As Though It Were Scheduled!

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Thursday, January 8, 2015 I published Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet. This issue kicked off our 17th year of continuous publication. The Gazette is published monthly and has been since 1999. Meanwhile, Bonnie and I, along with others, continue to prepare the next quarterly issue of The Voice of Truth International for publication. It is printed primarily in English but also in numerous foreign languages and Braille; VOTI also serves as a feeder magazine for various publications, especially in India.

Saturday, January 10, a group of members from the Collierville, TN Church of Christ drove the two and a half hours to work in our combination warehouse and office. Together, we accomplished a number of things that day (e.g., replace 8’ fluorescent light bulbs or ballasts where necessary, restocked shelves from which we draw books daily to fulfill stateside requests for literature, prepared two separate mailings of The Voice of Truth International, packaged priority mail boxes for overseas shipment, packaged boxes of books for preachers overseas, loaded about 1,200 pounds of literature in our car ultimately bound for Guyana, South America and packed promotional bags to give away at an upcoming lectureship program). With this kind of help, we accomplished more than the Winona Five could have found time to do over a period of months. We are thankful for such interest and help behind the scenes in missionary work.

Later that afternoon, Bonnie, Rebecca and I drove to our daughter’s home in Collierville. That put us in position for me speaking the next day for the East Frayser Church of Christ, in northeast Memphis. Sunday morning during worship, I preached, “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.” Bonnie and I were treated to lunch by an elder and his wife. Later in the day, I made my PowerPoint presentation about our 2014 Guyana Mission Trip. We were well received and encouraged.

Monday was a long day. Bonnie and I carted the 1,200 pounds of The Voice of Truth International, books and tracts to Nashville, TN to leave with a shipper for Guyana. We packed 1,820 loose copies of VOTI in 75 gallon fiber shipping barrels; they and the thousands of tracts and hundreds of books also packaged in shipping barrels will be distributed through the churches of Christ in Guyana, South America. We packed three barrels before returning to Collierville.

Tuesday, Bonnie and I scurried down I-55 back to Winona in time to convene with other associates a meeting of World Evangelism team members. Of course, we ate first (leftovers from feeding our workers on Saturday).

For the past few days I had been experiencing pain after eating a meal, but beginning Tuesday afternoon, the pain became relentless and excruciating. Around 9:30 p.m., I had Bonnie drive me to the local hospital emergency room. A few tests and hours later, I was loaded on to an ambulance and transported to Baptist Health Systems in Jackson, MS. The suspected culprit for my pain was a bad gallbladder. Two morphine shots while being treated in Winona did not lessen the pain any at all. Administering fentanyl in the ambulance along the way finally took the edge off the pain, a good thing in view of the bumpy ride especially on city streets in Jackson. While in the ER in Jackson, pain was eradicated when I was injected with still another pain medication, dilaudid.

96 dpi 8x10 Louis & BonnieThere was no room in the hospital, which initially led to doubts if I could be admitted to any hospital in Jackson, as they were all full up. Consequently, I remained in the ER until there was an opening for surgery. In the meantime, a sonogram confirmed the findings of blood and urine tests and a CT scan – enlarged and enflamed gallbladder. Surgery occurred around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, and after quite a while in recovery, I was wheeled into a room. Ordinarily outpatient surgery, my surgeon kept me overnight in the hospital due to the intensity of the attack and that we live 90 miles away from the hospital.

Brothers Gary Hampton and Derrick Broome caught up with me immediately before surgery, and we had a prayer together. Sister Bonnie Schmitz brought Bonnie down to be with me; my Bonnie cannot drive that far due to her medical conditions. Bonnie stayed with me in the room and overall was sicker than I was.

Thursday morning my doctor discharged me around 7:30 a.m., but we could not leave the hospital until around 11 a.m. as we waited for paperwork and personnel to direct their attention to my discharge. Bonnie was feeling poorly, and so we rode twin wheelchairs to the curb. Brother Adam Fowler retrieved us and drove us back to hour home in Winona, since neither Bonnie nor I can drive right now that distance. He and his wife Melanie visited us in my hospital room the evening before.

After our arrival in Winona, I got brother Adam to load four cases of printing that arrived in our carport today into his car and unload them down the road at our warehouse/office. I can’t lift anything right now, so say my four small incisions. Next, we called sister Betty Choate to get a pain medicine prescription filled for me, again since neither Bonnie nor I can drive momentarily.

Today, sister Paula Bates took her husband Jerry to an airport for an overseas mission trip. Tomorrow on Friday, Paula will take Bonnie back to Baptist Health Systems for a CT scan and chemotherapy; the radiologist, oncologist and we are interested to see whether 28 doses of radiation shrunk the tumor on Bonnie’s pancreas. While Bonnie and Paula are in Jackson, I will remain in Winona with little activity, hoping not to hurt and to heal; sister Choate will be on call to care for me in the absence of Bonnie.

Friday, I will resume my medications and be able to shower. Bonnie and I look like pitiful bookends! By next week I should be much more active, though my lifting restrictions may extend for a while beyond that. Thank you for your interest and prayers. We continue to glean encouragement from friends and brethren through their phone calls and texts. It almost looks like we scheduled the gallbladder attack along with the other scheduled events over the last few days.

Explore posts in the same categories: At the Office, Back at the House, Cancer Treatment, Guyana, Hospital, Literature, Magazines & Books, Preaching Appointments, Sickness, Travel

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