Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Update from Princess Margaret Hospital

The last week here at the hospital has admittedly been a challenge. The transplant on the 20th was more unpleasant than I expected but it also marked the beginning of nausea. Since then my mucus fluid levels in my head have increased just as my mouth and tongue have swollen up, and I have developed lesions that have become incredibly painful so that I often cannot speak or swallow. I am on a permanent morphine drip to control the pain. Often this presents problems when I close my eyes. I have no problem telling the difference between reality and dreams except when I close my eyes. Then the two tend to fade into each other. Not fun!

I'm also on permanent oxygen supply because my blood oxygen levels are down. Amazingly it's related to my mouth and the mucus levels. My saliva, etc., runs down my throat in greater quantities and in a different consistency than before and it gets caught in my esophagus. I cough to loosen it and it goes away. This has gone on for several days. Now, I'm more tired, my esophagus is raw and my throat sore. So now it takes a few gentle coughs to free it up.

The mouth and tongue break down is largely due to the result of various side-effects of the preparatory chemotherapy and the TMX that I need to take in days following to diminish the severity of Graft Versus Host Disease.
Why do I write all of this? Largely so that you can know how to pray. The loss of mental alertness, the poor quality of nightly sleeping due to pain and coughing, and the disconcerting shifting between dreams and reality are the most troublesome. Positively, I have been told that none of this is unusual. Indeed, I am apparently doing quite well. There are other unpleasant side-effects that I have not experienced yet. Perhaps, I won't. One can hope!

Do uphold my family and the VOMC staff during these days as well. They are truly God's gifts to me, as are each of you who pray and sacrifice on behalf of the Persecuted Church.

I want to end with one lesson I learned recently at about 4:00 in the morning. My throat felt like it was on fire, resulting in excruciating pain in my ears. I felt as it I would lose my mind. Before I knew it, my teeth started chattering and I was surprised by this because I did not have a fever and I wasn't cold. I then remembered back to stories that I believe I read from Richard Wurmbrand of how extreme pain could bring about such chattering of teeth. O horror, as the body responds in shock. One's teeth chatter in pain.

Anyway, I found a ray of comfort from that in knowing that the pain I was experiencing was perhaps in magnitude, if not in nature, similar to that suffered by the persecuted during dark early mornings of torturous pain. The call to trust God in the midst of it all is the same, of course. May I be found faithful. Do remember me in your prayers.


gracie said...

Anything I say will appear shallow, I have no experience with the depth of pain and suffering you are describing - I will be praying for you to the God of all comfort. Thank you for letting us know, it's important.

Anonymous said...

Glenn, Don't know if you've already read this blog - this is a sister in Christ who experienced the same transplant earlier in 2006:


Rob Somers said...

Hi Glenn,

I know you weren't trying to bring anyone to tears, but you did it anyway.

We are still praying for you here, and thank you for the updates. I have this blog set up in my RSS aggregator, so I know whenever it updated. This is a good way to keep you in my prayers and also, as you said, that we can know how to pray.

May God give you strength, grace, and health.

Rob & Rachael Somers

Anonymous said...

Hey Glenn (ah...aka baldy? :) Okay, that wasn't funny was it? I'm not even sure if you have hair still. The last time I checked you were bald....thus the nickname.

Lucky for you I can only pick on you via this blog and email. I really wish I could come and visit you in the hospital. That way I could distract you from all your pain and make you laugh with my antics.

In fact, I read a great joke recently. It had to do with naming a pet rock "Stone". Yes, that is totally funny and you know it!

I'm still praying for you and of course ripping off some of your material on this blog for my own purpose on the persecution blog.

Love your buddy,


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Glenn. We continue to trust the eternal God to carry you through what right now may seem to go on endlessly. We pray that the stem cells get their act together soon and you begin to feel the benefits of that. Our love and prayers are always with you.

Your fellow geezer :o)

Ben said...

you don't know me, but hang in there anyway, ok? thanks for posting. God bless.

Jenny said...

Just letting you know that we will be praying for you. While I have not had your situation exactly I have been there with the level of pain and can remember strong feelings when the pain was so bad I could not move to even pick up the phone next to me. An amazing book that I found to be a huge source of encouragement was "You gotta keep dancing" by Tim Hansel. About how we can serve God even in the midst of pain and bodily struggles. Hang in there and take joy in God's amazing plan.

Tim said...

May God bless you and sustain you in this time of trouble.

Have confidence that the LORD is able to make you stand: Romans 14:4.

Anonymous said...

Hey Glenn,

It's me again. I thought I'd pop in to see how you are and let you know that you and your family are in my heart and prayers. Love ya, guy!

Your buddy,