Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 4 Hospital Update

IMG_7576So what if I’m a tourist in the hospital?! I wanted to show you a picture of my 3 doctors who are taking such great care of me! From the left is Dr. Aragón, the second doctor to come on board; middle is Dr. Granera, the kidney specialist new on the team; on the right is Dr. Porras, the original doctor I started seeing. It was fun for them to all come at the same time this morning. Normally, they come in one at a time to visit, check me out, etc. Yesterday when they came in, even bearing good news, they weren’t happy, but today, they were much more pleased. My creatinine levels went down from 10.4 to 9.3, so prayer and the steroids are a great team together! Putting off dialysis for another day (praise the Lord!)

IMG_7570If you’re wondering about the masks, those are new Dr.’s orders as of yesterday. Apparently, since my immune system has been so rebellious these days, they are giving me an immunosuppressant to give it a rest, while medicine, vitamins, etc. can help get me healthy again. SO all my visitors have to wear them so I don’t get their germs! Don’t let this keep you from visiting if you are considering coming by! I love having visitors! Yesterday, Lori and Carey, 2 dear friends from my Bible Study snuck me in some Quizno’s, which was a welcome break from hospital food! It came at the perfect time – just before the diet crackdown. I’m now on a no-sodium-no-potassium-no-red-meat diet. Some of the things I’ve been eating the past few days that I can’t now? Cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas, maduros, cheese, beans, and my favorite, french fries. Thanks ladies for giving me a quick last fix before the whip came down.

IMG_7571Paul, our friend from Dallas who lives in Nicaragua and works with One by One now, has come to visit a few times as well. He came Friday night along with David (brother-in-law), Joanna (sister-in-law), and Chase, and we acted a bit like fools. We took the shelf out of the bathroom, made a make-shift board game table out of that and my nightstand and played Settlers of Catan with the Cities & Knights expansion. That was the day after I got here, and I was still a little loopy, so I kept forgetting in the middle of my turn that it was my turn. Oops! I asked my nurses later if anyone ever plays board games in their room and they said it’s rare, but sometimes. I ask if it was all white people who play, and of course, yes it is. We’re nerds. It’s okay. We’ll own it. It was the first time I’ve gotten to just have fun and forget about being sick since coming back to Nicaragua, and that was just a welcome feeling. Thanks David for bringing the fun and games!

IMG_7572Lastly, our friends Jessie & Timothy Crabtree came to visit last night. We had a great time catching up with them since they’ve been in the States the last 3 months! We’ve missed them a lot and are glad they’re back! Other visitors that made it in before the mask rule were Kristina (Sister-in-law), Ann Sharp (friend from our English church here, ICF), then Kristina with Beckett (my 20 month old nephew), who did quite well and liked to come point at my IV and say ow-oh, which is his word for a boo-boo or owie, as other kids may say. He sat up in bed with me for awhile, probably because I let him play with my cell phone and ipod. AND he’s learning my name, which sounds kind of like Ju-dah. Works for me, though – better than being called Chase, which is what I’ve been up until this point! So, there’s a little more social update for you. Sorry there’s no pics of me yet. I looked terrible until last night, so I plan to take a picture of my mom and I today (she arrived last night!) and maybe I’ll even post it on here later today. Thanks for reading the blog! And thanks for praying! Continue to ask the Lord to heal my kidneys completely, and pray that my blood pressure would go back down and my lungs would continue to go back to normal as well. I cannot thank you enough for your prayers, your notes, your e-mails, your comments. They mean the world to me! Love you all!


  1. Hi Julie, Chase, Myra and whoever else is in the room. I just read the latest blog update aloud to the NY Russells and we all send you our love! Thanks so much for the update as we are constantly wondering, praying, and discussing your condition. We do have a doctor in the house so we do get an expert opinion--although she is quick to point out that this is not her area of expertise.

    Anway--our love and prayers to you!

    Tracy, Orell and the NY Russells

  2. yea! So glad for the good news! I'll continue to pray for you, Jules.

  3. Hey Julie! I was hoping to stop by to visit you yesterday, but was not able to. We have Dr's appt. tomorrow at 4:30, so maybe I will stop by before or after that. Praying for you!

  4. Glad to hear good news, We're all praying for you up here!

  5. Yeah! Good job kidneys- please high five them for me! Also, as a side note, I would totally draw a smiley face on my mask, if I was blessed enough to be with you right now :) Love you friend- keepin on praying!

  6. Ah! Great update...and so glad to hear the good news! :D We are praying for you! In fact, the whole church is, since Mark mentioned what was going on with you guys in service. You are covered. We love you so much, Julie!!

  7. Hi Julie. My name is Miranda Brown, I am a friend of Tammy Scott and a fellow WC member. I was the friend she mention who is battling kidney "issues". I am also a fellow Stephen Minister with your mother-in-law Orell (small world huh?) My health issues started back in November with what appeared to be a stomach bug that progressed into a life threatening illness known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. (90% mortality rate if it goes untreated and the stomach bug wasn’t a bug at was a rare strain of e.coli that caused all the problems) Similar to you, I have an autoimmune disease (psoriatic arthritis) that caused my body to start attacking itself when I got sick with the stomach bug. The autoimmune disease has also caused me various problems over the years, which have primarily involved joint and back issues, but I am also prone to getting sick much easier than what seems to be the common person. But due to this, my body started attacking itself. Primarily my red blood cells, which basically started shredding themselves, and my kidneys shut down. Once I was admitted to the ICU my creatinine levels were at a 7, and my platelet counts were at 28,000 (normal levels are between 150,000-300,000) Various treatments involved 22 plasma exchange treatments, 7 blood transfusions, and a whole lot of prayer. Thank God I never needed dialysis, my kidneys came around on their own through the plasma pheresis treatments. My kidney doctor told me I was a record patient for him. He had never had a patient who needed 22 treatments to get over HUS, but I looked at it as though God just needed a little more teaching time. I’ve just gone back to work this last week, and am still struggling to get my energy back. It’s all a slow process. This is a very small nutshell (full story and some thoughts are here if you would like to read I just wanted you know, that I completely understand, the fear, anxiety, weariness, anger, frustration, and ultimately peace and thankfulness than can come from the experience that you are enduring. I am living proof that while these experiences are trying, they can teach you things that you might otherwise miss out on in life. I believe that you will be healed, as I have seen for myself His power and His mercy. I fully believe that God had a purpose in my suffering, and it was “for this very purpose I have raised you up that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” –Romans 9:17. I’ll be praying for you Julie. If you need anything, to vent, to pray, words of encouragement, ANYTHING, my email address is I’ll be praying for your full healing, for peace of mind, and for understanding.

    p.s. this is attempt #3 to comment on your blog, so hopefully you are getting repeats! Either way, I am praying for you!


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