Following the mostly recovery from surgery was Spring Break. We took on the teens for an FEBC retreat and had a blast. Our discussions were on the topics of loving those who sin, being rather than becoming Christians, and living a blameless life. Very interesting. We also came back very sore. Turns out that B is a very competitive soccer player and I am a man so we both overdid it athletically. We also went canoeing so we were able to fatigue our upper bodies as well. The rest of the break we just relaxed, and I did some food preparation. I made pesto, sauerkraut, yoghurt, and peanut butter. We are right in the middle of summer here, so most of my ‘cooking’ does not involve cooking.

Soon after that break we ran into Easter break. We avoided all the catholic angst and headed out to a camp for some consulting and re-creation. Visited with the Mauks, went on a hike, upgraded some computers, installed MS Office, visited with the Gobels, played with Kenny, visited with Chad and Natasha and their kids, and generally had fun and relaxed.

Over the last few weeks B and the kids have been suffering from colds of one sort or another. I have stayed quite well. Last week it was my turn to walk around miserable. I think this one got through my defenses simply because it was bigger and badder (yea’, I know’s that ain’t a word) than the rest. Started with a headache and a sore throat. Soon there were backaches, sinus congestion without a runny nose but inclusive of general misery. It lasted a week, and I only took one day off from work. Hey, it is HOT at home, and my office is nice and chilly. For a few days I had a sign up that said I lost my voice, which I did. Now I have been without most symptoms for two whole days. I am still coughing, mostly at night, and every once in a while I will get this tickle in my throat that sends me into fits. Usually I am on the phone doing support of course.

Like bread? How about good food? Il Forno is a blog of a baker. Tasty reading.

Seems that things have not settled down since my surgery at the end of Fubuary. Since then we have had spring break, B’s birthday, Easter, Visit from Dad, Spring Production of ‘Oliver!’, and some nasty colds. Routine is kicking in again, and I might actually get to do some cooking myself. Baking is out of the question as our house is already at 104 degrees at noon from our tropical summer. Let’s see, where to begin…

I did have an “emergency” appendicitis on Thursday the 26th of Febuary (also happens to be Dad’s birthday). I had been feeling uncomfortable since about 10am, but thought it was just hunger pains, although I did eat a good breakfast. After lunch it did not get any better, and in fact felt worse. I tried a few things; laying down, (ahem..) movements, water. Nothing helped, and laying down made it feel worse. At about 3 I noticed that the pain had localized to my lower right side. I don’t like going to the doctor, nor the hospital. At around 4:30 I decided that we should call off our small group, and at 5 I decided that I needed the help of a professional. Dropped the kids off with friends and drove to a hospital in town. It took about 45 minutes to get there. I felt quite week, pained, and pale. Once we registered (or whatever it is called when you check into an ER) they showed me to a cot/bed outside the ER-OR. It seems that there was someone in pretty bad shape in there, because the double doors were open and people kept stopping an gasping as they stood looking. I had a few doctors come and probe me, mainly in the sore abdomen. Appendicitis is diagnosed clinically here, so that means that several lowly doctors, or one high-up doctor needs to poke me to see where it hurts and have me rate it on a scale of 1-10. Reminded me of Princess Bride when Wesley was strapped to The Machine and the Count asks “And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest — how do you feel?” It hurt, but I laughed. “HA HA HA, I laugh at pain!” No, I did not really say that. But they may not have thought that it hurt as much as it did simply because I laughed when they pressed their fingers into my side (which hurt like heck), and then quickly let go (which hurt like heck squared). I laid there for 4 hours, and endured an exam that I wish to never endure again. The doctors told me they were 90% sure that it was appendicitis, but they wanted to observe me for 24 hours. We sked why they would not operate if they were 90% sure, and they relpied that they needed to be 100%. This led to the question of what else it could be, and they replied “Nothing”. Hmmm, 90% sure, but it could not be anything else. Maybe I did not make it clear that it really hurt. Next time I will cry and wail like the woman who was getting an IV down the hall. Close to 10pm the doctor came in and said that they would operate. Strange to feel relieved to here such a thing. I went in at 10:30. They gave me a spinal anesthesia, and then Demerol via IV. First I noticed that my legs lost feeling and control, then I felt sleepy and the guy told me to sleep. So I did. I woke up to the doctors standing around joking. Standing around me that is. They were finishing up and the head surgeon was out showing my recently removed organ to B. They wheeled me into recovery where I waited for my legs to come back to life. It was very strange to reach down and feel some hairy not-mine-feeling legs atatched to my torso. So weird that I decided to keep away from my lower body till I could feel things again. As my legs began to revive I would try to move them. I still could not feel them and I was not allowed to crane my neck so I would send “will signals” to my legs and then the bed would jerk. After a couple of hours in there my legs were awake enough so they took me to a room. It was nice to see B again. The next couple of days I was weaned back on to solid foods, and I eventually got out of bed and made it to the CR (Comfort Room). Folks visited us. We left about noon on Saturday after accumulating a bill of about Php 80,000 ($1600). Some things I recovered from pretty quickly, but there were some after effects that lasted well over a month. When someone pokes around in you intestines, you don’t just zip up and go on with life. I now have a little 2 inch scar. A likes to ask me to show her friends. E likes to touch it. It still has bumps under it from the internal stiches that should dissolve in another month or so. One of the worst (as in annoying) parts was that they shaved my belly. Not just a 2 inch radius around the incision, but my entire furry belly. It is still not quite grown back.