March 9, 2015
Well, it’s been a longer time away from updating the blog than I planned, but I have had a few things keeping me busy!
January was a busy month getting over another cold (both Chris and I were sick over the Christmas holidays) and getting back in to the swing of things at work, wrapping up loose ends at the day-care I was working at as I received a promotion to become Deputy Manager come February at one of our company’s other day-cares! And the exciting thing is that this day-care is also quite a bit closer to home, too. So I worked at finishing up projects and saying goodbye to my lovely little students and co-workers, but didn’t finish up in the way that I expected to in mid-February because…
On February 11 I became extremely sick on the bus on my way to work. Will spare you the graphic details except to say that lurching city buses + an upset, rolling tummy = one unhappy Rebekah. I made it home and to the doctor, who diagnosed me with a kidney infection and sent me home with loads of antibiotics and painkillers, which I couldn’t keep down. By 2:30 am I was in so much abdominal pain I thought I was going to kick the bucket, so my faithful husband drove me to the local A & E (Emerg for my Canadian friends!) at the Southmead Hospital as the doctor said if the pain got worse to go straight in.
After much poking and prodding, an x-ray and ultrasound and catheter later (ouch!) the results came back: I had acute pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. The main causes for pancreatitis are 1) excessive indulgence in alcohol, 2) gallstones or 3) trauma to the abdomen. Well, number 1 was out as I don’t drink, number 2 was out as the x-ray and ultrasound revealed no gallstones and number 3 had not happened. So that left the more obscure, random causes: scorpion bites (haven’t seen those in the UK), hypothermia (it has barely hit below 0 here this winter so that wasn’t it) or parasites (wasn’t these either), or, as mine has been so far, due to unknown causes as 1 in 10 cases are.
So I ended up in hospital from February 12 until February 16, with an MRI scan done on the 17. I was off work until February 23 to try and recuperate from the infection, which caused weight loss and low blood sugar. During my time both in hospital and recovering afterwards our family and friends were amazing to me. I have never received so many calls, e-mails, texts, flowers, chocolates, prayers and even a teddy bear! I am so thankful that God has blessed us with such an amazing support system, and even though I was physically away from my family on another continent the support from our church families here (both Kensington and Cromhall), family and friends in Canada, our friends at the Baptist College and my workplace was overwhelming! I continued to recover, and on February 23 went back to work to begin my new role as Deputy Manager. There will be a lot for me to learn in my new role, but I am looking forward to the challenge and eager to form new relationships with my co-workers, students and parents. I was back at work for one week until…
On March 2 I went in to hospital again for my scheduled septoplasty and ear grommet surgery. I have been plagued with sinus infections for the past fifteen years or so, and in the last year I have had sinus and ear pain that just would not go away. Shortly after our arrival in Bristol I found a family doctor as the sinus infection I’d been fighting since January just wouldn’t leave in spite of repeat antibiotics and nasal spray. The doctor here referred me to see an ENT specialist, who through a series of hearing tests, a CT scan and x-rays discovered that I had a congenital (since birth) defect with my nasal passages, causing my left nasal passage to be almost completely closed and my right nasal passage to function for both, thereby causing repeat sinusitis, ear pressure, hearing loss and pain I’d been experiencing in my right ear.
The first several days after the surgery were full of agony- I felt like I had been punched in the face. Because my nose was packed with dissolvable packing I had to breathe through my mouth, which was extremely painful on my throat because of the anaesthetic tube that was placed down my throat for surgery. Not a fun couple of days. The doctor also said that within a day or two I would be able to hear out of my right ear again, but it was blocked and felt like it was full of cotton wool. By Friday I had begun to feel so congested that we had to take a trip back to the hospital for the ENT, who gave me a decongestant and said that the sinus pressure should lessen with time and my hearing should come back as the packing dissolved. Today is one week after surgery, and although I still have sinus pressure it certainly has lessened and I am feeling more able to do “normal” things again (although I still have to be careful for the next week).I still can’t hear out of my right ear but am praying that as the packing continues to dissolve that my hearing will be restored.
So, after the misadventures of the last month I am preparing to go back to work again. The events of the past month, while not what I would have chosen, have certainly given me time to reflect on the blessings in my life. The blessing of a relationship with a God who loves me, cares for me and comforts me in times of trials. The blessing of a husband who truly is by my side in sickness or in health and in sickness and in health. The blessing of being part of a family who lifts me up although they are far away. The blessing of belonging to a spiritual family, both here and in Canada, who encourage me by showing God’s love in many ways. The blessing of friends, both new and old, who bring me joy in difficult times. The blessing of time to just be still, in spite of pain, and know the love of Jesus in my life.
During this past month, one Bible passage has really stood out to me, which has been a passage that I will cherish as I think back on this time for years to come. What a blessing to know that I am His and He is mine!
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
December 30, 2014
Well, once again Christmas has come and gone and I am left wondering at how quickly time has slipped away!
Christmas at the Crockers’ was very busy this year as my sister Abby flew from Toronto to the London Gatwick Airport on December 14 and stayed with us until December 27. As I still had to work while she was here Chris played chaperone and tour guide, taking her to see several stately homes in the surrounding area, visiting the Bristol city centre and for a day trip to Bath. Chris and Abby and I also went to north Wales for four days to stay in a lovely little cottage. We hiked up the tallest mountain in Wales, Mount Snowdon, and found snow at the top. We visited the castle of the Prince of Wales, Caernarfon Castle, and enjoyed playing games and watching movies by our cottage’s fireplace. We listened to Christmas music on our way home and saw a rainbow, too!
Christmas Eve Chris prepared a lovely turkey dinner for Abby and I complete with gluten free stuffing and all the fixings. From now on Chris can cook the turkey every year! We took Abby to her first midnight Christmas service ever at Christ Church in Clifton. With candles softly glowing we sang carols while remembering the anticipation of the long expected birth of the Messiah Jesus over 2000 years ago. Christmas morning was spent at celebrating the birth of Christ at our church Kensington Baptist in the morning and with friends from Kensington who graciously invited us over for lunch in the afternoon. We ate a lovely turkey dinner, complete with Christmas pudding and traditional Christmas crackers, and later on went for a crisp, clear afternoon walk in Eastville Park. Christmas evening we talked with our families on Skype and opened gifts from family and friends- we were blessed by all that we received!
Sadly on the 27 we had to take Abby to the airport to see her back on her way to Canada. We are now counting down until we have friends and family come again this spring- so exciting!
This message brings a belated very merry Christmas and happy new year to all of our family and friends from the Crockers. May you be blessed with joy and love as you celebrate the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord.