Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 247 – Dinner with Adam and Ashley

I had my classes this morning and David had his work to do here.  He mopped the floors, and then went to the hospital to meet Dr. Tricia and get the booklet that the insurance needs so we can hopefully get reimbursed for the cost of my hospital bills.  He also got some groceries. 

At 3 p.m., someone came to repair the washer.  It looked like quite a job.  I did a load of wash and the spin cycle worked, but it left water all over the floor, so there is still something wrong. 

We did a video chat with Seth and Carolyn and then had lunch.  I had a nap to get my legs up.  We met Adam and Ashley, two of David’s former students, and had dinner at the teacher restaurant with them.  They plan to get married when they are done with school in two years. 

This evening was spent getting school work ready for when we get back from this next trip that we leave on tomorrow.  I also had a Primary Presidency meeting over Skype.  

Day 246 – Qianfushan Hospital Afternoon

I walked to the south gate hoping to catch a taxi, but none were available before the K55 bus arrived, so I rode the bus to the Medical Campus for my classes today.  I got there plenty early, so I decided to go visit Libby Clarke for a few minutes and then headed to class.

The first class was okay, but I had only half the class there when it started.  They had a party yesterday and one of the boys was in the hospital from alcohol poisoning and one of the girls was in the hospital with food poisoning!  Eventually most of them drifted in, but it was not a good start to the day.

In the second class, I had to unlock one of my USB’s so that the class monitor could put the videoed presentations from last week on it and sure enough, that is the computer that has the virus!!!  It destroyed the PowerPoint that I was going to use!  I had to go to plan B, which didn’t last as long as it should have, so I let the class out about ten minutes early.  I hate to do that, but I can’t see just keeping them there and trying to come up with something when I don’t dare put my other USB in that computer.

I caught a bus home and David met me at the gate.  We almost missed each other.  I was so tired when I got home that I laid down to take a nap and didn’t wake up until 1:30.  We were supposed to meet Dr. Tricia to 2 p.m. and hadn’t had lunch yet.  We hurried and grabbed something to eat, caught the bus, which was really slow because of traffic that was nearly stopped, and got to the hospital at 2:30. 

Dr. Tricia helped us to get the records that we need for the insurance and also had me meet with the cardio vascular surgeon, who reminds me of Randy.  He checked my leg and declared me past the blood clot but cautioned me to not do anything too strenuous yet.  I still need to keep on my same warfarin dose.  It is getting me close to the number that we need. 

We tried to hurry back to the campus because David was supposed to do games with his students in the canteen at four, but we didn’t make it in time.  He had asked a former student to go there and meet anyone that came to tell them we were coming, but not one came.  We sat and talked to Sirius for a while.  Then we went to the teacher restaurant and waited for Rain and Juliet.  We wanted to have dinner with these two girls who monitor in his class.  They were really excited to be there and brought some small cakes from the bakery for a dessert.  Rain said she had wanted to try them, but didn’t want to buy the whole box of four small cakes for just herself.  They were fun girls to know.

This evening had just been work and planning.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 245 – Hospital X-ray and Friends

David and I left a little before 8 a.m. and we were able to get a taxi as soon as we got to the south gate of campus.  We got to the hospital at 8:20, and Dr. Tricia wasn’t there until 8:28.  She took us into her office where she had asked the head orthopedic surgeon to come in and look at my right knee.  He poked and moved it and said it needed an X-ray.  A nurse came to take my blood and then we went to the building of the hospital where the labs and the x-ray machines are. 

Dr. Tricia knew that we needed to be at Church at 10 a.m. and so she tried to expedite everything for us.  They put us in line before other people, but when it was 9:45, David needed to be over at the Hanlin Hotel and open the room for those that were coming, he left and I stayed with Dr. Tricia to get the x-rays and have the surgeon look at them. 

To add to my walking woes, I now have the cartilage in my right knee deteriorating and causing the swelling and pain.  The surgeon wants me to take a prescription of Glucosamine Sulfate to see if the swelling will go down and help stabilize the cartilage.  I need to go back in two weeks to have it checked again.  Why couldn’t all of this have waited for three more months when I would be home and not have all this pain in China?  We do so much walking in China! 

When I was finished at the hospital, I walked to the hotel and met the others for Church.  We were kind of a sparse group today.  Purnell’s still in Canada, Clarke’s and Pam at Weifang with their school sponsored trip, Kathy home with a sick Hansen and Lulu probably had class.  That left just Pace’s and us.  They didn’t do the sacrament until after the meeting because they had problems getting into the Arkadin system for Church on Skype. That was nice for me so that I was able to be a part of it.  After the Sacrament, we called Rachel and chatted with her for a while.  We would like to have talked longer, but dinner was ready and I was having trouble with the internet connection, so we said goodbye.

After we had dinner cleaned up, Pace’s came home with us.  Nancy helped me make banana bread and we were having a good visit, then Eva came over with one of her friends.  We talked for several more hours.  The friend of Eva didn’t speak English, but she sure understood some of it.  She had a good laugh along with us.  I sent them all home with some banana bread.

Day 244 – Knee and Washing Woes

When I woke up this morning, my right knee was very swollen and very painful.  I hobbled around most of the day.  I called Dr. Tricia to see if there was a pain reliever that I could take with the warfarin, but they don’t do “over the counter” pain relievers, and wanted me to have it checked when I come to the hospital tomorrow morning to have my blood clotting checked. 

I started washing some clothes after breakfast and the washer started sounding funny and when I went to check on it, it was not spinning well and soon it gave me an “error” message.  Who knows what “E3” means”?  Part of the problem turned out to be that the load was unbalanced, but when I did a second load of wash, it did the same thing and it was not unbalanced.  We spent the whole day trying to get the clothes to dry, as wet as they were, but there didn’t seem to be much change in the dampness by the time we went to bed.

David went to the grocery store.  The work on Shanda Lu has been mostly completed now, so they have put the bus routes back on that road that were there before the construction.  He was able to take bus 1 to RT Mart, get the groceries and be back here within an hour!  What a difference!  I stayed around the apartment most of the day working on school and on the computer. 

David decided we needed to get out of the apartment, so we decided to go to the canteen for dinner since it was close enough for me to walk a little.  We invited one of his class monitors, Reynaldo, to have dinner with us, so he met us at the canteen.  We had a good visit.  He was so honored that we invited him.  He has a desire to speak English well and even hopefully study in the US someday, so he wants opportunities speak English so he can practice. 

It rained all day, but it let up a little on the way back to the apartment, so it was just a nice little walk in the rain back.  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 243 – North DaMing Lake

My classes went well today.  The students were very kind.  We had to change classrooms because the computer in the room where my second class today meets was not working and I wanted to make sure they could see the rest of the movie.  Someone picked up the chair that they have designated as my chair to I can use it when I teach and brought it to the new room.  All my classes know about this chair so they make sure it is in my classrooms now.

After lunch, I made a crust for a banana cream pie and laid down for a short rest.  It wasn’t as long as I would have liked, but David had made plans with a student, Guo Hao, that he had edited a paper for, to go to ride the boat that goes around the moat of the old city of Jinan.  We met him at the north gate of campus and rode bus 122 to the north entrance of DaMing Lake.  We walked around and saw parts of the lake area.  There were some beautiful flowers.  All the time, we kept wondering where the boats were that we could ride on the moat.
Bridge and pagoda at DaMing Lake.

We did find some boats, but one was a ferry that takes you from one side of the lake to the other.  Another kind of boat were small, six passenger boats that you could rent for 80 RMB ($13 US) for an hour.  I was so tired at this point that I didn’t care what we rode it, I needed to get off my feet and put my leg up.  We thought this was going to be something easy that I could do after being out of the hospital for four days.  It turned into something way too big for me.

The boat ride was nice and relaxing.  There are several small islands in the lake and lots of flowers to see all around.  I was able to find a way to put my leg up so I felt a little better.  Then I really wanted to just get home, but Gou Hao seemed to not understand that I was exhausted at this point and I still had to get to the bus, and then from the bus to our apartment.  We did get back, but I was worn out. 
They tie red ribbons on the tree to make wishes and for good luck.

This bell was build in the 1200's.  It weighs over 8 tons.

If you hit the little bell in the center of the ring, it will start the fountain in the back.  It is also supposed to bring you good luck.  A booth near by makes a fortune, I think, selling the discs that you can throw there.

I think they are getting ready for a celebration.

I quickly finished the pie and then sat down until the Clarke’s got here.  The Clarke’s, Pace’s and we decided to go out for dinner tonight.  We walked to Lydia’s, the Italian restaurant, and had a nice dinner.  Then we came back here and had the banana cream pie I had made earlier.  They stayed and visited until they had to catch the bus home.
When we told Guo Hao that we wanted to rent one of these boats, he said he didn't know how to drive it.  David assured him that he would be able to, so we rented it.  It was pretty easy to drive.  Didn't go very fast, but it was still fun.

The flowers were so pretty, and the building was so perfectly placed.

I think they try to keep flowers blooming somewhere along the lake shore all year long.

We saw this water bird perched in the tree.  There are actually three there, but I think I only got the one.

We love the bridges.

This building was on an island that had places where you could pull up to it, but when you go there, they all said, "No boat parking."  I wasn't sure I wanted to get out anyway.

Day 242 – Back to the Hospital, Blood Test

David left for class and I was planning to fast until he got back and then go to the hospital with Mrs. Ding driving us there at 10:15.  I texted that information to Dr. Tricia and she called me right back and said that is too long to wait.  She wanted me to get a taxi and get there as soon as I could so they could get the blood draw done.

I texted to David what I was going to do and he was worried.  I met some of my Friday class students on the way to the south gate and talked to them a little bit.  It took me almost fifteen minutes to get a taxi, but I got one and then called Dr. Tricia so that she could give him directions to the hospital.

At the hospital, the head nurse, took me to Dr. Tricia and she got the paperwork started and the blood drawn for the blood test.  She had a special helper, a young man that stood in line with the money and all the paperwork to get me a card so that I could be treated.  We had to pay in advance again.  He was also able to get a refund of the money that we had paid for my treatment in the hospital that wasn’t used (109 RMB). 

We visited and she had me eat two boiled eggs while we waited for the paperwork and David.  It was all done soon after David got here.  Mrs. Ding had waited for us, so we had a ride home.  She had her cousin in the car with her that speaks very good English, so we had some communication going on. 

David played games at the canteen with his students.  We also found out that Shanda Lu was now open for the buses to go back to their original routes!  We now have four more buses as options for where we need to go!  Yeah!!

We ate dinner at the canteen and then came back here so I could record my Primary Music Video and David could tutor Alan Ding.

Day 241 – Wednesday Works, Not…

I had my classes today.  The students for my 8 a.m. class applauded me when I came in.  True to their word, they had a chair ready for me to use and sit down when I needed to.  They had also written a big “Welcome Back” on the chalkboard for me that I didn’t notice until I went to write next week’s assignment on the board.  We did individual presentations and then planned to finish the rest of the movie, Cheaper by the Dozen after the break.  We were about 10 minutes from the end when the computer started having problems with the DVD and stopped playing the movie.  We tried rebooting the computer and anything else we could think of, but nothing worked.  I finally played a song for them and then the class time was over.  It didn’t do it for the second class in a different classroom.  I hope it doesn’t do that of Friday when I use that same classroom.

