Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Short-term medical leave

Hello friends,

I haven't updated my blog very much these last few weeks as I have been traveling around the states and rarely have a chance to sit and think and write.

I have been through almost a dozen states on this journey, preached almost a dozen times, taught more than a dozen hours worth of classes and Bible studies, met hundreds of mission supporters, and raised thousands of dollars for the new student center.  I am exhausted.  And I am slowing down.

In early May I found a tick three days after I had been in the woods.  When I began to have flu like symptoms a couple of weeks later I went to the infectious disease clinic in Lviv and convinced them to test me for Lyme disease even though it wasn't familiar to them.  The test came back negative.

When I returned to the states, I still had flu like symptoms, arthritis in my joints, and sever muscle pain - so I went back to the doctor and a blood test confirmed that I had Lyme disease.  The antibiotics were brutal, but I was thankful to be getting better.

I will be staying in the states a few more weeks as we continue to do some testing to make sure that the antibiotics took care of the Lyme disease.  Also, there might have been some damage to my nervous system and fine motor skills as a result of the Lyme disease and I will have further testing and lab work to see what can be done about that.

My hope is to be well enough to return to Ukraine in mid-August and be there as we finish preparations for the coming semester.  It is a great joy to have a Ukrainian co-director, Pastor Volodimir Prokip, who has handled everything perfectly in my absence and who I trust will continue to do a terrific job managing things until I return.  Also, our mission intern Erica Oliveira and planning coordinator Olya Hapich are busy at working planning a fun schedule for our students this coming year and I'm sure that everyone will have a wonderful time meeting and connecting to the student center through these events.

I will be spending the rest of my time in the states resting and relaxing in Illinois with my family there.  

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