Monday, April 18, 2011

Emailed while at the Mission Home

Emily emailed me a day earlier this week since she was at the mission home. It was great to finally hear from her all about the surgery and the events leading up to it. Emily actually called Wednesday night after her surgery and spoke with her dad. I was at Mutual and unfortunately missed out on talking with her so I have been anxiously awaiting this email. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Our family received so many kind words of encouragement this past week and they all meant so much. We are blessed with so many wonderful friends and family.

Just another reminder … Emily’s Hump Day is coming up and I am still collecting letters for her Hump Day Package. For details click on the Hump Day Package blog post. Thank you!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dear Mom,

Well good afternoon on a wonderful Sunday day! I am at the mission home still and Sister Moldenhauer is letting me e-mail today because I cant sit up straight yet and so I am on a very comfy chair that allows me to not sit straight up! Well you are all probably wondering how I am doing here at the mission home. I got to talk to dad when I called which I think was very special to him because when does a dad just get a phone call to talk to their daughter on a mission. Mom it was very neat to talk to dad. I feel that me being on a mission is making me and dad lots closer. I even told dad he needed to write me more. I know things can get busy but hey if you can write me twice a week then I think dad can try to get a letter in once in a while lol.

Well being at the mission home has truly been a wonderful blessing. President and Sister Moldenhauer are just the best and my relationship with them has grown so much since Wednesday. There is such a wonderful spirit in the home which is so amazing to have. I just feel so at peace and so much love in the mission home! It's the best place ever. But it's sad they will be leaving the mission home soon because they have to get it ready for the new Mission President. They will be staying at a motel during the final part of their mission. It's sad that their time is coming to an end and that I will be getting a new Mission President soon! But I know that change can be a good thing because it helps us grow and become stronger to overcome things in life!

Well I'm gonna tell ya my experience of having to do this whole surgery thing by myself! Monday we went to see the doctor and after looking at the test results he said I had sludge in my gall bladder but he didn't see any stones and that he wasn't for sure that it was my gall bladder causing the pain and so he didn't want to do surgery yet. Well you know me, I show my feelings so well on my face and he could see that I was upset. I was very lucky to have Sister Moldenhauer at this doctor’s appointment with me because if she hadn’t been there to push for the next test and then to push for surgery, I wouldn't have had my surgery this last week! So the doctor suggested doing a medicine test on my gall bladder to see how it was doing and how well it was working and that was a two hour test in which I wasn’t allowed to move. Sister Moldenhauer and I decided to go that route. I thanked Sister Moldenhauer for coming with us that day and Sister Kinikini and I planned to go to the doctors for the test the next day! So for the rest of Monday night I was pretty worried for this test because I just didn't know if this test would tell us if the problem was my gall bladder because the doctor said that my symptoms weren't really connecting to gall bladder problems.

Tuesday Sister Kinikini and I headed up to the hospital in North Shore and when I got there to sign in I had problems with insurance. Because I had put dad's insurance first they wanted me to pay $1,700 up front before having the test!! Yeah, I was like what?!? So I called Sister Moldenhauer and she talked to them and we decided to put Missionary Medical first and not worry with dad's insurance anymore. So that made things better but then they got me worried because they told me I needed to call Dr. Karni who was going to do the surgery because he might not accept Missionary Medical (but I'll let ya know what happens later in the story if they took it or not.) Well then came time to go do the test where I don't move for two hours!!! Sister Kinikini couldn't come back with me so I followed a nice nurse and I had to lay down with my right arm above my head and then my left arm to the side for the IV they had to use to inject me with the medicine. Boy, can I tell you how hard that was … VERY HARD. I kinda have a cough and so there were a couple times where I tried not to cough and I did pretty well though. So when the test got over with, we went to get something to eat. We couldn't go back to our own area because I had another doctor’s appointment at three o’clock and Sister Moldenhauer wanted us to stay in North Shore so we would not waste miles. So after getting something to eat we went and sat in the parking lot and Sister Kinikini slept and I did my best to try to catch up on my journal since I was so far behind!

