11/3/2014 - good birthday & his health challenge: home early or stay another month?

Hey Family!

Mom, sorry, I just have to rip off the bandaid....

They say I have kidney stones.  A doctor in Ghana is going to decide after a few more tests this week if I have to come home early or not.......

OK, deep breath.  Now that the bandaid is off I can start at the beginning and explain everything because I'm sure you have tons of questions especially since just last week I said I was feeling fine.  It started the Thursday before last.  We were in Togo and I woke up in the middle of the night and had this pain right on my back above my hip on the right side (right where my kidney is).  I had no idea what it was and just thought I slept on it wrong.  It was bothering me and so I got up got a drink of water and then because I was so tired fell back asleep. And then when I woke up in the morning it was gone and I didn't think any more about it. We went through the rest of the week, no problems, and I forget all about it.  Then Monday rolls around.  About 5 in the morning I wake up with the same pain, first just bothering me, I can't get comfortable, turn, get up walk around, sit down. Just keeps getting worse and worse.  So I tried to drink some water, and eat some bread to take some Ibuprofen but when I took it I got nauseated and a few minutes later threw it up.  We called Sister Morin (who is a nurse and awesome with health stuff) and she said that it’s probably a virus and that it'll pass just keep trying to drink water and hold on.  So I would try to drink water, throw up, and then suffer.  It was not pleasant.  I started to get cramps in my stomach because of throwing up. Then after a while of that I threw up one more time and it just started to get better.  We put hot cloths on my stomach and the pain started to go away and I thought it was done.  Sister Morin said that is what was going to happen so we all thought it was just a virus.  By the end of Monday I was feeling pretty much fine.  Walking around in the apartment, eating, drinking, really no more pain.  But I stayed home just to rest but I told Elder Oliverson to write you and say that I was feeling better, because I was.  

Then I got up Tuesday, I felt a slight pain in my back but I thought I was just sore from the pain yesterday, then it just started to get worse and worse, until I said, ok something’s wrong, this isn't just a virus. So we went in and saw a doctor.  That’s when I found out for the first time it could be kidney stones.  She told me to go and get an x-ray and an ultrasound and to come back.  So I fixed an appointment and that was on Thursday. 

After a lot of waiting, we got them done.  While the doctor was doing the ultrasound he said he saw a few kidney stones on the LEFT side (opposite of where the pain was) but that they were kind of small.  Then on the RIGHT side he saw a few big ones.  He said they could range from 9 to 12 mm with one probably around 15 mm.  With that in mind he said to come back the next day (Friday) to get the results all written up with the pictures.  So Friday morning I go and pick those up and bring them back to the other doctor and Sister Morin.  First Sister Morin said that she has to send them to a doctor in Ghana, a guy named Doctor Hill.  But she said that those are some pretty big kidney stones and that I might need an operation and might have to go home early, even though it’s just a couple more weeks.  Then I went back to the first doctor and she said, yep I thought it was kidney stones.  She asked me when I was going home and I said, Dec 9th and she said oh ok that’s not too far, do you want to go home or stay to get it fixed back home.  I said, obviously I would like to stay and she said ok.  Since the kidney stones are so big that means that I have been living with them for a while now and that just another month is not that much more.  That comforted me a little.  That night I went home and we were out teaching someone and Sister Morin calls and says that the Doctor Hill in Ghana called and said that he got the x-ray and ultrasound and that he would like me to take some more tests to make a better decision, but that I might have to go home early even with one month left. 

Sister Morin called and fixed an appointment with a specialist for Monday (Today).  That is why I am so late writing.  We waited there for awhile and then he said to do this blood test to see how the kidneys are functioning, and then to go and get a SCAN thing, not an MRI but something like that, it’s just called scan in French.  And that with those results he will write us up a report.  So we called and fixed the visit to get the scan.  It is on Wednesday at 11:30 am.  I got my blood taken there and will get those results tomorrow for the scan on Wednesday.  Now, Sister Morin said that after we get the results of the scan on Wednesday we will send those to Doctor Hill in Ghana as well as the report for the other specialist and he will make the final decision if I stay or go. 

ok, That was a lot, but I think it’s all. Take another deep breath.  

I don't want to come home early.  But if there is one thing I've learned on my mission, it is that God has a plan.  True happiness is when we want what God wants.  That is internal peace.  So, while my initial reaction was fear and honestly a little bit of frustration verging on anger, those have quickly passed.  Obviously I've been thinking about it a lot.  I've adopted a "thy will be done" attitude.  Whatever happens will be for the best, in the long run, the eternal run.  

Mom, if you have any questions don't wait to write them, write them back right away, I will be here for a little bit longer, not a whole long time, but I'll try and give you more details if you want.  

I love you,
Elder Rybin

ps, besides for that, the week wasn't that bad, had a birthday, ate some delicious cake the couple made, made potato salad, taught some great lessons.  so sorry that I didn't really have time to fill you in on the half of the glass that is still full.  loves! :)