At 7 a.m., I called my friend Becky and asked her if she could come watch the kids while Kevin took me back to the hospital. (We learned on Tuesday that it's easier to NOT have kids around when doing these hospital things.) Becky got her kids ready for school and came over around 8. Sometime between 7 and 8 I noticed that I started having a lot of contractions.
Once at the hospital again, they hooked me up to some more "infusions" to stop the contractions as they figured out what to do. There were times that the pain was so awful that I couldn't even speak. I texted a couple friends and asked them to pray that the Lord would have mercy because at that time I thought I would die from the pain. (An orderly had come in for something and later came back in the day to check on me because he was so worried after seeing me.) Sometime in the next few hours I was able to breathe again.
Doctors and nurses came in and out that day trying to figure things out and monitor the baby and my contractions. The question was always, "How is the pain?" And my response was always, "I'm in pain all of the time, just not wanting to die at the moment." They would chuckle every time and look at me with sad puppy dog eyes. I don't remember much else, other than updating Facebook because I had literally thousands of people praying for me on at least five continents and then doing FaceTime with my parents back in Chicago and hearing that they were going to fly in on Sunday. Best news.
While in the hospital, I did get a lot of time (when not in the intense pain) to read God's precious Word. He seemed to light up passage after passage (ones I have read countless times before!) that encouraged my soul and reminded me in where to place my trust. It was precious time. And it also allowed for me to share some with my favorite nurse Gabi, who walked in to check on me and asked what I was studying. After talking for a bit, she said she thought that it was a good thing that I read my Bible. :)
By Friday afternoon, the pain was still there but even more manageable. I just couldn't stand up at all and had to walk around bent over to keep the pain to a minimum. I knew I would be taken to another hospital downtown Budapest that afternoon for another ultrasound and a possible MRI. I was nervous at my lack of Hungarian to understand it all, and we prayed that the Lord would provide some English speakers for us.
At 3 p.m., the ambulance came to get me. First, the Lord blew me away by giving me such kind and hilarious ambulance drivers, one of whom spoke excellent English. It was a new ambulance, so they had to figure out some things, which made us all laugh. Lying down flat on my back was intensely painful, and I was grateful that they offered that I could either lie down or sit up. So I sat up. :) It was snowing a lot, so I prayed for safety. And to be honest, I was a little disappointed that my first (and Lord willing my last!) ambulance ride I didn't get to have lights or sirens on. Of course every bump in the road made me want to die, and for those of you who haven't driven roads in Hungary, there isn't a road that exists that doesn't have huge pot holes.
|My first (and Lord willing my last!) ambulance ride|
We waited for awhile before going in for my initial ultrasound. And guess what? He spoke English as well! He was quiet and didn't say much at first before calling in a few other people to look at my ultrasound. He explained that he saw the spots on my liver and asked when I had my last abdominal ultrasound. With my same "I've never had one before" response, he just said that they could have been there for a long time. And he decided from the ultrasound that I definitely had a cyst causing the problem but that he wasn't sure that my appendix wasn't involved as well. He said that they would need to do an MRI. I told him that I would only do one without the contrast solution, and he said, "We wouldn't use the contrast solution because you're pregnant." Ha! Those evil doctors said I HAD to, and he said they wouldn't because it wasn't safe for me.
I waited for awhile longer before being called in for the MRI. I was apprehensive about feeling claustrophobic, but it wasn't bad. I literally quoted Scripture over and over the whole time and then could think of only two songs: Great is Thy Faithfulness and Be Thou My Vision. It was a peaceful 25 minutes or so.
They wanted to do one more ultrasound after that. When it was done, he said that he was going to recommend surgery as that seemed to be the solution for now, be it just the cyst or my appendix as well. I told the radiologist that I had people all over the world praying for us and specifically for English speaking people to help us navigate this system. And I thanked him for being such a huge help and that he spoke so clearly and so well. He was an answer to prayer. And then the previously stoic man got the biggest smile on his face and said that he was so glad to help and was glad that his English was understandable as he didn't use it much. Oh, so grateful for him.
And then another hour of waiting... The ambulance driver kept making fun of the socialized system of medicine and mimicking the "only five more minutes" we were told nearly 20 times. But he and his buddy stayed close by and continued to do everything for us. What an immense blessing!
I was taken back to the hospital by ambulance, where my favorite nurse Gabi was waiting for me and told me to just rest and relax as much as possible over the weekend. I was feeling good (although still in pain) and was able to do FaceTime with our families. And after having had so many answered prayers that day, I was able to find a semi-comfortable position in which I was able to fall asleep.