After lunch, David and Stan Pace had planned to meet with one of David‘s students so they could go get the tickets for the train trip to Hangzhou next week.  China has made a new rule that when you first get your train tickets, you have to go to the big main station for the tickets instead of the smaller ticketing office that is close to our campus.  They came back here for a few minutes and then decided to make the trip to the main station and get the tickets today anyway.  After a couple of bus rides, and some hassles with a mix up of the tickets and then a call to Eva to talk to the Chinese agent, they were successful in getting the tickets.  David stopped at RT Mart on his way home and got pickles for his sandwiches at lunch.

When the four girls came for tutoring tonight, two of the mothers wanted to come in and make sure I was well.  They had wanted to come to the hospital, but Lisa didn’t have time to come with them and interpret for them.  The girls brought me another BIG bunch of bananas and a large watermelon and a bouquet of flowers.  We had a fun time with the tutoring again by playing, “I Spy With My Little Eye.” 

Day 240 – Okay on Tuesday

I didn’t sleep at all well last night.  I should have because the bed was much softer than the hospital bed, but I was hot one minute and cold the next.  No easy in between so that I could sleep.

I didn’t have a lot of energy today, but I was able to teach my classes.  It was really a pretty easy day I had planned with individual presentations and a quick presentation on Easter and then the rest of the movie we had started two weeks ago.  David walked me over to my first class and carried my bag.  I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was going to be for today and I had forgotten my rolls and the papers for the presentations.  He ran back and got them and then went to the store and did other errands.  

Salas, the monitor for my second class, had found a stool that I would be able to use to sit on and put my leg up for part of the class.  It was really good.  Nerzahl met me as I was walking to class and carried my bag for me.  Such wonderful students to work with!

David met me after my classes and we had lunch here.  We did a video chat with Seth and Carolyn for a while to plan some things for the reunion this summer.  Then I had a nap.  I tried to clean up some more with all the things that we had brought home from the hospital.  So much food and a lot of it had to go to waste because there was just no way to eat all of it and no one seemed interested in taking it off of our hands.  David had games with his students at 4 p.m.

While David was gone, there was a knock on the door.  At the door was a wizened little old Chinese man.  He seemed to be looking for someone.  He spoke a tiny bit of English, but it was hard to understand even his Chinese.  I began to understand that he was looking for one of the former teachers that lived in the building.  He needed a paper proofread and edited for correct English.  He asked where I was from and when I said America, he thought I would be able to help him. 

I read through the first paper, and when he was satisfied that I could do it, he gave me another paper, well, paragraph.  Then he had one more paper after that, to see if the paragraph could have a sentence added into it so that it would make sense.  At least, that is what I got out of what he wanted.  I hope it was.  When he was satisfied with what I had done, he was ready to leave, so he said his thank you’s and I told him he was welcome (in Chinese) and he turned around and thought it was funny that I did that in Chinese.  Funny old man!  He must have been ancient!  He was able to tell me that he was a retired professor and I thought it was great that even though he was officially retired that he still kept his mind active with what his research had been.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Day 239 – Release!

The nurse came in early today and they measured my legs.  I assume they were happy with the measurement.  I decided to get up then and see if I could video chat with some of the kids, hopefully Rachel, because it had been so long since we had talked.  I was able to do that.  Things are going well for her.  She was at Seth’s house where the kids had all gathered to do the Easter Egg Hunt.

We kept having problems with the connection, so we finally gave up after about a half hour, but it was sure good to hear how things were going for her now. 

Dr. Tricia came in a little after 8 a.m. and asked if I could come down the hall and have pictures taken with the nurses, so we went there.  They had just finished their morning staff meeting, so all the nurses were there.  I got pictures with all the nurses, but the one nurse who had written down the phrases and translated them in her little book, was not in the pictures.  It turns out that she is just a student nurse, and doesn’t have the ranking that the others do, so she couldn’t be in the pictures.  I was hoping that she would be able to come down to my room later and we would be able to get a picture, but I guess she was assigned duties elsewhere.  Sun Fang did come down and we got some “selfies” on her phone camera, just the two of us. 
Here I am with all the nurses on the floor.  The head nurse is to the right and Sun Fang is to the left.  A few could speak a few words, but Sun Fang did the best.
Kathy came with some breakfast a little after nine.  She also brought some food for lunch.  Then she helped me pack things up and also cleaned out the little frig.  Eva got there about 10:45 and wanted to hurry because she was parked in an area that they didn’t want her in for very long.  It still took us a while to get down the stairs for all the food and stuff that we had.  One of the comforters that I had used on the bed was not familiar to the nurses there and they thought it was mine.  They gave it to Kathy, but I told her that I had found it in the cupboard in the room and that I didn’t need it, so she took it back up to them.  Dr. Tricia also had to get me more medicine to take with me.
This is Dr. Wang.  He came in to say "goodbye" to me and I wanted a picture of him.

This is Dr. Tricia Sun.  What a wonderful person she is!

After we got everything in the car and tried to get out of the parking lot, the parking manager wanted Eva to turn around and go out the way she had come in.  I don’t know why, because it seemed to me it was only one way and we would be going against the traffic.  Well, we were, and getting out was rather difficult because all of a sudden, there were five or six cars that had decided to come in the way we were trying to go out.  Chinese traffic is difficult even in the best of circumstances, but try and go the other way?  No Problem, right?!!

Eva parked close to our apartment, but the man in charge of the area came out and she had to tell him that we had a lot of stuff to unload and then she would move her car.  We unloaded all the stuff in front of the building and we carried some up, but then I went to the balcony of our apartment and I stood there and watched my stuff while she went to move the car.

