Thursday, October 30, 2008

ONE

Growing up I was encouraged to vote. I learned early that ONE vote, ONE person can change things. Do we really want that ONE person to be someone who will change things for the worse? If not than we need to be at the polls. It's only ONE day, and only ONE vote, but ONE that can change everything.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adeline's Appointment with the Allergist and Pulminologist

Boy this kid sure gets a lot of press. Hopefully, someday, I won't have to write about her severe allergies and asthma anymore.

We had her allergist and pulminologist appointments this past week. Scott and I weren't very impressed with the allergist and so we are looking to get a second opinion with someone else. Right away he dismissed her allergies. Even though we told him about the many different tests she had done he questioned the allergies she has. Granted, her beef allergy is highly unusual anywhere in the world and her egg allergy is unusual here. And I'll also grant that we didn't have her records with us...my bad. However, we want, need, to have confidence in the person who is treating our daughter, especially when that treatment potentially involves immunotherapy!!!

After the appointment we promptly bought the medicine he prescribed, Symbicort Turbuhaler - an inhaled corticosteroid and long acting beta agonist- only to read in the insert that it is contraindicated in people with lactose allergies. Scott took the medicine back to the allergist and was told there are different milk proteins and she wasn't allergic to that one. Now how he would know that without seeing her tests, and without testing her, still escapes me. We decided I would do some investigating and also confer with our doctor and her allergist in the States and go from there.

Everything I found out from online errored on the side of caution. Basically the lactose is supposed to be safe for people with milk allergies but (and this is the part that helped us decide) there is a possibility of milk protein (0.012-0.029%) in pharmaceutical grade lactose. Also one asthma medicine (Advair Diskus) also containing pharmaceutical grade lactose says, "contraindicated in patients with IgE-mediated allergic reactions to lactose or milk" .

Keep in mind that her last RAST test at 6 years old revealed that IgE levels to milk were 31.50, more than 31.15 higher than the normal (under 0.35 non-allergenic) level. Knowing that she would be inhaling this medicine and that it has the possibility of bringing on an allergic/anaphylactic reaction, possibly at night when she is asleep, we felt that even this small amount of milk was essentially playing Russian Roulette with her.

All that said we are looking for the same medicine that was prescribed but is in an HFA inhaler and doesn't contain the lactose. We were told it isn't here in Uruguay. I just found the web site for AstraZeneca here in Uruguay and we'll be contacting them to see what we can do through them. If we can't get it through them, then we will look to having it sent to us from the States or Argentina. Which should be fine because we would be able to prove to Eduana (customs) that it is not available here.

Now for the appointment with the pulminologist. We felt much more confidence in this doctor. She actually did an exam. She also took the time to listen to us and our concerns. By this point we had some of Adeline's records that were faxed to us by our doctor in the States, and so, she was able to see for herself the seriousness of Adeline's allergies and asthma.

I'll make this really long story shorter by telling you that she has ordered a Spirometry exam to check her lung function and also another Cystic Fibrosis test and some chest x-rays. Those appointments are coming up and we'll have to go to Montevideo for those.

We would appreciate your prayers for this. We know God knew all of this when He sent us here and He knows how to solve this problem with the medicines. And we also know He knows exactly what is happening with Adeline. I admit that the possibilities of what could be happening are not encouraging. Even if it's "just asthma" she has gotten to the point of needing a double inhaler and she's only 8! That, however, is far better than the possibility of Cystic Fibrosis.

Preaching on Devotions

video

Last night's youth meeting was very good. The first 5 week block ended last week so this week we played a game of cooperation and memory. The girls won!!! Barely.

Scott preached about the importance of personal devotions. In the clip above he was explaining that if we can have a victorious life when we are walking close to God. Scott really did a great job preaching! It seemed like it was the first time he really had some freedom, within the language, to really express himself well in Spanish.

The first block of Sigma went pretty well. There are definitely some things we need to adjust to be of a greater benefit to this particular group of young people. We also have a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of individuals. So this coming week will be exciting as we plan the next block.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Scott!

Several birthday cards are sitting on our office desk waiting to be opened by Scott. I don't think he's as happy as I am that he will be another year older. Of course, that is because he will be the same age as me again. In case you're wondering how old he will be I can tell you that I'm celebrating anniversaries of my 21st birthday. And Scott? Well, he'll be 38!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTT!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

17 years ago...

Scott and I had a very interesting day!!! Most people have one or two crazy things happen on their wedding day, we were no exception.

