Lori’s Lollipops – Jan 2010

Lori's Lollipops 2010

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Lori’s Lollipops – January 2010

Greetings from snowy Montana. I can confidently say that this has been the longest year of my life! I feel as though I’ve lived at least 3 years of life in the last 12 months. Two Thousand and Nine started out with me teaching a week in our DTS. We headed to Nicaragua mid-Jan. and I was with the team for 3 weeks. We were privileged to be part of the process of many people coming to know Christ. Early on I was injured playing soccer with some teens and limped around for a couple weeks. Two days following my return to St. Croix I noticed a sudden sharp pain and swelling near my lower calf in my right leg. Little did I know what the next few months would hold for me!

I think most of you were kept updated throughout the discovery, treatment and recovery of my blood clotting saga, so I will keep this to a Reader’s Digest version. It took two weeks of doctor’s visits and phone calls, 2 ultrasounds, 1 MRI, a trip to the E.R. and LOTS of question asking before finally confirming that my right leg had several blood clots. Then came the first hospitalization in STX.

Our DTS team arrived back from outreach while I was still in the hospital. Following their graduation week, which I was able to do on crutches, my swelling and pain worsened. Another ultrasound revealed the clotting had continued in spite of medication. I was readmitted to the hospital and my parents made arrangements to come down. It didn’t take long to figure out that I was in very serious condition. I was being prepared for emergency surgery when a CT scan revealed clotting from my ankle to above my kidneys—thus determining that I could not be operated on in St. Croix. It was stressful, to say the very least, finding a way to transfer to Miami.

People around the globe were praying! I was picked up at the airport in Miami by a firefighter rescue squad and taken to the hospital. There, I was monitored in the ER for 21 hours when an intern, upon studying my CT scan in depth, discovered that I do not have an inferior vena cava (IVC). This developmental abnormality saved my life, and officially made me “one in a million.” Without an IVC, I can never have pulmonary embolism! Released 3 days later, I flew to Montana with my parents under the impression that I would simply need lots of rest, leg elevation and time to recover.

The next morning, my new vascular surgeon advised a surgical procedure called thrombolysis to aid in limiting long-term vein damage. It was a high risk procedure and I was in the ICU in Spokane for 4days. Potent medications and tiny shockwaves flowed through my veins. In fact, one of the IV’s was literally called “coolant” so that my veins would not overheat and blow up from the microwaves! The final day of thrombolysis the doc’s put 3 stents in (4” each) to help prevent this whole journey from happening again in the future. Four days later I was released and returned to my brother’s house in Montana to recover—this time for real! ☺

I was slower than a turtle when I began to walk again in April after 11 weeks of immobility. A bad case of internal/external hives lasted for 3 weeks as my body protested to all the contrast and med’s I had put in it. As my journey back to health began, there were also decisions to be made about my future. In July, after a couple months of praying and seeking advice, I made the not-so-easy decision to leave staff in St. Croix and return to YWAM Montana. Having clearance from my doctor, I flew to STX and spent 6 weeks wrapping up my 4 years of life in the Caribbean. I sold my car on my LAST day there!

While there, the long awaited news concerning my application for charity from the Spokane hospital came. My entire bill of $115,000 was forgiven! The process of applying for charity from St. Croix was a bit more complicated, but again, in October I found out that I received 100% charity. I am still in the process of dealing with the hospital in Miami, I would appreciate prayer for favor.

Also while in St. Croix, we experienced 7 burglaries in 4 weeks. The first two times a couple laptops and digital cameras were stolen from various staff quarters on base. Then, my housemate had a guy slice through her window screen twice with a large knife in the middle of the night and she screamed as she ran for my room. I locked us both inside my room and called the staff guys and 911. It was fairly traumatizing, and unfortunately we never caught the guys.

I moved back to YWAM Montana mid-Sept and am working with DTS’s and DTS Equip here for at least one year. I was not expecting it to be an easy transition, but it was even harder than I originally was preparing myself for. The onslaught of emotions from the year of “unknowns” and transition caught up with me. With my upbringing and our culture telling us how much self-sufficiency is valued, it was a challenging year of relying on others for help. The rubber hits the road in terms of being the body of Christ when you are experiencing personal brokenness. Asking for help is very humbling! God provided a few individuals who helped me walk through some debriefing over the spring/summer. Returning to YWAM Montana after 4 years in the Caribbean is quite an adjustment & in a lot of ways it feels like starting over from square one. But, I know that I’m following God’s leading and He has good for me. As my 30th birthday approached in December, I found myself surprisingly excited given that the new decade seemed to coincide perfectly with a new season of my life. I was ready to put the last words in the chapter of my 20’s and start a new one!

