The Georges in Peru

Out and about

11 Mar 2016

Amy has been feeling enough better lately that she went with me on my weekly visit to Alejandro yesterday.  Alejandro is the 83 y/o amputee that I visit each Thursday to take him food and help clean up his room.  It was Amy's idea to set a bucket with a spigot on a stand so that he can wash his hands and get a cup of water easily.  He really likes it.

He has two wheel chairs, so we borrowed one for Amy while we visited.  While they talked, I swatted about 50 flies.

My brother Lyle left last night.  He said that he lost 19 pounds on the Peruvian weight loss program.  Guaranteed results!  Order now, operators are standing by!

Amy has felt pretty well for the last 3 days, taking pain killers only a couple of times per day.  But she feels like her head is 'spinning' all of the time, which adds to her difficulty in walking.  Thanks for praying.

I don't know you, but can I bring you lunch?

09 Mar 2016

Last week we received a call from a woman we'd never met before, "Hi.  My name's Lidda and I heard about the health of your wife and I would like to bring you dinner some day."  Her daughter lives in Springfield, Virginia (just outside of Washington, DC) and five years ago the daughter's husband died of melanoma.  Their church rallied around them and took care of them so well, it really impressed Lidda, so she wanted to extend the same generosity to us!  She brought a great meal of roasted chicken, potatoes and vegetables.  Who would think that the generous acts by people in Virginia would spill over to bless us in Peru?

Nothing more Peruvian than a potato!

Amy had a really good day yesterday.  She went to our team meeting and was awake a large portion of the day.   Her balance was better and right now she's even tackling a sudoku, which she hasn't been able to do for a while.  It's been her best in 3 weeks.

Less headaches, more tummy troubles

07 Mar 2016

Amy's doing well on the headache front, but she (and thus we) had a rough night because of her tummy.  My brother calls it the 'Peruvian weight loss program', but Amy's about 55 kg (121#) and doesn't need to lose weight.  And not being able to run to the bathroom makes it even worse.  Thankfully, the cipro (antibiotic) I gave last night seems to already be working and she ate a decent breakfast this morning and no more troubles.

So what do we do all day?  I wake up around 5:30 or 6 am and usually help Amy use the bathroom and help her take her morning meds.  I then try to get her settled back in bed and I make breakfast for the kids.  I check on her every 5 minutes or so, since this is the time of day I'm the only one awake to be watching her.  I wake up Mia at 6:20, Ben wakes himself up and I wake up Paul around 6:30, unless I forget, in which case I wake him up when I realize that he hasn't come to breakfast.  Being a boy, he just gets out of bed and comes downstairs without needing to fix his hair or nails.  I wake up Sarah around 6:45 and she sits with Amy while I go for my morning run.  She runs with me some mornings, so we have Uncle Lyle watch Amy while we are out.  Amy sleeps most of the day (about 20-22 hours).  She's been going downstairs for all three meals, but the walk up the stairs afterwards nearly wipes her out and she goes back to bed to sleep.  Our fellow missionaries have been bringing us the midday meal, which everyone loves.  I love not having to try to cook while watching Amy.  The kids like the variety of food.  Amy likes the chance to see people, and we all like the distraction of dinner guests.  Sarah has been reading "The Westing Game" to her when she is awake.  I often read her emails.  When she's awake she alternates between lucid and confused, but she still cracks jokes and says she feels guilty she isn't helping more around the house.  I have to physically stop her from trying to help clear the table after meals since she can't carry things back to the kitchen.  She only leaves the house to go to church or walk around the block when she feels strong.  Church is very hard because there are lots of stairs in and out of it, none with handrails.  During the night, I tie Amy to myself with some baling twine on a carabiner, so she doesn't try to get up to go to the bathroom unaccompanied.  All of her recents falls occured before I started doing that.  I figured out last night to tie her to my pillow.  Still wakes me up without tying me down or me waking her up if I have to get up.  

A Very Good Night

05 Mar 2016

Last night Amy had a very good night.  She slept from 9pm until 6am without moving.  It was actually a bit disconcerting and I'd try to be quiet and make sure I could hear her breathing several times during the night.  She woke up with hardly any pain or nausea and even walked around the block.  Her condition fluctuates so much it is really an emotional rollercoaster.  

