Wednesday, June 10, 2015
“The best way to die is when your living” ― Alice Hoffman
Had a bit of a scare yesterday, well not really a bit, but rather a big scare, at least for me and Karen and John. My tooth was better, I was taking my antibiotics on schedule and then while reading on my Kindle, I suddenly couldn’t get enough air. I made it to the bedroom and strapped on my CPAP mask since it forces air (just air, not oxygen) in at a good rate. I was still struggling when Karen found me and she sort of freaked. She got John and they started taking my blood pressure which was just going up and up and up. I really thought that I was dying. If I was going to die, I was ready but didn’t really want to go. Karen was holding one hand and crying, John was holding the other hand and crying, and I was crying, too. Juliana came in and shouted for Shaban who left immediately to get a doctor. I was still struggling for breath when Juliana came back, dropped to her knees and started praying (in Swahili, of course, but God understands even unspoken prayers). I was still hanging in there while my blood pressure continued to climb to dangerous levels. Before the doctor even got there, Shaban called while on the way and told us the doctor said not to lie down but to sit up, so we made that change. The doctor showed up with a nurse and when she took my blood pressure on her electronic equipment it was the highest it had ever been. She immediately put in an IV and injected some sort of b/p medication and then put an entire IV bag of vitamins in me. After about an hour, the blood pressure began to drop back to semi-normal levels, and the doctor wanted us to keep taking it every two hours. It got back to normal a few hours later, but I had a handful of pills to take--though happily most were one a day. The doctor is coming back today. I still have shortness of breath from just walking into the living room, but the b/p is staying at normal levels. Men are not allowed to cry in this society, so the staff were telling John to stop it, and me, too. Well, we all three cry at sad billboards so that didn’t work. I must admit, I was scared. I was trying to say everything I wanted to say but couldn’t because it was so hard to breathe. I was sitting up in bed, looking out at the beauty of Tanzania, surrounded by my wife and son and both women who work in the house. It would not have been a bad way to go, but I guess there is still work to do here that God thinks only I can do. So, thank you, Lord, I think. John is putting me on a diet, and as soon as the doctor okays it, Shaban will take me on short walks inside the mission. I’m not afraid of death, but want to make sure I’ve done all I can to insure that the mission continues. Guess I haven’t done that well enough, yet.