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9-20-2010 (Monday)

I didn’t sleep well during the night.  I had a bad headache that I usually experience when I am at this altitude.  The headache started yesterday as we climbed in altitude from sea level.  By the time we were at Ibarra the headache was there.  In Quito, the headache was stronger associated with some slight nausea.  I didn’t want to take Excedrin because of the caffeine interfering with sleep; however, this combination of pain relief usually handles the headache well, whereas, Tylenol by itself doesn’t.  So, I rested well but didn’t sleep well because of the headache and nausea.  I got up about 3:15 to start getting ready and finish packing for the trip home.  I was able to get online briefly to send Phyllis an email.  Damarys came by about 4 and we all left for the airport.  We said our good-byes and I went on in to check in and start my trip back to the States. 

Father, I pray for safety for this trip.  I don’t feel well and I pray especially for my personal health and safety today.  Lord, thank You for Your servants, Damarys and Jane.  They love You and serve You in San Lorenzo.  Please bless them, Lord.  Amen.

The check in process at Quito went rather quickly.  Usually one needs the 2 hours recommended just to get through all the steps.  You get your boarding passes and check your luggage and then get in another line to pay the airport tax and then get in another line to go through immigration and then another line to go through security.  Once you get to the gate there is another line where your carry-on is opened and searched.  By the time you get to the seating area ready to board the plane you only have a few minutes or so to wait.  This morning there were fewer people for this flight and within a half hour I was sitting in the waiting area.  So that was a plus to be able to just sit and rest for awhile.  I had taken some Excedrin when I got up and that was working on the headache.  The nausea was still there some but not as strong. 

The flight to Miami took off on time and we landed in Miami about 4 hours later.  A couple sitting next to me spoke very clear English but when they conversed to each other they spoke in fluent Spanish.  I noticed they carried Ecuadorian passports.  They talked with me about my visit to Ecuador and I told them I come to do medical mission work in San Lorenzo.  The lady said they lived in the southern part of the country and she said San Lorenzo is the poorest section of the country.  She said it has been years since they had been there and were surprised that the roads are paved and there appears to be a developing middle class culture there. 

1:15 pm.  I am waiting to board for my next leg of the trip.  I will be flying to Dallas/Fort Worth and then will wait there for about 3 hours before heading on home.  I was able to call Phyllis and that was a joy to hear her voice again.  The flight to DFW was smooth and easy.  Well, I slept through half of it so all I can report on is the other half.  The flight from Quito to Miami also involved a couple hours of sleep.  I usually don’t sleep on the plane because of the sitting position, the noise, people bumping you if you are in an aisle seat, etc.  I have been in aisle seats the entire trip and I like that because you can sneak more leg room at the expense of the aisle.  The downside of this is the bumping of your shoulder or your leg by people walking by or the flight attendants pushing their drink and food carts up and down the aisle. 

We arrived in DFW a little early and had to wait on the tarmac for a few minutes so the plane at our gate could back out and leave.  We then deplaned and I was able to walk some and talk with Phyllis.  I have a couple hours here before we leave for Fort Wayne.  At the gate where my flight departs there is a free Internet station and also a charging station so you can plug in phones and computers and refresh the batteries.  I grabbed a sandwich and was sitting in a lounge area eating this and I noticed this elder gentleman walking along slowly.  Across from area where I sat were the bathrooms.  He was looking for the men’s room but got confused.  He turned away from that door and walked down the hall coming to a couple doors that sported signs stating authorized personnel entry only.  He went in one door and I expected an alarm to sound.  A little later he came out and looked really confused.  He looked up and down the hallway and then turned and went down to the second authorized personnel door and went in there.  A short time later he came out and now was very confused.  He then worked his way the right direction to the bathrooms only to walk right into the women’s side.  He then came out and stood and looked at the sign for awhile and then moved to his left about 10 feet to the men’s entry and studied that sign for awhile and eventually went in to the right place.  I felt sorry for him as he represented the effects of aging and how what seems simple to us becomes very confusing. 

I am feeling better.  My headache and nausea are gone completely and I have more energy.  The pain in the abdomen and pancreatic pain has subsided.  Possibly the sleep I got on the plane helped.  From past experience when pancreatitis starts I will have a few hours to a day of feeling totally depleted of energy and stamina.  This feeling of exhaustion comes on very quickly and is quite noticeable.  Then the pain follows in a few hours or so.  While the pain is there the exhaustion and feeling totally ill persists.  Once the pain subsides the energy returns very quickly.  There does not seem to be any leftover effects.  When the pain is gone I feel better quickly.  That seems to be what is going on now.  The pain is now gone and I feel much better.  I am very thankful in that I had visions of being very ill on the plane, having bouts of nausea and vomiting and I even dreamed last night of passing out on the plane and even collapsing at the gate in Quito.  That dream had me dying there at the gate and no one had any information on how to contact Jane or my family.  Needless to say, that dream was very troubling.  Today, I have not had any chills or felt feverish.  That is a blessing as well.  I still am not sure where the fever was coming from.  I have not had fever with the pancreatitis episodes.  I think I was dealing with a viral illness that wore me down along with the stress of our surgery schedule and that is a setup for an episode of pancreatitis.  Thankfully, it appears to be over and I can live another day!

Father, thank You for Your healing power and Your protection.  It is such a comfort to know You and rest in Your loving arms that hold me close and shield me from harm and temptation.  Thank You, Lord, for the smooth and easy trip so far.  Thank You for the rest I was able to obtain on the plane.  Lord, Thank You for allowing me to walk with You.  To You goes all the praise and glory.  Amen.

9:30 pm.  Touchdown at Fort Wayne, right on time.  The trip ends with safe travel all the way and right on schedule.  The sky was clear and flying into Fort Wayne showed the beauty of all the lights in the darkness.  I am now home and soon to go to bed for a good night’s sleep.  I am feeling much better as the pain, headache, nausea is gone.  I have more energy and today I didn’t experience fever, at least chills and sweats as on the previous days.  I am praising God for answering my prayers and restoring my health and at the same time allowing me to serve Him in a mission setting in San Lorenzo.

Father, Thank You for the past 12 days of incredible experience working as an extension of You to help those people we cared for in San Lorenzo.  Thank You for Jane and her dedication to serving You.  She is such a great example to me and I respect her greatly.  Thank You for inviting me to walk with You to Ecuador again.  Lord, through this time I have learned to know You more.  Thank You, Lord!  Amen.


1. Rosa and Ken Liston - September 20, 2010

Good Night, Marv & Phyllis! Sleep tight!

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