I was blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas with half of my family this year, the first time in 8 years. 2010 will be a busy year for me. I will staff several schools back to back, having already started the first one a few weeks ago. It is a great group of 25 students. The next DTS starts in April. I will not be going on any of the outreaches this year. Even though my doctor has cleared me to fly, we want to figure out the cause of my blood clotting if we can, which will require some more tests this spring after finishing out a year of being on med’s.

This summer I will be staffing DTS Equip, a school to train DTS staff and leaders. I also have a family reunion coming up, and it will be so good to have all my siblings together again!

Over a year ago, I unexpectedly began to consider doing a School of Biblical Studies with YWAM, which is an intensive 9 month school.

At the time, my “near future” consisted of continuing to lead DTS’s in St. Croix…but then the near future changed! It is very possible that I will start this school in the fall and then continue on with an outreach program to teach the Bible in countries where they do not receive teaching.

Prayer Points:

  • Continued health and healing for my body.
  • Direction in the midst of some huge changes in life.
  • Wisdom about Miami bill.
  • Thank you all so much for praying throughout this past year for me! I am inexpressibly thankful for it.

For His Glory,

Lori

Fun Fact: In the past 4 years, I’ve switched between driving on the right and left side of the road 28 times!

9 Comments

  1. Margaret Whitehouse
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    WOW!!! Lori I have just read your newsletter. You sure have been through it….. So good to hear you are mending, it can be hard sometimes when we have to change direction but as you have found God is Faithful, thank you for sharing. Take care, we still miss Montana and try to get back when we can. Hope to catch up again one day. I am blown away by your bill situation, such a blessing huh!! I pray the same will happen to the Miami bill too – Love and hugs Mags xxxx MW

  2. Marilyn
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Lori! Thanks so much for this update and your candid sharing. Wow! I’ll be praying for you and your “new” life and the Miami bill. I’m so So proud of you for all that you are and do. I’m excited for you to see how and what God does this year in your life. It’s been an amazing ride! 🙂 Love you lots! Consider yourself hugged really, really hard. 🙂 Love, Marilyn
    P.S. Thanks again for being such a great small group & outreach leader & friend. I’m so glad that I got to have that time with you. 🙂

  3. Beverley Russell
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    WOW!!!! Is right! Lori, you ARE one in a million. You truly have surrendered your whole life for the kingdom. I thank the Lord that I met you in St Croix and how you encouraged me to keep on keeping on and I am so glad I did.
    That is so brilliant about the bills for the hospitals, He will supply your need for the Miami one too. God is so good!That’s really nice for you to see your family and spend some time with them. Matt 5:16 .Lots of love Bev

  4. Sonja Andersen
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Just read your update! Such a testimony of God’s faithfulness to His people! I am sure that St. Croix misses you greatly but I am sure that Montana is thrilled to have you back! We pray that this year the blessings will overtake you!

  5. Amy Chambers-Grumbei
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Lori, it’s so good to hear that you are healing and feeling God’s leading about what steps to take next. You have been through SO much, woman! I think of you often. I will most definitely keep you in my prayers. Keep me posted! Big hug, Amy

  6. Karla Brooks
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    So good to hear from you Lori! I have thought about you often over the year and so wished I was in Spokane to visit you in the hospital. Thanks for the overview of the last year, I never really knew how it all started and what had really gone on. So happy you are doing better and maybe I will see you this summer when we are in Montana!! Loads of love!

  7. Joni Kaye Ball
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing, Lori!! What a testimony of God’s faithfulness, but also what a need for us to continue to lift to the Lord in prayer!!
    Love, healing, and blessings on you as you continue to be used of Him!!

  8. Tedi/ Hope Mange
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Hey! Wow, praise God for his gracious hands upon yah! U miracle chic!
    I pray the Lord continues to help an sustain you through everything, your awesome and he’s definaetly not done with you yet!
    take care princess!

  9. Debbie Martin
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Bless you Lori! I am in Ellensburg, WA and decided this morning to work from the bottom up with my emails as i have fallen so far behind and never seem to get past the more current ones. So in doing so just found this one you sent months ago!

    I was praying for you while in Nepal and understood a bit s Tiffany was keeping me posted; however reading your letter was even more informative to the miracle of it all.

    My heart really goes out to you as i can only imagine how difficult the past couple years has been. I moved back after seven years of living in Nepal and so understand a bit as to how traumatic the cultural change can be, not to mention all the other life threatening events on top of it. You have my email now so please keep in touch with me. I would love to get your email as well.

    Lori, I speak Ephesians 3:14-21 over you. With love always, Debbie

    Please do keep in touch.

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