Expecting our wedding party to help with the decorating and set up of the church only to find out, that morning, that they had spent the night at a theme park and were all sleeping in definitely caused some stress. Scott with his mom and step dad and I went to the church and did all the decorating ourselves. I was able to make it back home with enough time to grab my dress and head back to the church. No shower. No special hairdo. And fake fingernails that kept popping off.

I wasn't sure what to expect for the ceremony but in spite of the crazy morning things went pretty well. Even when the flower girl twisted and turned and swung her basket through the ceremony. I guess totally losing control of my emotions and crying through our vows, which in turn made people in the auditorium and some of the wedding party cry too doesn't seem as horrible today as it did back then. The pictures turned out great but we can't hear the ceremony on the audio tape...must have been the firetrucks with sirens on driving by outside.

Although simple, our reception was really nice! I definitely enjoyed the portion of the cake Scott fed me. And seeing all my family and friends in one place was wonderful. That was actually the most normal part of our day.

As a wedding gift, Scott's brother gave us a limo ride to LAX international airport to catch our plane to Miami. Here's where things get really wacky.

Shortly after arriving home the limo driver called to see if he could show up late. As it was we had enough time to make it there, barring any problems, with two hours to spare. Now, if you will, picture me standing beside my new husband vigorously shaking my head, while my very gracious husband agrees to the delay. Here is where the soft sweet melodious music changes to something, well, a little more strained.

The music begins to gain momentum as the promised limo driver doesn't show at the newly appointed time. Then when the very late driver finally shows he is surprised to see us walking towards the limo with no luggage. Evidently it didn't occur to him that it was his job to carry our bags. Nor did he think we would smell the lingering odor of vomit in the limo.

Finally on our way...and did I mention we were late?...we get about 45 minutes into our trip when I hear an explosion. Picture me giving myself whiplash as I turn towards Scott and ask, "WHAT was that?" But I didn't have to wait for him to answer because the driver decided to pull over. (You are hearing the music, right?) But he doesn't pull over in a normal spot he decides to park in the triangular area of an off ramp and an on ramp.

He gets out of the limo and heads to the trunk. At the same time Scott gets out of the limo to help him. It turned out there was nothing to help him with because the spare was flat too. So he says he would use his cell phone to call the office but...oh, you're not going to believe this...it was dead!!! AHHHHHHH!

So I think, "Ok, at least there is an emergency phone on the freeway that he can use." Just then he says he's going to go call for help. However he doesn't head for the emergency phone just yards behind the limo, he runs off the freeway and disappears into a shopping complex. Thankfully, he left the limo running because though it was October it was still in the 80's and the air was nice.

Shortly after Mr. Chauffeur runs away, the CHP (California Highway Patrol) shows up. Boy was I relieved!!! The relief lasted a mere moment because Mr. CHP tells us, "I would call AAA but because the limo is parked illegally they cannot help because they would be blocking the on/off ramp to the freeway! And I can't help because it would endanger my life. But if the limo can be moved." Now picture, if you will, that at that moment the limo died because the alternator went bad. Maybe we didn't need the air after all because it was getting awfully chilly in that limo, if you get my drift. :-)

Finally, Mr. Chauffeur returns to tell us a new limo will be there in a few mintues. But was coming from a town 45 mins away, hmmm. Now I'm thinking...um, sorry, Mr. Chauffeur we don't have any extra time because the extra time we did have is already gone and if we don't leave NOW we won't make our plane.

Suddenly a limo appears on the horizon of the opposite side of the freeway. Mr. Chauffeur begins frantically waving his hands like someone stranded awaiting rescue. I'm sure he was hoping to be rescued from me. The limo driver on the other side of the freeway sees this and takes the next exit to come to our rescue.

Though not the replacment driver, and with another company, this driver agrees to take us to the airport. My frustration turned to fear as the speedometer hit 90 mph and the driver was whipping in and out of the heavy Los Angeles traffic. Knowing we likely would miss our plane he allowed us to use his cell phone to call the airlines. Unfortunately they couldn't hold the plane for us.

While making conversation with us the new driver asks us about Mr. Chaffuer and how we ended up in the present predicament. He then tells us that Mr. Chaffuer would have needed to drop us off in the parking garage because he didn't have the needed permit to drop us off at the departures area. Hmmm.

Once we arrived at the airport we needed to re-book our flight for a red eye. What was a non-stop flight to Miami, was changed to a lay over flight through Dallas. Oh, I forgot to mention that we were taking a cruise and if we weren't on the ship when it left, then, well, we would miss the boat...literally. And at this point I'm thinking we've missed the boat and our money was wasted.

