Saturday, August 23, 2014

Week 57: Revenge of the Cyst‏

I never thought a trip to the Hospital could teach me three important lessons in 2 short hours.
1. Hospital gowns are not fun
2. Anesthesia is pretty trippy
3. If you trust in the Lord, you can literally make it through anything.

But I think I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself. First of all, an answer to a question: Why on earth did I have to go to the hospital?
For those of you who didn't know, from the second week that I came to the mission offices to be Financial Secretary, a ganglion cyst started taking root on my left wrist.
A cyst is a swelling on top of a joint or the covering of a tendon. It is a pocket of fluids that forms itself into a ball, they may appear as hard and thick or thin and spongy. They aren't so fun to have.
But, as long as I didn't apply as much pressure on my left hand, I could manage day-to-day tasks without any serious pain.
So everything for the past 5 months has been pretty mellow as far as wrist pains go.
Until last week, when I finally felt motivated enough to try to do daily exercise again. The primary reason for such activism was due to the ever-irking comments from just about everyone about how thin I am at the present time. It's the omnipresent phrase that has haunted me even from the beginning of the mission: "Wow, you are really skinny...are you eating well?"
Yes, I am eating well.
So I took the question up to my Mission President, searching for his revelation, "President, what do I have to do to get more know...more mass?" I asked him.
He responded with an intense push-up routine that he was ready with on the spot. 240 reps and a rather punishing set of things to do to start bulking up.
Meh, why not?
"Are you okay to push-ups?" he asked.
"Well...I do have a cyst in my hand and it complicates things a bit on that front." I answered
"Let's take care of that then!" President responded, and ten minutes later, I had a surgery planned for Thursday the 21st, where they were going to go in and cut the Cyst out.
I spent a lot of time dreading the date, counting down the hours until doomsday. And on Wednesday afternoon when we went out to go and visit people I couldn't get my mind off of the whole ordeal.
That night, the executive secretaries, Elder Walton and Elder Coronado had to stay over at the White House because they were going to take a Sister Missionary to the airport the following morning. It was a great opportunity to ask for a Preisthood Blessing.
Then the next morning, the Trapnells picked us up at 6:30 to go to the Herrera Hospital for the operation.
From there the rest was kind of a blur.
They checked me in, took me to another room and had me change into a super-awkward, drafty hospital gown (all of the clothes were made for Guatemalans 1/2 my height, so the gown was more like a skirt on me. Resolution: I am never going to try wearing a kilt) and put me in a wheelchair and rolled me into the operation room.
There, I got into the bed and got ready to be put under anesthetics.
All the doctors at the hospital were really nice...and almost all of them knew English and had studied in the states. So I felt like I was in good hands.
"Okay man! Just let go now, just go to sleep and everything will be okay!" I heard from the anesthesiologist.

The next thing I knew I was lying in a bed in a different room.

On my left arm I had a wrap and a brace on.
And it hurt really bad.
Once I told the nurses that "Hey, eso me duele mucho! " They were really quick about putting a pain killer in my IV.
One of the nurses came up and started talking to me. One of her friends said that "you can call her your 'sister' because she goes to  your church!" She talked to me about her family and how she too had served a mission. I felt like I was being watched over, I felt good and protected.  

The next thing I knew I was in the Trapnell's car with Elder Prestwich in the seat next to me and we were on our way to Dairy Queen to go and get Bilzzards (we had 2x1 coupons) and lunch. And for the rest of the day I just went home and went to sleep.
I was pretty doped up.
But the greatest blessing in the whole world was the support that I recieved that evening from many of my friends here in the mission: I received a call from a lot of people wanting to see how I was doing. Sister Caffaro sent me a message and President called as well.
I am so blessed to have such a great support system so far away from home.
At the end of the day I learned a lot of things during my surgery. But the biggest lesson was definitely how to trust in the Lord, and also in other people, allow them to guide us and help us through difficult times and everything will work out just fine.
Even after surgery I can still be "awesome"
The building where I "work"

6th floor Tower II Office 606

My office space

Preparation Day Bowling!


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