Eva wanted us to go the teacher restaurant at the canteen for lunch, so she left then to get us a table.  I still had to watch my stuff until David came home from his class.  We walked over to the canteen and had lunch. Then we came back here and I was ready for a nap!

I tried to get caught up on some computer things that I needed to do and get ready for my classes tomorrow.  Libby had taken my sophomore classes today for me, which I was very grateful for.

Day 238 – Last Night in the Hospital!

The nurse came in at 7 a.m. to draw my blood for the test today.  I decided to get up and get my breakfast and then read for a while.

I listened to Sacrament Meeting and then started listening to Relief Society, but Dr. Tricia came in to tell me the results of my blood test, so I turned it off to listen to her.  My coagulation level was up to 1.46, so they are going to let me go home tomorrow!  This rest has been good for me, but it has been hard to be here and not be teaching and taking care of David.  I know it has put a lot of extra stress on him to have to come here every day and still do his classes and take care of the apartment, too.  Also, with the hospital fees having to be paid up front, it has put a strain on our finances here.  I’m so glad to be going home!

Alan’s mom and Alan brought us lunch like we had planned.  She is a really good cook and I like just about everything she makes!  David hadn’t gotten here when they first came, but Dr. Tricia was still here chatting with me.  Soon though, David came, along with Pace’s, Clarke’s, and Kathy and Hansen.  They didn’t stay long, just enough to say “hi” and I also told Libby what was going on with my students tomorrow so she could take my class on the West Campus where she lives.

David went home with the Ding’s so he could be at the Foreign Teacher’s Easter Dinner Potluck and give them the huge watermelon that my students had given to me.  Then she picked him up at 4 p.m. and brought him back here.  Dr. Tricia had come to my room a little before that and wanted to take me to get the ultrasound on my leg.  She only had to wait for five minutes before David got here and then they got a wheel chair to take me over to the building where they did that. 

It turned out to be Dr. Tricia’s brother that was doing the ultrasound.  He told us that the original clot was about 4.7 centimeters long and 1.5 centimeters wide, filling the entire vein chamber.  It is now greatly reduced and the blood could flow freely around the clot that has now attached itself to the vein wall.  It scares me how bad it was; I didn’t know all this before.  I just thought it was several small clots, maybe the size of a small pea, but nothing of the size that they described it as. 

Nancy Pace had brought us some scalloped potatoes for supper and when Mrs. Ding brought David back, she insisted on buying some more food for him to bring to me.  There were Zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) and corn on the cob that she gave him.  We ate a little of each.
Zongzi: wrapped in leaves on the outside and steamed to cook them.

On the inside: you peel back the leaves to reveal sticky rice and some ham meat cooked inside.  I'm not a fan of sticky rice.

While we were gone to get the ultrasound, two of my students had come by and brought a lot of goodies!  Cookies (Chinese style – there is a difference), cream puffs, kiwi fruit and strawberries.   I was sorry to have missed them.  Annie (one of the girl’s English name), is always so fun to talk with.  She is one of those perpetually happy people and they just brighten your day!  Allison was the other one and she is as bright as Annie. 

After we had dinner, we decided that David better take the microwave back over to the Purnell’s apartment at the Hanlin Hotel because we would not be able to handle it tomorrow when I leave with all the other things that need to go home with me.  It was rather heavy and he had to go up the stairs and then down again on the pedestrian overpass on JingShi Road to take it there.  When he got back, we played some games until it was time for him to go back to the apartment.  Yeah, last night in the hospital!

Dr. Tricia had promised one of her colleagues that she would cover for him at the hospital until he got back.  She really didn’t have anything to do, so she came in here and we had a long philosophical talk.  We covered some deep topics that she has questions to and I told her some of my point of view.  Had to be careful in the way I phrased things, but we really enjoyed our visit.  About 9 p.m., she got a call from the other doctor that he was going to be there in just another minute and so she could go home, so she did and I am going to try and sleep on this hard hospital bed for one last night…

Day 237 – More Visitors and Dr. Wang Visited Again

I was able to get my own breakfast again.  The nurse that came to put in my IV this morning had taken the time to have a few of the phrases that she needed to use with me translated into English.  She showed them to me and then when she needed one, she pulled out her small book out and pointed to the phrase she needed!  I thought that was so wonderful of her!

When it was time to take the IV out, I was chatting with Seth and his family and Caleb.  The same nurse saw Ruth and exclaimed how beautiful she was.  Later, she told Dr. Tricia that Ruth looked like a little angel baby.  She also saw the rest of Seth’s kids and had seen Aleeyah earlier.  She kept saying “angel” and beautiful in reference to them.  Proud grandma here!

I had even more students come today.  We had fun visiting.  Sometimes, they seem like they are not too sure when they can leave.  One group had been here for a little over an hour and started to look like the wanted to leave.  Finally, I decided to mention that they might have other things to do and I didn’t want to keep them.  They all want me to come back, but they also want me to be healthy when I do.

Eva brought us dumplings for lunch.  She visited with us for a few hours until some of her friends that she was going to play badminton with came to meet her outside the hospital.  She took some of the bunches of bananas with her so that she could give them to her friends while they played.
I received another bouquet of flowers from some of my sophomore students today.  They wanted to give me a bouquet that had blue wrapping because they knew it was my favorite color, but they were all out of blue wrapping.  I told them purple was my second favorite color.  It really is!
Alan’s mother called and wanted to bring us dinner tonight, but Dr. Tricia had already told us that she was going to send her son, Bill (he has autism) over with some dumplings for our dinner.  Eva talked to her and we arranged that she would bring us lunch the next day.  So much food, and with me not being active, a lot of it goes to waste, so that it doesn’t go to my waist! 

