Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baptism, Being Sick, and Hospitals

[Note: Comments from other emails are incorporated into the text of this email to make the news flow easier.]
Ramulo and Brian

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dear Everyone,

So this week I'm e-mailing late again but I think I have a good reason for this one too. If you remember, last week I said I was sick, well I'm still sick and I spent a night in the hospital. But I'll get to that.

Ramulo's Boat
So last Wednesday I was feeling all right so Elder Arzadon and I went to work in our area and we had a lot of great work done with our investigators and less actives. They were really doing well last time I saw them. :) Thursday was about the same as it was Wednesday so those were both great days. haha But a funny thing is that I broke my bike seat so when I ride right now I can't sit down. All the little kids point at it and laugh. It's pretty funny.

Friday was pretty funny because we went to Ramulo's house on the beach, and he showed us his boat. I thought that was pretty cool. After we visited him we had a Branch Home Evening at the chapel and it was a little sad because there were so few people there. I was also starting to feel sick again. :(

Saturday we managed to go out in the afternoon and teach a new investigator a lesson. It went pretty well but I started feeling bad again like right after that.

Christie's Baptism
Christie's Baptism
We went home and got ready for the baptism. We got there on time but forgot a bunch of stuff. haha It always seems that when we have a baptism something always goes wrong. We were a little late getting started (an hour) and then we found out that no one created a program because we thought one of the ward members had done it and he thought we were taking care of it. haha. Anyway we got it all started and it went very well. I was the one who performed the service and it was super sweet. Sister Christie bore her testimony afterward and the spirit was super strong even though she was too quiet for me to hear her because I was in the back of the room. It was a great service though. All in all the baptism was super sweet, and I loved every minute of the service even though I got super sick after that.

[Earlier question from Michelle: When did you feel the Savior's love in your life this past week?] When I was sick in bed and somehow still found the strength to get up and teach some lessons this past week as well as baptize Sister Christie.

Christie's Baptism
Sunday we had a special conference because they realigned the areas in Agoo. President Balledos was there and it was a good meeting... I think I was feeling pretty sick. After the meeting I talked with Sister Balledos, and she told me to get myself checked out that day so we did. The doctor gave me some drugs but they didn't work very well. We came back the next day because I was throwing up and they admitted me to the Hospital. They put me on an IV and everything. It was an interesting 24 hours. Nothing special happened though I just sat there.
Christie's Baptism
Oh they did give me 5 skin tests. I don't like skin tests. I found that out.

Well Tuesday after I was pronounced healthy enough to go home President Balledos came and picked us up from the hospital and took us to our apartment. So far I've been all right. We are just watching to try and make sure I don't get any sicker but I do get better.

[Information from emails back and forth to Martin:] They think it was something I ate or drank but we aren't sure. They gave me some antibiotics as well as some potassium supplements because I'm super low on my potassium. They gave me some other drugs. I also can't eat fatty foods of any kind, and I can only eat apples and bananas for fruits. Also I need to drinks tons of water.

[Martin: Take care of yourself.] I'm trying. haha. I love my companion but he makes a terrible mother. :P Today I'm doing all right but I still feel pretty weak and I still have LBM. [Martin: Did they check you for a parasite?] I think so but they didn't find any.

[Earlier email from Michelle: What is a unique cultural experience you had this week?] Well the people in the hospitals here are super nice and they take good care of you but I never want to go back... I guess that counts right.

That's all. I hope everything is good with all of you.

Elder Christensen

Follow Up from Michelle

Needless to say, this week had a few very difficult days for us. When Brian didn’t email on Monday or Tuesday, we were concerned but not worried. Once or twice, the other boys missed emailing home. Sometimes it just happens. Brian’s emails came through Tuesday night about midnight our time. Martin was online and emailed back and forth with Brian for quite a while. Part of their emails are contained in the main letter above.

When we found out the news, we were not quite so peaceful. Even though Martin and Brian emailed back and forth for a while we still didn’t feel like we knew what was going on. (Nineteen year olds aren’t very good at pressing for information about a diagnosis.) Wednesday morning, which was the middle of the night in the Philippines, Michelle sent an email to President Balledos asking for more detailed information. In the evening, which was Thursday morning for him, he responded and said that Brian had been hospitalized for moderate dehydration. He also said he would call later in the evening our time.

About a half hour after we received the email, President Balledos called. He told us that Brian was doing well. The best they can figure is that Brian drank some “juice” offered to him by one of the members and that it had contained a bunch of bacteria. He gave us the names of the drugs the hospital prescribed for Brian, and we looked them up on the Internet. One was a strong antibiotic and the other was a stomach muscle relaxer. President Balledos told us he had also been in touch with the Church’s doctor there in the Philippines, who is also an American. Dr. Jackson agreed with the diagnosis and the medications.

He said that Brian had lost a lot of weight, and he needed our help to get Brian to eat. :) He told us that Brian enjoyed the air-conditioned room in the hospital overnight. But, his companion, who wasn’t hooked up to the IV, enjoyed the air-conditioned room even more. President Balledos was very friendly and comforting. He put our concerns to rest. We were even more comforted when he put Brian on the phone, and we were able to talk to him for a few minutes.

It was very, very good to talk to him for a few short minutes. The medications are doing their work, and Brian is slowly getting better. He did indicate that he will be transferred this week, which isn’t really surprising because his 12 weeks of training Elder Arzadon are up.

We are very grateful that Brian is doing well and for the advances of technology that both helped him and that let us communicate with him this past week.


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