Giving you a little view of Japan without leaving your home!

Prayer letters, curious subjects, events, people, customs, and more for you to enjoy and learn.

Friday, August 7, 2009

On the Home Stretch (Saga continues, part 4)

Asahikawa Sunset from the 7th floor room window

The caramel cheesecake that Nao Nishino made
and the note she gave with it

One of many typical Japanese meals I eat.
a clear soup with 'small rice balls' that have shrimp in them and seaweed
grilled fish, pickles-cucumber carrot, Chinese cabbage & bean sprouts
vegetables: seasoned (soy sauce, vinegar, sugar) daikon radish, carrot and peas

cabbage salad with cucumber; milk; pork with sauce, carrots, & green beans
one wheat roll and one white roll, pineapple and kiwi

The final findings of the doctors were reported to me, this afternoon as the internist and one of the surgeons visited my room to let me know what has been going on. For some reason my body reacted to the antibiotics that they were giving me to fight back any infection from post op side effects. As a result the antibiotic was attacking my liver. They discovered it soon enough that it can be repaired by a new antibiotic. Beings it was started right after the other one was cancelled (took that IV down) it brought the climbing white blood count to a halt, Praise the Lord!

As of this morning, the white blood count had leveled out but hadn't started to lower yet. If that lowers through the weekend, then they hope to take the tube out of the surgery area on Monday and Lord willing by Wednesday I might be able to go home. The fever hasn't stayed down for a total of 24 hours at one time yet, so they are also waiting on that. It has stayed down though to about 99- 99.5 instead of 103-104!!! That was just one night in particular it climbed that high so no wonder I was having great body shakes and a hard time.

The other part of the report was that they advise me to get the gall bladder stones taken care of as soon as possible and during as well as continue to 'watch' the other kidney stone to see what kind of difficulties I have with it or if I can just ignore it. The doctor who originally advised me on the gall stones (at the first hospital I had major tests at) will be talking to the doctor here at the University hospital but the surgery will take place at the smaller hospital. We have not been told yet when this might take place. So this 'saga' here is coming to an end but the 'rest of the story' as Paul Harvery used to say, is yet to come! Thanks for praying!

So some good signs and still some things to work through but our God is Good ALL the time!

A couple more fun facts:
1. Beings this is a university hospital there are around 30 anesthesiologists--God chose Nao Nishino to be ours so that she could hear the Gospel and be friends with us and so we would be helped by her English!! She took time to visit my room today because she only had 30 minutes and she was also on a 24 hour shift!! Then on Sunday she had to be on call at a smaller hospital elsewhere in this city! Wow! She continues to be open and has accepted an invitation to a church picnic of the one of the local missioanry's churches and is excited that it looks as though her schedule might work out. We are praying that way. She is also allowing us to pray with her each time she visits. We had several items to give her yesterday when she came so I was able to share with her, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" and use the gifts we gave her as an example....she didn't earn them, we were giving them to her. In the same way, we can't earn God's love or salvation but He freely gives it!! Please continue to pray for Nao to understand AND accept salvation through Christ!
2. Beings 4 is an unlucky number in Japan there are no rooms with a 4 on them. On Ken's floor ,there is 701, 702 , 703, 705, 706, 707. I'll have to ask Vicki to check out the fourth floor and see what they do there. The reason 4 is not used is because one reading of it sounds the same as the word for death.
3.wondering: The nurses on Friday were having to reput in an IV that had fallen out during the night. They were starting to run out of places to put them in (our friend nurse- the missionary wife-who I am staying with, says it is because his body isn't healthy right now so the blood isn't producing like it should) It took the 3rd nurse before they got one in...why three because after each 2nd try by the first two nurses they disappeared and another one came! Maybe it's 2 strikes and you're out! ;-)

Thank you everyone for praying...I feel those prayers all the time. It's probably because of those I have been able to eat some of the foods included that I normally wouldn't ;-)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Saga Continued

Part 2
I am having Vicki write this part because she remembers much of it as it has to do with after the surgery. I did find it interesting that the morning of the surgery after some preliminary things that had to be done I walked myself down to the surgery room with a nurse present who came to get me. I think she was one of the nurses 'presiding' over the surgery. The anesthesia is started via an IV drip so once I was asleep they could start the rest. I was told they not only anesthetized my whole body but also the organs so nothing was 'moving' (well except my heart and lungs of course) during the surgery time. The surgery took 3 hours but the whole time in the surgery room was 5 with one hour before getting me to go 'under' and one hour after the surgery waiting for me to come out of the anesthesia.