Thankfully, though, we did make the ship...but barely. The honeymoon cruise through the Bajamas was well worth the money. During the cruise we get a phone call from Scott's mom to let us know that the limo company wants to pick us up from the airport. Now remember that they can't pick us up at the gate, and picture a younger me once again shaking her head while her younger husband says the dreaded word, "Ok!"

Now the trip home is a whole other story, though I think that's for another blog post, after all it is Sunday and I need my afternoon nap.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Adeline's Asthma

Ever since Adeline played with the egg and peanut laden toy, back in April, we have not been able to gain control over her asthma. After she was back in the ER for the second time I was able to convince the doctor, by showing him her peak flow readings, that her asthma is not under control.

I tried to express my concerns with him that either the medicines she is currently taking are not effective for her, or they are bad - not what they are supposed to be, and/or we are dealing with something more than normal asthma. He agreed and wrote referrals for her to see a Pulmonologist and an Allergist.

Monday we will head into Montevideo for her appointments. They are actually spread out over two days with one on Monday afternoon and the other on Tuesday afternoon. Please be in prayer that we will be able to effectively communicate with the doctors, that God would help them to discover what really is happening with her, and for traveling mercies.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Meekness

We still have sick children and so I missed another youth meeting. I think we might finally be through it all...at least I hope so.

The devotions this past week were on Meekness. The memory verse of the week was:
2 Corintios 3:18 "Por tanto, nosotros todos, mirando a cara descubierta
como en un espejo la gloria del Señor, somos transformados de gloris en
gloria en la misma imagen, como por el Espíritu del Señor."

The young people studied passages in the Psalms, Numbers, Isaiah, Matthew, Galatians, Amos, Colossians and Zephaniah.

Scott played the dictionary game with them. Where they were given a word from the dictionary and they had to guess the next word. Last week was puzzle week where they had to put together puzzles. And the week before that, the numbers game was played, where they were asked different Biblical questions involving numbers. We have tried to vary the games to give opportunity for everyone to enjoy the games.


This week I would like to explain, in part, our philosphy of games. I know there is a lot of speculation about the use of games, or fun, in youth ministry. Scott and I believe that games serve a purpose in youth ministry. They should not be the focus of youth meetings. Nor should we use, or play, games designed simply to embarrass and humiliate the young people playing. In other words, if our youth ministry is based solely on having fun than we are missing the boat....completely! Our focus needs to be on the Lord. On helping the young people to grow closer to the Lord. Teaching young people how to walk with Him.

Games used before the preaching service help to expend some energy. Games are a tool. Games are an avenue to look into the spiritual lives of the youth, and adults. For instance:

How do the young people, or adults, respond to losing?
Or to winning? Do they win meekly or rub it in?

Do they use their cheering in a manipulative way? Do they respond in a prideful way, unwilling to clap or cheer for the other team? Do they boo? Do they grumble? Do they hotdog (i.e. someone who always takes the ball, to be the center of attention)?

Do they question the results of the game? Do they complain about someone judging unfairly? Do they say the other team cheated? Do they cheat? Do they say negative, or discouraging things to the other teams?

Do they play the game at all? Do they have a reason every week why they don't need to or can't play?

All of these same questions could be asked in the postive sense. And it would give an indication as to how the teens, and adults, are doing spiritually. Watching the young people play the games and compete in other areas, such as for the weekly flag, helps us to better know how to pray for them. It helps us to see which young people, or adults, are going to have a positive or negative impact on the other youth. It helps us to know how to individually disciple each young person.

Scott and I believe that the way we play games shows one of two things: pride or meekness (humility). I'll never forget playing a game with another couple during Bible College. The husband was constantly changing the rules to help him win. When that didn't help he would do something completely different. It was a horrible experience!!! After we left, I cried all the way home. And I've never been able to play this game again with any sense of enjoyment. Something that should have been fun was ruined by pride. Not surprisingly, our relationship was also damaged with this couple.

I am wholeheartedly competitive, as Scott will tell you, but I learned from that one night that the way I respond to losing, or winning, especially in a church event, could cause someone to walk away from a relationship with the Lord because they did not see Christ in me, in my reactions or responses. For those who love to win, it takes a lot of humility to lose well and to win well. And games are a tool to teach meekness.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Big Bad Bacteria

Last week was an adventure! Monday we headed to Montevideo to have my feet checked and scanned for shoe inserts. I've had a bunion on my left foot since I was in high school and though it has bothered me I've adapted to the pain. Lately, though, it has really been bothering me. Right now they doctors have opted to try and help my foot through means other than surgery. I'm not sure how much I'll like the inserts but I'm definitely hoping they help.