Well then three o'clock came and we went in and told them I was there. I had told Sister Moldenhauer earlier that the doctor might not take Missionary Medical and she told me they would and that I just needed to talk to them before I went in. So I did that and they did accept Missionary Medical and they just dismissed dad's insurance for the surgery but used it for the office visit so I had to pay the copay. Sister Kinikini and I went in to see the doctor and the funny thing is I actual saw the doctor’s son, Dr. Karni. He said the test went well and showed my gall bladder was fine but the test did show that there are some very small gall stones. He then said I had a couple of options; he said I could do some more tests where I swallow a camera and have it go through my stomach and do a CAT scan to look at all my insides to see what was the problem or he said we can say it's your gall bladder and do surgery. Well by this time I was so overwhelmed and just didn't know what to do so I had a very strong feeling to call Sister Moldenhauer. So we made the phone call and she talked to the doctor along with us on speaker phone. She said she had a strong feeling that we just needed to do the surgery and get the gall bladder out. She said she would call my parents and that we were to schedule the surgery. So we did just that, we scheduled the surgery for Wednesday, the very next day. They then sent me back to the building where I had had my test earlier and I had to sign all the paperwork to do the surgery and they had to take my blood and so all that took another couple of hours, so basically all of Tuesday was doctor’s appointments and tests.

After finally after getting everything set up for the next day, we went to our scheduled dinner appointment and ate pizza. The doctor had asked me earlier if certain foods triggered pain … well that night it for sure did with the pizza!! I felt really bad because I was in a lot of pain after dinner which made the member feel a little bad. I was sitting across from the Elders and they felt bad for me because I was in pain and poor Sister Kinikini couldn't do anything but just be there for me. But besides me being in pain, we had a good time. Before going to dinner Sister Kinikini and I had to make a lot of phone calls cancelling appointments and letting people know we weren't going to be there. So needless to say, Tuesday had been a very overwhelming day.

Earlier Sister Moldenhauer had told me I needed to get a blessing from the Elders before my surgery (which I was going to do anyways). So Tuesday night I received a wonderful blessing from Elder Walker and Elder Hunt. The Spirit was so strong during the blessing. I was told the Lord was pleased with my faith and courage during everything I had been going through to prepare for the surgery. I was also told that I would get relief from my pain after the surgery. There were many other wonderful things said also that were very special to me. After the blessing I told the Elders how grateful I was to receive a blessing from two worthy Priesthood holders. Elder Walker and Elder Hunt are the best!

After the blessing, we went back to our apartment and I got packed for surgery. Wednesday morning we picked up the Elders because they were driving us to the hospital which I was very grateful for. On the way up I sat in the front and Elder Walker drove. He kept me calm and we were all just trying to have fun in the car so I wouldn't think about the surgery. So the original plan was to get to the hospital by 8:15 a.m. and get all prepped and ready and then wait two hours for surgery which was schedule for 11:00 o'clock. But on the way there the hospital called and asked where I was and said they wanted me there as soon as possible because they had moved the surgery and wanted to do it as soon as I got there. So when I got off the phone I told Elder Walker that he needed to step on it to get to the hospital! And so he did! He drove faster to the hospital! On the way to the hospital I was getting more nervous and Elder Walker said, “Sister Hawkins, say a prayer by yourself.” So I did and I felt better. We got to the hospital and it was funny because Elder Walker and I were out of the car ready to go and Sister Kinikini and Elder Hunt were still in the car so I was hitting the back of the car saying, “Come on, we need to go!” Then Elder Walker slams his hand on the back of the car (LOL) and said in a stern voice, “Come on guys, she needs to be in there now to get ready for surgery!” And then they got moving. So while we were walking in I looked over at Elder Walker and he was just smiling and I said to him, “Boy you look happy!” He said, “I'm just happy and excited for you.” I was like why, and he said, “You’re not going to be in pain anymore! Then I laughed and said, “Well I'm glad someone is happy for me.” LOL.

