Monday, September 6, 2010

A week in the hospital (Chilean Recluse Bite)

July 12, 2010 (The Spider Bite)

Well, this week was really exciting! From the subject line of the email, you can probably tell that my week was spent in a little Chilean hospital here in Diego de Almagro! It was quite the adventure. Don't worry, though, because I am much better now and out of the hospital! Here's the story...
Last week, I noticed a little spider bite on my arm but didn't think too much of it. Around the same time, I got a bad head cold and had to sleep a ton. On Tuesday of this week, my head cold was still pretty bad, and I noticed that my arm had swelled up huge! My companion said that I looked like Popeye -- all that I was missing was the anchor tattoo! I went to the hospital to get it checked out, and they told me that I'd have to be hospitalized!
So, on Wednesday I spent my first day in the hospital. It wasn't too bad... But I definitely will have much more empathy for my patients when I start working in the hospital again. The food wasn't too bad either, it was just in really small portions. The nurse started my IV immediately and gave me some really strong antibiotics. I had a nice time studying, visiting with the patient caregivers, and trying not to be stressed out with all the work that I was missing in the sector. I had time to ponder on the scriptures, think, pray, and write to my converts. My companion worked with the missionaries in ChaƱaral and with the District President, Elder Dinamarca, a lot this week while I stayed at the hospital.
I also felt the love of the great members of the branch and investigators that we have. I was surprised at how many people called me, visited me, and brought me pineapple juice, toilet paper and food. It was amazing! I feel so blessed to serve among such great people here in northern Chile. I have felt my love for them increase, and I can see that they too have felt this love in their lives. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and the chance to serve him and represent His Son, Jesus Christ. He has granted us a portion of His love, which has filled our souls with the greatest joy imaginable. I can't even imagine how amazing it will be to be filled with this love for all people, always! That must be the joy of our Father in Heaven.
Let's see, on Saturday, the infection in my arm had all been pushed into one abscess (since I started using a heating bottle to help it) which looked really nasty. The doctor came in to see it and decided to extract the infection. She started to squeeze my arm, and before she knew what happened, the abscess ruptured and got nasty, blood and infection filled arm juice all over her lab coat! It was awesome. My companion was between dying laughing and vomiting, and I was between dying laughing and crying because it hurt so much. But now, my arm feels a whole lot better. They filled out the release forms on Sunday, and I was free! We got to work right away.
It was a colorful experience, especially since the hospital was 70's in style, and there was even a plastic lawn chair bolted to a wheelchair frame and bicycle tires that they took me out on! Isn't that awesome? My companion and I also had a good laugh at that. Well, I'm much better now, and we are ready to work and have an awesome week. I have to go now, but I hope you know that you are all in my prayers! I love you so much! Take care, and thank you for your birthday notes. I still can't believe that I'll be 21 on Thursday! We'll probably go teach and preach to celebrate. :)

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