David and I played games after dinner and when everyone else had left.  It was a nice evening.

Day 236 – Third Blood Test

The nurse came bright and early to take my blood.  I didn’t feel sick anymore and the symptoms I had last night were all gone, thank goodness I didn’t die in the night!   Nancy came to spend the morning with me.  She helped me wash my hair again.

The blood results came back about 11:30 and the number had gone up a little, not enough to release me, but enough to show progress.  I mentioned to Dr. Tricia about what had happened last night and she thought it may have been because I was so anxious about the test results that I had psyched myself into something.  Maybe, but it may have been something that I ate, too.  The cardiovascular surgeon thought that it was too early to take more tests, but Dr. Tricia knew how anxious we were to have me leave the hospital and she was hopeful that the number would be up enough.  This isn’t her specialty, so she has to do a lot of reading and she was also afraid that all the blood thinners they have me on would cause hemorrhaging.  I guess I have to wait until the blood test on Sunday now.
These are the flowers that Alan's mom brought for me along with some fruit.  I didn't have a vase to put them in, but they brought wonderful fragrance into the room! 

Nancy left after lunch, but David got here early.  Alan’s Mom, Yi Hong, drove over with a student to help interpret and she brought David with her.  I also had lots and lots of students come for visits.  And, they ALL brought fruit!  We have eaten and given away so many bananas!  The apples and other fruit will keep a while, but bananas are so short lived. 
We had fruit covering the desk.  They asked me to keep at least part of the desk clear so the nurse could use it when she needed to.

We had to put the fruit on the chairs and the end table.  The one on the chair was a huge watermelon.  David dreaded the thought of trying to pack that one home!

As you can see, there are three back of huge bunches of bananas here.  There were also mango, pears, apples, and some smaller melons.

David went home early because he had a lot to do at home.

Day 235 – Kathy’s Turn #2, Thursday

Kathy Guo came with breakfast for me again.  She does a great job with her scrambled eggs, but she always brings too much food!  She also brought us food for lunch, a good stew and some rice.  She stayed until she needed to go pick up Hansen from school.

David came about 1:30.  He had lunch with some of his former students at the Teacher Restaurant on campus.  They have changed the menu some, so we hope that we can get it translated again. 

Several groups of my students came to see me.  We had a nice chat and it was good to break the monotony of my days.  I decided to pay for some internet access through my cell phone on a Wi-LAN plan and it makes me happier!  Now to get caught up on a few things

Libby and Wayne Clark brought us pizza from Pizza Hut for supper.  It tasted like pizza from home, so that was good.  They also brought Blizzards from McDonald’s to top it off. 

Today was the first day of taking two pills of the Warfrin.  I felt really full all day long and really didn’t feel like eating when people brought food, but I ate some anyway.  After Wayne and Libby left, and I nearly threw up.  I didn’t feel well at all and started to have pain on my left side under my rib cage.  I didn’t know if it was the Warfrin or something else, but it scared me.  Dr. Tricia came in to visit, but I didn’t mention it to her; I should have, but I just didn’t know what to think. 

After Dr. Tricia left, I laid down for a few minutes and felt a little better, but then I had two of my sophomore students come (also bearing more fruit) and they wanted me to eat some of it.  I knew if I did I would definitely throw up, so I put them off.  We visited for a while and then I got so sleepy that I told them I needed to go to sleep.   I am ready to sleep and it is not even 10:30.  I hope I don’t die in the night…

Day 234 – Nancy and Clean Hair

My day started out with the nurses coming to take my blood at 7 a.m.   Today was the big day to see if my blood had thinned enough to be within the International Standards that they use as a guideline so they could talk about sending me home.  I was very hopeful for the results, but very disappointed to learn that the numbers, despite all the heparin and warfarin, had not changed at all!  Yes, I shed a few tears.  I want to relieve the stress that David is feeling and be able to get back to doing the things I was sent here to do in China.  It’s pretty boring to just be here and not have things to do.  Thank goodness for those who come to visit!

Nancy came about 9 a.m.  I had already had my breakfast and we planned to wash my hair today.  I have been feeling pretty gross with no shower since Friday.  We had to plan how to do it so that I was not standing on my legs for very long.  There is no hot water available in the hospital until sometime in the afternoon, usually 3 to 11 p.m. or so.  Nancy got some of the hot water from the thermos jug that Lisa had bought for me the first day I was here.  I think she knew that I would be needing it.  We see the students carrying the large thermos jugs all the time.  They have to go get water in the morning when they can and then they can use it later in the day for drinking and washing clothes or their bodies, it they can’t get to the shower.

Nancy took the end table that sits between the two chairs in my room and put it in front of the sink in the bathroom and I knelt down on it while Nancy quickly washed my hair in the sink.  Then she took the time to dry it with her blow dryer that she had brought and style it a little.  She’s not used to doing other people’s hair, but she did a good job and I was just grateful to have it done.   Dr. Tricia had said I could have a shower if I just held my hand with the IV in it above the water and not get it wet.  I just didn’t see how that would work with the hand held shower head in the bathroom. 

Nancy left shortly after the lunch that Eva had bought for me to have delivered today.  David was on his way here, so I didn’t mind being alone for a little bit.  The cardiovascular surgeon came by after he had seen the numbers and asked if I was taking the medicine like he said.  I told him I was.  He decided to change the warfarin to two tablets per day and decrease the heparin shots to one in the morning and one at night.

