We made it back! It’s been a whirlwind for the past few weeks of packing up our apartment, moving to Katya’s parents’ apartment, packing up for our trip to America, hospital stays, and much more! If you would like to skip to the end for a summary, you can, but, if not, keep reading and you’ll get all the details! 😀
For the last two months or so my (David’s) condition has been bouncing up and down between better and worse with no real positive change. My foot has been swollen, even though I’ve been on some pretty powerful medications that are specifically designed to treat ankylosing spondylitis. My doctor has been shocked, and really didn’t know what to do with me, particularly because my left foot’s swelling never went down, no matter what she did.
A friend of ours at church is studying to be a surgeon, and she is working at the local emergency hospital in L’viv. She recommended that we get a second opinion from a rheumatologist that she knows at that hospital.
I really enjoyed talking to the new doctor. She’s intelligent, and she listens to me. (My first doctor didn’t always let me finish my sentences – she would cut me off.) The new doctor, Olena, started asking a lot of questions and doing tests. We confirmed the ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis, but there were signs of another disease as well: rheumatism. The more she dug and searched, the more it looked like rheumatism was the main problem, while ankylosing spondylitis was just in the background.
Olena, my new doctor, asked if I would like to be treated for rheumatism, saying that there was a good chance that most of my symptoms would clear up after a 20-day treatment. I explained that, while I was leaving for America before 20 days would be over, I was interested in treatment. We then worked out a way for me to be in the hospital for 5 days for an initial treatment.
Staying in a Ukrainian hospital was an adventure! 😀 It wasn’t as bad as you would think, though. I honestly don’t think I would have been any more comfortable in an American hospital, except for the fact that I had a lot of roommates that snored a lot – we had a symphony every night. The place was clean, the nurses were nice, and the treatment was effective. Please pray for the guys I stayed with. I tried to be a good witness there.
Here’s the best part – my foot is doing SO much better. I really think this new doctor hit the nail on the head. I have a lot less swelling, I can put a lot more weight on my foot, and I have a lot more flexibility and mobility in my ankle.
Another thing that was cool was that the new doctor’s assistant is a Christian, and it was really encouraging to know that someone who worked there in the hospital was not only rooting for me to get better but also praying for me.
I’m sorry that it’s been so long since we’ve updated you guys. It’s been an adventure. Thank you all for your prayers. If you’ll be at Horizon Indy on Sunday, we’ll see you there. We’ll probably be there at 2nd or 3rd service. Please pray for our jet lag.
Summary / Prayer Requests:
- I have a new Ukrainian doctor, a new treatment, and much better results
- I’m still being monitored and treated from Ukraine, even though I just got to America with Katya
- We are still planning on going to the doctor here in America to confirm diagnoses, etc.
- BTW – WE’RE HERE! 😀
- We will need a car from the beginning of March on, so if you have anything or know anyone that could let us borrow a car for a couple of months, please send me a message
- Please be praying for: my treatment, our time in America, and Katya’s mom’s health