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Compilation of email updates from Oct 12 to Dec 27- For your enjoyment!
Oct 12, Jim got sick, its flu like symptoms, all of them. Hope this is over soon. (But it wasn’t.) After a week I said…
My Head and my Body are in this fierce disagreement. The Head, is saying, “I’m tired of being sick, we must be well”, the Body is just laughing, “silly Head, you know nothing, we are sick, try as you may, you won’t get far”. Head is finding Body is right. Try as we do, we can’t get far, although we keep trying. Its like there is an invisible bungee cord that draws us back to our apt, because we have to rest. No strength, no breath, brain is foggy. Head hates it when Body is right.
Keep praying… Jim Mc
Supposed to be heading to USA Nov 6, still not feeling well…no energy.
(We did leave Chad Nov. 6 arrived at our daughter Jody’s home in Asheville Nov. 8. Saw our new grandson, Isaac and his big sister Violette. Grand kids are so wonderful!)
Nov 11, Wow! Life is exciting! I’m still alive, but not as good as I’d like to be. I am way too fatigued, with funny pains where they shouldn’t be. Already had three EKG’s, several chest x-rays, and a couple of blood tests. As hard as I looked, I’ve never found any Cliff Notes to help me pass these medical tests. I’m in Tucson, AZ now and went to a cardiologist today. I get to do a Stress Echo cardiogram Ultrasonic something er other on Monday. Judy is in Asheville, NC with the grand baby’s. Looks like we will have to delay our return to Chad. Hopefully, it won’t be too long of a delay. Thanks for praying. Jim Mc
Nov 26, Running EKG Sonogram… It was cool! To see a picture of MY heart beating, valves opening and closing, direction of blood flow and all… it was cool. The tech can’t give an official description of the results, but I did manage to get a comment from her, she said “Awww it looks normal”. OK, what she actually did was, to have me lay on my back on the table, shave a big chunk of fur off my chest, hook up the “way too many” wires of the EKG, using super sticky adhesive tape, (I assume to get rid of the rest of the fur at the time of removal). Then she had me roll onto my left side and she used the magic ultra sound wand to get a video picture of my bleating heart. I could see the valves opening and closing, not super clear, but what do I know, I’m an airplane mechanic not a body mechanic.
Then she had me get on the tread mill. I started off walking to get warmed up. I asked if she had many people trip and get tossed off the back end. She said we don’t talk about such things. Then the tilt goes up and the speed increases. I ask what all the numbers and graphs on her monitor mean and she goes thru a great explanation of each one. Then the tilt goes up and the speed increases. Then I’m about to ask why she is looking so seriously at the monitor when I noticed she was actually looking at a small spider on the wall directly behind the monitor. Then the tilt goes up and the speed increases. Now I am breathing hard, as I assume I am supposed to be, my heart rate is up to 145 bpm and we are attempting to get to 147 bpm without any heart attacks. I think we are going to make it. Then the tilt goes up and the speed increases.
She has been taking my blood pressure all along and says this will be the final check. I wonder briefly if she is aware of something bad approaching, and then realize I have surpassed the goal of 147. We made it! Then she says, “Do you feel like keeping going?” To my amazement I said yes, I’d love to! (Men, we are so bazaar) The test is over, we have reached the goal. So why do I keep going? Just to prove I can? Then at 162 bpm I start to wonder what it will feel like to be tossed off the end of a speeding tread mill. Then all the lights line up correctly on the machine monitor and she said I think we are finished. I agreed. It slows quickly and she says she must get the final ultra sound of all four valves within 60 seconds of the mill stopping, so onto my left side on the table I go. She gets the magic wand video and the valves look like fish gasping for air after they have been tossed into the bottom of the boat. There is a bit of difference between an at rest heart and a hard working heart.
She says the docs office will call me on Wednesday with the final results. Or if they don’t she said to call the office on Thursday and ask for them. There was no extra chest pain during the torture session, no change at all really. When finished my chest hurt about the same. The pain has been spreading around to the sides of my chest during this past week. I still have a light cough and I’m still running low on energy. Always something strange happening. Maybe it’s a lung issue, I dunno. Thanks for praying. Jim Mc
Dec 6, Healthy as a horse, is what the heart doc says. Not a thing wrong with my heart. It’s all in great shape. I told him I feel I am getting a little better each day, but I still get tired much too fast. I asked if I should go to a tropical medicine doctor and he said because I told him I am getting better each day, I should save my money and let my body heal. He says it can take months to fully recover from a bad virus infection. Especially with all the coughing I did. I guess I’m at 85%. Keep praying.