Dr. Tricia had also suggest that I have my thyroid checked while I was here, so they took blood for that.  That specialist came in and said that I should increase the dose of my thyroid medicine by ¼ more tablet per day because my numbers were low there too.  This was the head specialist in that department.  Dr. Tricia always goes to get the top doctors in the hospital to check on you.

David and I watched a movie, Night at the Museum before he went home tonight.

Day 233 – Kathy’s Turn Tuesday

Kathy Guo came this morning to be with me.  She is a local member who is Chinese and holds a Canadian passport. That makes it so she can meet with us in our Church group.  Even though I had gotten a few things for breakfast, Kathy brought what she thought would be an “American Breakfast.”  She had scrambled eggs, two slices of ham, drinkable yogurt, boiled eggs and two slices of toast!  My problem is that I am trying to eat less here in the hospital since I can’t get out and exercise at ALL, and that was a big breakfast according to my normal standards!  I ate most of it to please her.  When I left a slice of toast and part of the boiled egg, Dr. Tricia, who was here at the time, saw what I was leaving and said something like, “You going to waste some food?”  I just had to tell her how full I was!

I got the usual medication and had to lay down for a long time.  Dr. Tricia visited for quite some time again.  She is also interested in Canada and wanted to know more since Kathy had lived there and I was able to add a few things since I had visited there, at least on the west coast.  Kathy had to go pick up Hansen (her 9 year-old son) from school and then she brought him back here so that she could feed me lunch.  She had also brought a big bowl of stew and a large green salad, but the lunch that Eva had ordered for me yesterday came, so I said that we would use her lunch for our dinner tonight.  There was much more there than I could have eaten for lunch anyway.  That would save a little worry for David.  Kathy seemed to be a little restless after lunch was cleared away, so I told her that I would be fine alone here until David came, so she could leave if she wanted to.  She and Hansen went home then.

David arrived at the hospital about 2 p.m.  He had taken some of his students to lunch at the canteen with his lunch credits.

At 3 p.m., four of the students from my Wednesday 8 a.m. class came to visit me: Li Ai (Autumn), Ted, Penny and Caroline.  They stayed and we chatted for almost an hour and a half.  When the doctors and some nurses came in to do something with my legs, they were all interested and asked some questions. Yup, I have medical students!  We then talked about some of the medical terms that they would eventually need to know the English names for; things like cardio, vascular, anticoagulant, blood veins, clots, etc. 

Wayne and Libby stopped by for a visit after dinner.  They were going to a concert at Shandong Arts College that is really close to the Hanlin Hotel, so they came over for a visit first.  That was a nice visit.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 232 – Libby’s Day

Libby Clarke came this morning to sit with me and make sure that I had what I needed.  We had a great talk.  Dr. Tricia came in and visited for a long time this morning.  She has chatted with Libby before and so we had a lot to talk about.  The vascular surgeon, Dr. Wang, came again to check on me.  I would so use him as my doctor in the US if he were there!  Such attention when I am not even “technically” his patient is so touching!  The shots and treatment continue and there was a big consultation with the head cardiovascular surgeon.  They measured my legs and my left one looks a lot better.  What a relief!

David came about 1:30.  He is feeling a lot of stress with me being in the hospital.  Wish I could mend fast and get out of here.  It takes him almost an hour on the bus to get here, but it gets pretty expensive to take a taxi all the time.

We were just going to warm up some leftovers for dinner, but when Eva and Dr. Tricia asked about how old they were, (only been here since Saturday and this is Monday) they thought they were too old, that bad bacteria had already started to grow in them.  Because I am in the hospital, I need fresh fruits and vegetables!  Can’t have bad bacteria getting in me!  Eva ordered some lunches for me from the canteen that is connected to the hospital, and the she and David and Dr. Tricia when to the canteen and bought dinner for us so we would have fresh food to eat (and Chinese food…).  Eva had bought a lot of millet porridge and wanted me to drink it.  She says it helps her sleep and she wanted me to have a good night’s sleep.  Anyway, we had to dump a lot of the food that had been brought to us.  (Sometimes, we have too many mothers…)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 231 – Sunday in Qianfushan Hospital

The day started with blood tests and shots, lots of them!  I had two heparin shots to the stomach and a warfarin tablet to try and thin the blood as quickly as they can.  I have two heparin shots in the morning and two at night all in the belly area.  Some nurses do it with very little pain and others do it with pain.  I’m not sure what makes the difference, but some are more painful than others.  They tried to get blood samples out of my left arm, but had no success, so they moved to my right arm.  They also tried to put the IV in my left hand, but none of those veins were coming up, so that one had to go in my right hand.  That makes it hard to eat, write, type or anything that I would normally do with my right hand.  I have to do things with my left hand, or very carefully with my right.

David came about 9 a.m.  He had stopped at the Hanlin Hotel first to get a USB from Jim Purnell that had the five sessions of General Conference and the Women’s Conference on it.  We had to wait to watch it until Dr. Tricia had talked to us and some more specialist had seen me before we could turn it on.  The other Jinan members were watching it over at the Hanlin.  When they were done with dinner, Simon brought over some dinner for David and me. 

While Simon was here, he talked about sponsoring people from China to come to the US and what it takes to do that.  It sounds really complicated.  Simon takes groups of people to the US every summer for education purposes, so he knows all about what it takes. 

After the other members watched a second session of conference, they all came over to the hospital and we had a good visit here.  When SUN Fang’s shift came to an end, she came in to say good-bye and told us she would be back on Tuesday evening.  Also, Dr. Wang came again to see me.

Jim and Wendy Purnell came over late on Sunday evening.  Jim’s Dad has a massive stroke and they were going to Beijing later tonight to catch a flight back to Calgary.  They are pretty sure he will die, he was having some other problems.  They brought over some of their vegetables and fruits that wouldn’t last until they got back.  She helped Kathy get assignments made for the Sisters to come sit with me when David couldn’t be here and bring in food.

