Saturday, June 10, 2017

Surviving a Blood Clot on the Brain

It’s Saturday morning, June 10, and I just packed my backpack. In a short while I will drive five hours to Xochitepec. Sometimes I can get there in less time, but now that the rainy season has started, parts of the trip will involve mud road, not dirt road.
It will be great to be among the noble people of Xochitepec again
I am going so that I can be present tomorrow for Father Vicente Montiel’s last Mass as part of the parish team in Xochitepec. His superiors in his congregation (Missionaries of the Holy Spirit) have asked him to offer his service in the country of Panama, and he accepted. Vicente has been a great friend here in the mountains, and I was happy to accept his invitation to accompany him tomorrow.
Father Vicente is the younger priest in this photo taken on Holy Saturday evening
This will be my first “long trip” into the mountains since Holy Week in mid-April. On April 19 I did some heavy lifting, and at one point an intense pain invaded my head. For two weeks I stayed at home, mostly with my eyes closed, due to the pain. I went three times to different doctors in Tlapa, and those doctors prescribed pain killers, but they didn’t help much.
When people heard that I was sick at home, many came to visit me—
and some, like Martha and Ramiro, brought food to feed the sick man
On May 5 my good friends Hector Miranda and Luisa Elena Arevalo visited me from Puebla, and they realized that I was in pretty bad shape: my vision was blurred, and my balance was off when I walked. They insisted that I go to Puebla with them to see a neurologist. The neurologist sent me for tests (tomography, MRI, etc.). The official diagnosis was “thrombosis of the superior longitudinal sinus”: that basically means a blood clot on my brain.
Thank you, Hector and Luisa Elena, for doing so much for me
The neurologist said that undoubtedly Hector and Luisa Elena had saved my life, because without treatment, the blood clot would have hemorrhaged soon. He stated that it was one of the largest that he had ever seen, and that it was “an anomaly” (he didn’t say “a miracle”) that I was even able to move about.
You can see that Luisa Elena and Hector took good care of me... hee hee hee
I was hospitalized in Puebla on May 9, and I received a steady dose of anti-clotting medicine. Another tomography with dye on May 15 indicated that the blood was now flowing (a bit), and I was allowed to come home under the condition that I rest for three weeks. More or less I lived up to that condition.
It was great to receive a visit in the hospital from my good friend Gerardo Debbink,
director of Quest Mexico in Cuernavaca
I had a follow-up appointment with the neurologist last week, and he says that I am progressing well. I will continue taking the anti-clotting medicine for three months, but he says that I can start getting back into my “usual” activities. So things are almost “normal” for me again; I just have to be careful, says the neurologist.
I was well enough to go last week to the Champagnat High Scool of the Mountain,
where Tlapa's bishop, Don Dagoberto, confirmed dozens of students
I thank the many people who sent prayers and best wishes during the past few weeks. And I apologize for not writing sooner on this blog site. People have been most generous to me, and I will always be grateful.
I will always be grateful to the many people from Tlapa (like the family above)
and other places who visited me in the hospital
So please know that I am well. To get to Xochitepec today, I have to drive past Doña Modesta’s house and Braulio’s house. I am looking forward to being able to greet them. And it will be a joy to accompany again my many friends in Xochitepec. My friends, have a wonderful weekend, and God bless. Thank you for your interest in Mission Mexico.
I'm debating whether I should attempt to be
a model for hospital gowns

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