So… next prayer point is when to return to Chad? We both would like to return right now, but we really want to be confident I won’t have a relapse shortly after returning. This is a time of learning how to better trust is His wisdom. Pray for us to know the best timing to return.
Another prayer point: Our house in Tucson. When we planned our vacation back to the US, we planned for me to come to Tucson for two weeks to finish getting our home ready to rent. Jordan had been living in it and had moved out. Paying for rent in Chad and a mortgage in Tucson has been draining our savings. When I got to Tucson I was still recovering and didn’t have energy to accomplish what I needed to do. (I really appreciated the help from some great friends that first week.) There’s still some big things that need done which I haven’t had the energy to do yet.
As we told friends about us needing to rent the house, we’ve been hearing horror story after horror story about the destruction of rental properties. This is our home, not an investment property. We don’t have cash reserves for major repairs in case of a destructive renter. Or even just an appliance going out. This has been very stressful for me. It has been difficult for me to see how we can keep the house in good shape and rent it out to the general public. I needed Judy here too. So she flew out Monday. As we have talked and prayed we realized we really only want to have people rent our home we either know or can trust. So at this point we are leaving the house ready for “snowbirds” we know or who come highly recommended by friends. Judy flies back to NC on the 18th. Pray with us to know what to do in these days.
One last request: My aging Father is 93 and his wife is 96. They live alone and she has fallen several times lately. He would really like to see us before we go back. We would like to also but with my health, the house and a strong desire to get back to Chad by Jan we need wisdom to know how we can do this.
Thanks so much for your prayers. Jim Mc
Dec 11, Snow is collecting on the mountain next to us. It’s just raining here in Catalina, (Tucson), but it’s a cold rain. It’s been a good few weeks here. It was great to see our friends and my in-laws from California. I came out to prepare our house to rent while in Chad, but mostly spent the first three weeks still recovering from whatever bug I had. There was way too much to get done, I needed Judy, so she came out from NC, at our daughters. Glad to have Judy’s parents here for a few days this week. Keep praying for our home to rent. It has been stressful for us. We have heard too many stories about bad renters and want to be super picky. Our hope is to stick with Wycliffe or other missionaries or people we know.
We have tickets to fly out of Phoenix on Tuesday the 18th. Judy will head straight to Asheville, NC to be with our kids and grand kids. Jim will stop in Wichita, KS first to see his dad and then to Asheville on the 22nd.
So how is my health now? Starting last Friday, the 7th, my strength started to return. I didn’t tire easily and didn’t feel that nagging fatigue. Thank God! I believe your prayers were answered. I saw the doc on Tuesday, the 11th. She said, as long as I feel up to it, we should go ahead and head back to Chad. There is no conclusion as to what has been going on inside my body. It seems to be done now, whatever it was. My health has returned to a good 90%. Pray that I may be back to 100% before we return to Chad. Thanks to all who prayed and helped in many different ways.
We still don’t know our return date to Chad. We have put in the request to our travel agent and are waiting to hear from them. We would like to return by the end of the year or first of the New Year.
Thanks for praying, Jim Mc
Dec 20, I’m at my dads home, Judy is in Asheville with the kids. My dad is doing great! He is amazing for 93. His wife Wilma is doing well also. She lost a lot of her equilibrium about ten years ago, but is doing well in spite of that. I’m still doing better every day.
We have a return to Chad date! Dec 29th.
Thanks for praying, Jim Mc
Dec 27th, Our ABF, (Adult Bible Fellowship) from our church in Tucson, gave us a large pile of stuff to take back to Chad with us. (It was from a list we gave them.) We have spent some time removing as much packaging material as possible as we try and fit it all into travel cases. The airlines have have a max capacity of 50 pounds per case. A rising transport cost per case as well, first one $25, second one $50, third and on $200 each.
We have had a delightful time with all our kids. Jody, Caleb, Violette, and Isaac Depp in Asheville. Josh arrived from Korea, via a few other Asian countries, on Christmas eve. Jordan had been in Asheville with Jody since Thanksgiving. So we had the whole family together for Christmas. (A rare occasion) It’s hard saying goodbyes!!!
We depart from Charlotte Saturday the 29th. First to Newark, then to Paris and into Chad on Dec.30. We just had confirmation of who will be picking us up. Seems all is in order.
We will probably never know exactly why we needed to be here in the states five weeks longer than planned. I am sure we were a part of something bigger than ourselves. Anyway, it was very good for us, health and family wise.
Thanks again for praying for us. Know that you too are a part of something much bigger than yourselves.
(Next blog “Back in Africa)