hospital. Of course, that involves re-admission, a long process. Through the ER, where at first they refused to admit me because I didn't have a referral - I could have asked the Arab boys. The gastro doc then reappeared and pushed through the paperwork (Back to the USSR). Multiple tests and the biggie - trying to figure out the source of the infection and the type of bacteria. I was examined by a dermatologist because of the IV site. He said this is the likely source of infection, and I needed an ultra sound to rule out an abscess. Finally, I was admitted to a sad looking medical floor.  

The next morning I was in bad shape, having been shuttled to the end of the hallway. Medical personnel came by, including the head doctor for the whole floor, who thought I was being treated fine. He claimed later I didn't even have a fever, despite it being quite high. By then, the entire family had arrived, and immediately all three girls jumped on the medical personnel. They fought in Hebrew and hammered the staff. Finally, the staff conceded there was a real problem, but they didn't know what bacteria they were dealing with. Folks feared MERSA. They put me on one antibiotic and then would switch. By now I and my family were getting quite a reputation. Amy knows one of the head international docs in the country, who got involved. Rebecca works for a medical lab, whose owner is a good friend, and who knows other top docs, who were calling. The chief doctor at the hospital started yelling at Jennifer because she looked like she was about to give birth on the spot and yet who was relentless in jumping all over the guy.

Finally, I started getting serious treatment. But we had to wait for the following AM to find out which bacteria it was. They finally identified the correct bacteria, and, by the grace of God, turned out was treatable by a number of antibiotics. Sure enough, the original site of the IV was the source. They also wanted to rule out an abscess under the IV site (a dangerous situation). They didn't think so, and one technician said I probably didn't need an ultra sound already ordered, but I told the dude, "this is my life," so they agreed. Good thing because while there was no abscess, there was found deep vein thrombosis (blood clots). So, now I'm receiving antibiotics, blood thinners, steroids for colitis and a whole new array of foods (from Mars) that reduces inflammation for colitis. I'm a whole new man, or renewed man - at least Biblical.

Not counting the 4 days I was in the hospital for the original colitis treatment, I've been in the hospital now for 11 days. I feel good, ready to go home. Sleeping here is close to impossible with the number of moaning, crying and struggling patients. At least it gives me a chance to pray for them when not wanting to strangle them for excessive noise, especially at night. Because I need continued antibiotic treatment, it has complicated moving home.

Other than personal health, our daughter, Jennifer, is in the process of giving birth at a hospital about 40 minutes away. We were going to help, but currently that's impossible. Stacy has been an incredible trooper - maybe easier for oblivious me than her. Please pray for our family. Also, I obviously can't meet with clients, so please pray for our business. However, I am able to keep up with current clients, who are very understanding and very appreciative for all the work.

I realize many have and are praying throughout the world for me. To all of you, a big thank you. It's been a wild ride, but as it says in Psalm 27 - "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."