Back to last week. Early Tuesday morning I heard a loud rumble coming from the vicinity of Silas' bed. More specifically his diaper. Fun. Well, not really, especially since I had to change his clothes because the excessive amount of diarrhea was not at all contained. After laying him back in bed and going back to sleep I was once again roused by sounds of rumbling. This time though the sun was up and so after I changed and fed him I took him out to Scott.

Just as I was planning my day, which included helping over at the kids school, Silas had a large rumbly in his tummy that escaped out his mouth. Definitely not Winnie the Pooh's Huny. I don't do well with stuff like that!!! I was praying that would be it. It wasn't.

So after 4 days of diarrhea, several vomiting episodes (including two all over me), fever (on and off) a sunken soft spot, dried out lips, lethargy, and fussiness we took him in to the hospital. The on call doctor checked him and quickly called in for the pediatrician. Once Dr. Llambi saw Silas he told us he was in need of rehydration. So up we went to the pediatric room. This was the first IV, which he pulled out about an hour later. Actually he didn't pull it out it flew out when he swumg his arm. And that was after he had already been poked to have blood drawn.
Silas was clearly perplexed by this painful addition to his arm.
Figuring he'd make the best of a bad situation he decided to chew on his IV line.
After two attempts, his new IV line is in and secured better this time. (Below)
Playing in his bed. He was definitely feeling better.


The swollen eyes after being on Lactated Ringer fluids. I'm a little concerned by this as it looks very much like an allergy. He hasn't had any problems with dairy though so....

So now we are home and Silas is on antibiotics for an intestinal bacterial infection. And since today he is 11 months old this will be his 11 month old post too. Only one more month to go and he's a year old. Wow, where did the time go?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Honesty

The young people learned in the preaching time last night that there are 5 sins they/we should avoid: Lying, Anger, Stealing, Saying bad words and Bitterness. I was hoping to really highlight the preaching time this week, however, I wasn't in the service last night because I was in the hospital with Silas (more on that later). So instead I'm going to highlight the devotions.

We are using a portion of devotions that Pastor Jim Ogle, youth pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, has graciously sent to us. Brother Jim's devotions were a blessing to us when we served with him in the youth ministry. If you would like to view a PDF format of his devotions please visit EBC - Proverbs devotions.

Devotions are a very important part of our Christian life. It is the time where we open up God's Word for Him to speak to our hearts, for Him to reveal sin, for Him to encourage us, for us to grow more Christ like, and among many other things, for us to learn to walk with the Lord. It is also our time to talk with the Lord in prayer. It is our time to be fed spiritually.

The affects of starvation are obvious. One needs only to look at Holocaust or POW photos to realize the truth of that. Just as obvious are the affects of spiritual starvation. Personally, I know when I have not spect enough time with the Lord. My attitude begins to change from thinking on the positive to the negative. My speech begins to change to saying kind words to speaking harshly. I become easliy discouraged. I am negative.

Our desire is to teach the young people here to feast on God's Word. To learn about God and learn about Jesus Christ. They will be the future of the church here in Uruguay. We pray they will be a strong foundation built upon the Word of God.

Honesty was the theme for devotions this week. The weekly verse was Ephesians 4:25 and these aspects of honesty - Our spiritual life is affected by honesty, the way we speak needs to be honest, we need to be honest in everything, God is honest, the Word of God is honest, and we need to be honest in our relationships.

Most of us would say that honesty is important. We want our children to tell us the truth. At times we ask our friends, spouses and parents for their honest opinions. "Well, to be honest." "Honestly..." and "Truthfully..." are all phrases we use. Just as honesty reflects the Holiness of Jesus Christ, lying (even little white lies) reflects the sinfulness and pride of our hearts. God tells us that lying lips are an abomination to Him.

Why is it that God so dislikes lying? For one reason dishonesty is rooted in the father of lies, Satan. Satan, who lied to Eve by using a version of the truth, placed a seed of doubt in her mind. That little bit of doubt, from that one lie, forever changed the world. In the moment that Satan's lies took root in Eve's mind she began to question the character of God. The truthfulness of the One Who is Holy and Just. And in that dreadful moment when she reached out and took the fruit off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, when she then chose to eat that fruit, and Adam with her the world was plunged into darkness. It was for that moment that all mankind was separated from God. It was for than one moment that sin was passed down through man, leaving all men with the need of a Savior. For one "little" lie!!! It was for that moment that Christ came to earth and died on Calvary's cross. It was for that moment that Jesus was raised up from the dead to conquer sin and death. (Genesis 3; Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:8, 5:12, 6:23, 10:9-10)