Operating Room in Casa George

04 Mar 2016

During meal times, if Amy isn't feeling well, someone sits with her while the rest eat.  Last night, as I sat with Amy and she chatted about how much her head hurt and how nauseated she was, I heard a crash/thud and a yell, "Dad!  Uncle Lyle fell on the floor and his head is bleeding!"  Lyle has been victim of Montezuma's revenge for the last day and a half and it made him so light-headed he passed out at supper, fell on the floor and cut open his forehead.  Luckily, I still have all the needed equipment for minor surgery in my pharmacy, so the George Family OR team (Sarah and Ben held lights, Paul handed me equipment and Mia sat with Amy) got to work and patched him up.  Our couch has seen a lot of surgeries.  I used especially large needles as payback for all the mean things Lyle did to me from when we were kids. 

Amy is doing better today and even ate a bit of breakfast.  But she is still having lots of pain and is pretty confused most of the time.  Please pray that her pain subsides.

Bad Night

03 Mar 2016

Amy had a horrible night last night.  Lots of face pain and threw up multiple times.  It makes it tricky to try to guess if I should give her medicines again, or assume that she absorbed the medicine during the time it was in her stomach.

Yesterday I went with my brother to visit the medical school.  Amy said that she wants her body donated to science (I've always loved her practicality:  She said she didn't want some grave that might be thousands of miles from her kids that they'd feel obligated to visit.) and since the local medical school was nice enough 15 years ago to revalidate our medical licenses (something we were told over and over was about impossible to get done) we felt they should be the recipients.  They were very appreciative and said that no one ever does that here.  They have to buy unclaimed cadavers from the local morgue.  

Tuesday lunch

01 Mar 2016

Today, some women from church came to make Amy one of her favorite dishes, causa.  It is a dish of layered mashed potatoes and vegetables with avocados and tuna.  It's quite good.  Amy sat in the rocking chair in the kitchen while they worked, which she enjoyed.  

Ben isn't pictured because he went out to a cebichería (fish restaurant) with friends for the last day of summer vacation.  School begins tomorrow.  They are not thrilled by this.

Amy has had less headaches, but she is getting weaker, especially on her left side (as expected, since the tumor is on the right side).  We had to carry her to this fine meal, but she was able to walk upstairs to her bedroom to sleep afterwards.

Never a Bad Day for a Run

28 Feb 2016

I always say, "There's never a bad day for a run in Arequipa."  That's because the temperatures are mild all year round and we live in a desert, so it rarely rains.  But when it does rain, the city infrastructure is unprepared for it and this last week it rained and washed out some pipelines leaving us, ironically, without water.  Today is the Arequipa marathon.  It really didn't work for me to run even the 10K with Amy's condition, but since Lyle was here and awake at 6:30 am, I went for a run on one of my regular routes.  When I came home, I couldn't take a shower, because there is a water cut and our backup tank was empty!  Luckily, the Peats, missionaries from England, live nearby and said a phrase we've heard a lot lately, "If there is anything we can do, let us know."  They have their own well, and graciously allowed us to shower at their house.  Good thing since we have church tonight!  Amy has felt better today than yesterday, and plans on going to church tonight.  The nice shower probably has contributed positively to that!

Here are the leaders of the Arequipa Marathon at the 30K point near our house.  Hope they got a shower when they were done.

Vist from Lyle George

27 Feb 2016

My brother Lyle came to visit today.  It has been raining so much here in Arequipa, many of the flights have been cancelled.   Since most years it doesn't rain, it has been deemed an unnecessary expense to install the instruments needed at the airport to allow planes to land in fog or rain.  So I was glad when I woke up at 5 am to see completely clear skies for the first time in a week and I knew his flight would come in.  It is great to have my big brother here!

Lyle and I howl at each other when we see each other for the first time in a while.  I think he scared the woman in pink.

Amy's had a worse day today.  More headaches and more pain pills.


25 Feb 2016

Today I stopped to be a good Samaritan and help the driver of the fire-extinguisher company van who had backed into a hole.  Why is there a hole like this in the street?  I won't pretend to know.  As I was unrolling my tow rope, five other guys came by and helped push him out.  I really liked how the paint job on the van fit the surroundings!

Amy had a pretty good day today.  She took one pain pill and ate well.


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