(Vicki here) A nurse came up and turned down Ken's bed letting me know that Ken was on his way up. Mrs. Zemke(the missionary wife where I am staying this week) had taken the time to be with me all through the surgery time until she had to get on to another appointment. I really appreciated that and enjoyed getting to know her even better through those 3 hours. I was able to meet Ken at the elevators and squeeze his hand and he told me he loved me right away. Then I waited outside the room while they got him all taken care of and hooked to monitors etc. For the first 24 hours they had a heart and oxygen monitor on him; oxygen mask for about 6 hours; and until yesterday he had two 'friends' he took every where (poles with bags and IV's on them). He went in and out for most of the rest of the day. Beings just that night (I am sure it was the Lord's provision) he had no room mate, the hospital staff brought in a gurny table and put it mat and a futon on it so I could sleep there that night. Ken was running a pretty good fever so they were in and out most of the night to check on him. Late in the day before he went to sleep, the surgeon, Dr. Kato, came in and told us that everything had gone well. He showed me the broken up stones that had been 'captured' during the surgery. I was surprised they were granola looking shapes and sort of reddish brown. He assured us that all of the stones had been caught so he wouldn't have to pass any. What a blessing that is.

Ken's anesthiologist, Nao Nishino, stopped in for the first time that night for just a bit to encourage Ken and get to know us a little bit. She speaks good English and seemed eager to make friends with us although she said, please don't make it a big deal in front of others. She is a really sweet young lady (age 27).

They do things carefully here in Japan and we appreciate the great care and help we are getting.
We look forward to keeping you posted as to the many opportunities God is giving to praise His name and share small amounts of God's love. Thank you for praying for us.

Anesthesiologist, Nao Nishino (nah-oh knee-she-know)
{seems open to the Gospel}

My surgeons and doctors, main surgeon next to me, Dr. Kato

Part 3
I finally got to use the gown that Vicki made for me!! After the surgery when, well you don't want to know how much I wasn't wearing-- they really didn't want to put the regular hospital pajama set back on me for fear that it was too close to the body in size with all the extra tubes I had connected to me including a draining tube out the back where the laparoscopy was done. So we told them that Vicki had made me a large full size gown that might make it easier all the way around. They were duly impressed when they saw it and immediately agreed it was just the thing! So for the next 48 hours that was what I was in. The interesting thing was that every time a new nurse came in or doctor, they would comment-- So, your wife made your gown,!! May I look at it? (a nurse not the doctor) So the news, obviously was being passed around.

I have been running a fever that doesn't seem to want to stay down. Beings this is the 3rd day of that they decided to do some more looking as to what might be causing it. Not sure of the answer yet but they do know that the gallstones I have might be starting to cause problems but there isn't any infection in the gall bladder itself or damage yet. So they are going to take blood tests tomorrow to see if they can determine the cause. Maybe then I can get a real good night's sleep when the fever stays down.

I continue to enjoy handing out a 'daily' verse card to each person (doctor, nurse, helper, guest) that comes in. Many of the nurses tuck them into the back of their name badge to look at throughout the day. My anesthesiologist has visited me twice and been open to spiritual things as well as other subjects. We are praying she will come back again after work some evening for some more visiting. Pray for Nao Nishino (naw-oh knee-she-know). She is our daughter's age! She thinks it's great that she could be our daughter.

Vicki continues to make 20-30 min trips back and forth to the hospital every day as well as seeking some advice and help on two problems that continue to plague her. I would appreciate your prayers for her as well in trying to hold up for my sake as well as healing, emotional strength through the ups and downs and all that goes on. Our appreciation to our fellow missionaries for putting her up through this period is beyond words!

Thank you each one for your prayers and support through this time. They are greatly felt,

From the bedside of Ken Mansell