Day 230 – White Hospital Walls; Day One

After a not so restful night, David was beaten here by Wendy and Jim Purnell, who came bearing breakfast and a microwave that we could use in the hospital room.  David arrived soon after, but he has a lot further to go in order to get here than the Purnell’s do.  It is comforting to know that they are so close.

I started treatment with two heparin shots to my stomach and an antibiotic drip followed by a blood thinner in a drip, and also a warfarin pill.  That is all they could do this morning until David got here with more money to put in our account.

It wasn’t too much longer before I had other visitors: the Clarke’s, the Pace’s, Kathy Guo, Eva and Lisa.  The room got pretty crowded, along with the addition of doctors and nurses.  SUN Fang made sure that she said good-bye before she left to go home and assured me that she would be here again tonight.

David had a lot of things to take care of and he hoped he could get some things done for his classes while he was here, but we had so many visitors that it was hard for him to do anything.  We had so much food brought in that this little frig is stuffed full and some of the fruits that didn’t need to be in there just sat outside of it.  Everyone who came brought some food, mostly fruits, but other things like muffins and other dishes, too. 

Dr. Wang came in to check on me today.  He didn’t have to, but he wanted to.  He tried to speak more English than he did the yesterday.  It seems that once people understand that we won’t laugh at their English and we will try to understand them and not laugh at their words, they are more willing to try and speak it in front of us.

Lisa offered to take David to get my computer.  They were not able to restore any of my information.  Sad lesson learned, but what can I do about it now, nothing, so get on with life.  I did have some things on USB drives and I put that on, but I also have to get Microsoft Word and other programs restored or downloaded.

David got home late and he had to try and assuage the kids’ fears about me.  This traveling back and forth for him is going to be really tough.

The living part of my hospital room.  The windows don't close very well and there is a lot of noise from the outside.  They are doing construction on a new hospital and it seems to start early and go late at night.  The brown chair on the left is a pull out to sleep on, if you need it.  David tried it.  It was NOT comfortable. 
My bed for the next seven to ten days.  Not very comfortable. 
This is the bathroom.  Dr. Tricia sprayed hot water on the toilet for about five minutes before she allowed me to use it.  The sink looked dirty and so did the floor.  Definitely not US hospital standards.  Also, you can only get hot water from about 3 to 10 or 11 p.m.  

Day 229 – Blood Clots and Leg Infection!

David and I both had our classes to teach today.  My classes all went well and they had fun watching the movie.

We had decided to have lunch with Jim and Wendy Purnell.  We needed some advice on things that had happened on the Yangtze River Cruise.  They wanted to eat at the Italian Restaurant that we had eaten at last week, so we met them on the South Gate of campus and we walked over to “Lydia’s” together.  We had a nice lunch and we got the advice we needed.  They came back to our apartment with us because they had never been here and we continued to visit.  Just before they left, I decided to ask Wendy about my leg.  She is a nurse.  It had continued to get more tender and kept swelling and getting more painful.

Wendy saw how red part of my leg in the front was and when she felt it and noticed how hot it was, she suggested that I get to the doctor right away.  They gave us the phone number of Dr. Tricia.  She has treated BYU teachers for many things and most of them know her. We had not met her, but when I told her who I was and who had given me her number, she told me to come right over to the hospital.  I was thinking that we would walk to the bus and catch it to get to the hospital that she works at, but David decided we would be faster if we took a taxi. 

As soon as we arrived, we were ushered to the elevator and told to get off at the 5th floor.  When the nurses saw us, they took us right to Dr. Tricia’s office.  There she had asked an orthopedic surgeon to meet her and look at my leg.  He thought I had a lymph node infection, but also suggested that a cardio vascular surgeon should look at it, too.  Dr. Tricia speaks English quite well, but her specialty is geriatric neurology.  She tried to get the head cardio vascular surgeon to see me, but he was out of town and the next guy in line was in a meeting and would not leave the meeting to come look at me.  She was able to ask a young cardio vascular surgeon to take a look and he suspected that I had DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). BLOOD CLOTS!

I was taken to a hospital room and told to lie down and not get up.  Okay…  Hmmmm….  To determine if that is what I had for certain, I would need an ultrasound on my leg.  This young surgeon, Dr. Wang, Dr. Tricia and David wheeled me over to a different building, pushing that bed I had been told to lay down in, where there was an ultrasound machine.  That was a long ride. 

When we arrived at the ultrasound building and went up to the third floor, they first stopped outside of the EKG room and did an EKG right there in the hall.  I was grateful that this was after hours so that there weren’t a lot of people around.  There is no dignity left in a hospital anyway…  The EKG did not show any problems with my heart, so it was on to the ultrasound room.

At the ultrasound, the worst of our fears were confirmed when they found at least one clot in the calf of my leg.  There was one good thing about it, Dr. Wang said; it was the best case scenario that you could find of DVT!  It was still in the muscle are and not in a larger vein.  

I was wheeled back in the bed through the parking lot and back to my room where I am to be for the next seven to ten days.  We are hoping for the seven days. 

When I was back in the room, Dr. Tricia and Dr. Wang went into the office with David to explain to him how things would work.  I was alone in the room to think and worry for the next hour.  I tried to control the tears, but my eyes kept leaking. 

We called Jim and Wendy Purnell and they came over with some food.  Dr. Tricia also ordered some food for us as she had not eaten any supper either.  Fortunately, there is a small frig in the room where we can keep some food.  Jim and David gave me a blessing and I felt a little better. 