So we hurried in and went to the right place and waited for them to call my name. Sister Moldenhauer then showed up and right after she got there they called me back. I asked if someone could come and they said no but said I could see one person before surgery. So I looked at all of them and said good bye and just walked off not crying and just going with the nurse, kinda like I did at the MTC, but this time I didn't say out loud, “Let's Do This!” But can you believe it? I went back there all by myself and I got all ready.

Well I got all set and I was crying a bit because I was nervous and scared but I had nice nurses and they were kind to try to keep me calm and the guy who put me to sleep was really nice. Well I had my IV on the top of my left hand and boy did that hurt while they put it in! Wow! Lucky I had a pro for a nurse to put in the IV for me. Well then there was no time to see anyone before surgery and so they wheeled me into the operating room. The room was big and cold and really white. I got onto the surgery table. And then the guy who puts me to sleep finally said, “Sweet dreams!”

Then I woke up and I was in so much pain!!! Holy Texas did that hurt like no other. Then I had a rude nurse who told me to stop crying and I kept saying sorry but it really hurts!! Finally they gave me more pain medicine and I heard on the other side of the curtain the nurses where talking and said, “Ya, I gave her more medicine because she wouldn't stop crying and she can't endure the pain. That made me feel like crap but I in my head I was saying to myself, “Well you go have a gall bladder taken out and let me see how you feel when you wake up.” But I was nice to the nurse. I kept asking for my friends because I remember when I had my very first surgery you told me to tell the nurses that I wanted my mom when I woke up. Well I tried that and I kept asking for my friends and they kept saying no. I was so mad. I was alone and just hurting. They told me I had to be in recovery for a while till I stopped crying and the pain went away. I did my best to stop crying and I just said little prayers to help me get through this and to help the pain to stop so I could see Sister Moldenhauer and my companion and the Elders! Yeah the Elders stayed through the surgery! Well then finally I got to go back to the room where I started and then I asked to see my friends and she went to go get them and she said they weren't out there. Boy that made me feel low. She told me she told the people at the desk if someone comes to ask how I was doing they would send someone back to see me. So then I was alone for like a half hour, boy do you know how hard it was to be alone. It was hard, but hey I did it. Then the doctor came to see me and said everything went well and that the gallbladder was bad and that I should feel better now. He asked if I needed anything and I said I would like to see my friends. By that time I felt sick and felt like I was going to throw up and he put his foot down to the nurses to go get my friends. Well then came in Sister Kinikini and boy did I start crying. I was so glad to see her! And she stayed with me and I just told her all that happened. Then the nurse brought in some nausea medicine and then she went to go get Sister Moldenhauer. She came in I started to cry again and she told me the Elders left after they knew I was okay. She stayed with me and I got so tired from the nausea medicine so Sister Moldenhauer and I took a nap together.

Well a few hours went by and then it was time for me to leave. I felt a little better but I for sure just wanted to get out of there. Sister Moldenhauer and the nurse helped me get dressed. Then they wheeled me out to the car and we were off. I thanked the nurse for all her help and mom, I even got two contacts with the nurses; one when I got out of surgery when I told her I had no family but just friends because I was on my mission and then the nurse who helped me get dressed. Sister Moldenhauer and I did it together. Pretty funny uh! Well I still have to be a missionary even though I was pretty ill. LOL. We first had to go back to La Porte for some stuff for Sister Kinikini because she was going to be working in Kingwood which was her last area and she needed stuff and we had to go get the keys from the Elders because they are going to have the car while we are gone since they are in a bike area. I was excited to be able to see them and say hi! They gave me some water so I could take my pills.

After seeing the Elders we went to Walgreens for my medicine, then the apartment, and then headed to the mission home. I had taken some pain medicine which made me sleep until we arrived at the mission home. Then when I got there, President Moldenhauer came up to me and gave me hug. lol He doesn't hug Sisters but he said if you have surgery you get a hug! I then went to go sleep. So that was my surgery experience! Pretty exciting stuff. I couldn't take a shower until Thursday night, and HOLY TEXAS!!!! That hurt so bad just moving around and just showering!!! Man that hurt! But over time it is getting better.

Thursday was also the day I got your flowers! I was sleeping and when I woke up I saw the flowers and I was so surprised and then I read the card and I just cried because I felt so much love from my wonderful parents, and I knew that you were thinking of me!