Dr. Tricia did several favors for us.  China’s health care system is “pay-as-you-go.”  You have to set up an account that all of your expenses will be taken out of.  If you go over what is in your account, your medications and treatments are withheld until you put more money in.  We had put down 1000 RMB, not knowing how much is was all going to cost, but by the time I had the ultrasound, two heparin shots, blood tests, an antibiotic and paid for the room and a few other things, the money was all gone and we had gone over about 300 RMB.  They were going to refuse to give me anymore treatment until we got more money in there, but Dr. Tricia was very forceful with them and said that they had to because I was now an admitted patient.  I think it was kind of like, she as guaranteeing that we would pay.

I was also put into a room that was a “VIP” suite and would normally cost 200 RMB per day, but she talked the head nurse, who is in charge of things like that, to only charge the smallest rate; 70 RMB per day. My nurse is SUN Fang, she knows a little English and tries to speak with us.

When I was all “settled” for the night, Dr. Tricia made sure that David was put in a taxi to take him home.  She was on duty tonight, so she was able to check on me when she came back to let me know that he was on his way home.  My prayer: OH HELP!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 228 – Computer Woes

David left to teach his classes.  I tried to get some things done on the computer before I left to meet Lisa so that I could have my computer repaired.  We met at the South Gate of campus and walked over to the computer store.

After looking at the computer, the technician told me that the only way to remove the virus was to reset it to factory settings and wipe everything off of it.  He also said that the computer needed cleaning because the fan was not working to keep it cool.  

I decided to have him do the work on it and he offered me his 500 GB device to store the stuff from my computer on it.  I did what I thought I needed to do to get all the information moved over.  He said he would be done about 1 p.m., so Lisa and I left.  I planned to come back after lunch with David.

We had planned to meet Eva at the canteen for lunch.  She didn’t show up and when we called her, she had forgotten.  We ate lunch their anyway and planned to meet her for dinner there instead.

After lunch, David and I went back to the technology store but the technician was not done with my computer yet, so we went to McDonald’s and got an ice cream sundae and found a bench to enjoy it.  Then we walked slowly back to the store, but we still had to wait about 45 minutes for him to finish.  Then, I went to put my stuff back on the computer from his USB and there was nothing there!  I hadn’t saved it correctly!

We called Lisa so that she could talk to him.  She came down and talked to him. He said he would try and get the information back, and if he couldn’t, then there was another person that could try and get it back.  I don’t have too high of hopes that it will get back, but I am willing to see if it is possible.  They were going to call us the next morning to let us know. 

We had talked about getting an iPad, so since we had Lisa with us to interpret, we stopped in at a store and talked to them about it.  They quoted us some prices on different models and on the iPad Mini, and then we went to a store across the street to see what their prices were.  We decided to think on it for a while.  David had games to do on the campus with his students that afternoon so we then headed back to campus.

We met Eva for dinner at the canteen and had a nice visit.  Then we came back here so David could tutor Alan Ding.

Day 227 – Wednesday Work

Another day of teaching classes for David and me.

After lunch, I tried to put my leg up again and see if some of the swelling would come down.  We did some work on the computer and then went to the canteen for supper.  When we came back, I got things ready for tutor the four girls.  We had a fun time with the activities I had planned.  Lisa tells me that the girls and their mothers are quite pleased with my class and wish that I would be coming back next year to teach them again.

Lisa offered to help me with my computer and get the Trojan virus off of it tomorrow, so we made a plan to meet at the South Gate at 9 a.m. to go to the technology store that could fix it.  

Day 226 – Back to Work for Me

We arrived home at 2 a.m. and I had to get back up at 6:30 so I could teach my classes today.  David doesn’t have classes on Tuesday, so he stayed home and slept in.  My classes went well and we had a fun time.  The students especially liked watching, Cheaper by the Dozen with Steve Martin.  We will finish it next week.

After we had lunch, we hurried to Carrefour so that we could get some groceries.  We needed milk and yogurt since we had been gone and ate it all before we left.  David had square dance with his students at four, so we had to hurry back.

My left leg has started to swell pretty bad since the bad cramp from the first day of the cruise when we were on the bus.  I laid down to put it up for a while.

Day 225 – Three Gorges Dam and a LONG Day at the Airport in Wuhan

We left the boat after breakfast and put our suitcases on a bus that would later take us to the airport and then we boarded the bus that would take us to the Three Gorges Dam.  It was about a 45 minutes drive to the dam, but with spring in bloom and the fact that the sun was almost shining through the haze, we didn’t mind the ride. 

We had to go through security to go to the dam site, almost as much as we would at the airport.  Then we rode several escalators up and up and up to the top where we could survey the surrounding area and watch the locks at work.  The tour took almost two hours and then we were back on the bus.
Going through the five locks at the Three Gorges Dam.

We were all glad that we didn't have to climb the stairs to get to the top,  This is one of five long escalators that took us up there.

The one on the bottom left: "Don't Playing on the Autowalk."

Looking down on the area of the locks with ships going through.  One side is for going up the river, the other is for going down the river.

They call this the "Baby Boat Lift."  When it is completed later next year, it will take small boat through the dam area.

We had a four-hour ride on the bus to the airport.  We stopped for “lunch” at a “convenience” store and rest stop.   Not a whole lot to choose from though.  Then we were back on the bus and then we had one more short stop before we got to the airport.  Some of the flights left within an hour of arriving.  Others left within three hours.  Our group from Jinan had over six hours to kill at the airport, so we were grateful to have the Internet to entertain us, since we had been away from it for almost four days. 
I think we would say, "Slippery when wet."

Our flight left at 11 p.m. and we arrive in Jinan at 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday.  Long, long day and I had to work the next morning at eight!

Blog Archive