But my body feels so much better. I don't hurt anymore. I don't feel sick anymore. I feel so much better and that is so amazing. I hurt from the cuts; I got cut in my belly button (so my belly button isn’t cute anymore) and then a cut below my belly button and then I think two or three on my right side under my ribs then one right in the middle below my chest. So it's been challenging to sit; I can walk and stand pretty well, but not for too long because it starts to hurt. It will take time to be able to just sit. But besides the hurting, it's been so much fun here at the mission home. I'm gonna try to send ya pictures of me here. I didn't get any pictures in the hospital because of how rushed we were, but at least I have some at the mission home and even some pictures of making cinnamon rolls with Sister Kinikini and Sister Moldenhauer; that has been fun. I even got to go shopping with her yesterday in my pj's; just me and Sister Moldenhauer, and we washed the car and went food shopping so we could have soup for today! It's been fun being with Sister Moldenhauer and even President; he is so funny! It's been a huge blessing being here and having them help me get better. But I must say, my eating habits have been so different. The last few days I have been eating just Saltine Crackers and lets see, Saltine Crackers and more Saltine Crackers and some apple juice and some more Saltine crackers. I once tried some tomato soup and well, that didn't go well with my stomach. I have been eating a couple yogurts and some dry cereal but that is mostly it. I really don't fancy food anymore. The doctor said I would be able to tell when some foods bothered my stomach and so for a while I need to be easy on some of the food that I eat. So that is what I am doing. I did have some yummy home made chicken soup and a half of cinnamon roll today. But ya, not much of an eater anymore. It's gonna be hard eating at members houses so I'm just gonna be bringing some food with me like soup when we have dinner appointments.

Well I'm heading back to La Porte tomorrow afternoon, and I will be checking my e-mail tomorrow morning so hopefully mom you have written me so I can read what you wrote. It's weird not getting letters from ya since I'm in the mission home but I can't wait to hear from you tomorrow morning. I got a letter from one of the girls in Young Womens, Aubrey. It was a very sweet letter. I'm gonna try to write her tomorrow. But mom I'm doing well! I am sorry I didn't get to talk to you on Wednesday but it was really good for me and dad to talk, but hey I get to talk to you in a couple weeks! But I love you so much and I'm doing so much better not being in pain anymore. There are reasons why I had to have surgery and go through this trial… and I just don't know why now but some day I will know why, but the trials I go through are making me so much stronger and helping me become who I need to become!

But I can't wait to go back out and work; it's been nice to rest and can you believe it, I got all caught up on my journal so I am up to date! I'm gonna need you to send me a new journal as soon as you can because I have about a week left of writing in my journal! Can you believe I'm going to be on my 4th Journal!!! How amazing is that? I can't believe it. There are not a lot of people that keep journals on their mission which is really sad. But I'm so grateful for what Wade told me before my mission and kinda put it into my head to write about everyday of my mission! I'm so grateful I am doing it! It's going to be such a huge blessing in the future to read it and to also share with ya'll when I get home! What a huge blessing! But if you could send me another journal that would be so great. Thanks mom you are truly the best. Thanks for all the wonderful support and the many prayers and for doing my blog so people can know how I am doing.

Well I got to go I love you so much and I hope you enjoy this wonderful letter of all the wonderful experiences that I am having on my mission. I love you and I will write to you soon! With lots of love! Love ya'll

Love Sister Hawkins

Thursday evening after my first shower ... ouch!

This was me at a district meeting in Kingwood.
(Not my own La Porte district)
They thought it would be good for me to get out
so I did and I was on the couch the whole time!

My favorite chair in the Mission Home!

Sister Singleton stayed with me one day while
Sister Moldenhauer went with President. 
I wanted Sister Kinikini to work as much as she
could with other missionaries so Sister Singleton
stayed with me.  It was fun to catch up and to talk!

Sister Kinikini and Sister Moldenhauer making cinnamon rolls!

All three of us ... President Moldenhauer took the picture!

No comments:

Post a Comment