Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 31

I shall be going to Costa Rica. Booya. How many of you can say you went to two different missions/countries on your missions, huh? Ha-ha. The thing is, in Panama, as a tourist, you only have 180 days to goof off and enjoy the wonderful traffic and pollution and stuff in the city before you have to skedaddle off to your country again. And to stay for 2 years, as a lot of elders do, you must have a special card, called a carnet, or, in my own language, a green card. To get one of these green cards, one must have information from your government. Well, after I turned in everything in to the FBI and the mission and all that fun jazz, turns out the FBI changed how they do stuff, and they lost a ton of stuff in the process, cuz that is how they have fun nowadays. So, I don’t have a carnet. And I believe I have used all of my days in Panama. So, now, I just try to hide from police all the time and make sure I don’t rob a store in daylight, only at night so no one will recognize the only gringo in their suburb. so, what the church is going to do is send me to Costa Rica for the time it takes for me to land and leave customs, at which point I will then turn a 180 and go right back to Panama to refresh the 180 days, as I did leave the country. So that shall be fun. And I will be doing it this week or next week, I don’t know when, but Costa Rica is going to be in my future!! Only for about 4 hours, but in my future!

And now arm news, because I know you are all dying to hear. So, on Wednesday, my doctor took out the stitches. And that hurt. I didn’t think it would, and I was wrong. Very wrong. Frick it hurt. 29 of the stupid things really is not the funnest thing to be taking out of your body. But oh well. And therapy is going well, just keeps getting harder and harder. And now, my hand can now hold a 3 pound weight, so progress!

This week was Carnaval. Most of you when you hear Carnaval think of Brazil and crazy insanity for a week. Well, it is like that in Panama. Just not where I am right now. The parties are a good solid 3 hours away. But, what people love to do is throw dirty water and stuff on people, as well as eggs. So, we have been playing a lot of hide and throw with people, and trying not to get hit. last night we were walking in the street going home, and this drunk lady was holding a plastic chair, and started walk/dancing behind me, and it was really weird. She followed/danced for a good solid 45 seconds. The entire time she was holding this plastic chair. I didn’t look back, but all her drunk friends were laughing. So that was fun. 

We have worked a bit, have a family that we are going to be teaching, which should be awesome as their aunt is a member so that should be awesome. 

Have an awesome week!!! Ustedes son mis cuates!!

Elder Berg

Week 30 - Skipping Ahead

Well, the blog has fallen on hard times!  Some of it has been Elder Berg's Dad not getting the updates up and some of it has been the fallout from his accident, and his inability to write much.

So to catch everyone up, Elder Berg broke his arm on P-Day, January 19.  He was running and fell on his arm and snapped both bones.  I got a phone call from him Tuesday morning and he was in the hospital.  Here he is:
A picture of his X-Ray is posted at the very bottom of this post.  It's pretty gruesome, so I put it last just in case you want to skip it.

The mission has a missionary couple that are both nurses and they are the mission nurses.  They help coordinate care so the missionaries get the best care.  I talked to both of them and they explained what was going on, that Elder Berg was going into surgery that afternoon and they were going to insert a plate and screws to stabilize the bones so they could heal.  So I got to talk to Lloyd for a few minutes and he was in good spirits even though he was in pain and a little worried about having surgery.

The mission nurses assured me that the hospital he was at was the best in the mission and they had US trained surgeons to do the procedure.  They checked in with me after the surgery and the next day.  Everything went fine and he's expected to make a full recovery in 4-6 weeks.  Elder Berg was in the hospital until Friday, then released and went back to his area with his companion.

He still couldn't do much.  His arm was in a sling and it hurt.  They didn't do much work the next week; just hung around the apartment, studied Spanish and such.  He wrote us our customary email the following week, but it was about two sentences long because it hurt to type with a broken arm.

He's pretty much on the way back now and is doing work again.  He also got up the energy to put together a full email with all the details.  So here is his story:

Hola amigoss!!! Well, as most of you know, I broked my arm. Both bones. It was awesome. They broke, and got displaced, so my arm was about four inches shorter. It has now been three weeks, and the swelling has gone down quite a bit.

But, story time. I was playing futbol, and jumped for a header. I fell forward, and came down on my arm kind of like a pushup, I thought normal, but then I felt the bones snappadeedoo and boomsies was broked. Hurt. A lot. I went to hospital, waited about 3 hours to get pain drugs (lots of crying and sobs and tears), wanted to kill the doctor for not giving drugs for a 3 hours, and then the doctor told me I had to wait until tomorrow to get it fixed, and they could just fix it, or a surgery, and I said surgery, but wait, they don’t accept our insurance, so it would cost 5Gs. the reason I had to wait until the next day? Because the doctor who could fix my arm wasn’t working that day. And apparently he was the only doctor who could fix my arm that the hospital had. So that was not helping my happiness level. So we called another hospital. the Gringo Hospital, basically, full of shiny equipment and pain drugs given within 15 minutes of walking in with a broken arm gloriousness. And they said that they would take our insurance, so we went over to there. Oh, and all these driving to hospitals, not in an ambulance. In a taxi. Because taxis are faster than ambulances here. And waaaaaaayyyyyyyyy more abundant. They basically rival NYC for the amount of taxis. So, in the gringo hospital, the doctor looks at me, gets a quick medical history, and call their surgeon guy who looks at the X ray for about 15 seconds before saying I need surgery, as if I don’t, it could break again. And I was like, I don’t want it to break again, so cut me open!! 

So, they put the surgery for the next day, which was Tuesday ( broke the arm at night on Monday). And apparently this dude is the best doctor in panama for this type of stuff, so go gringo hospital!! And so I stayed the night, next morning, wheeled me into surgery. And alllll this time, I had some very wonderful pain drugs. Was awesome. So I am waiting for surgery, and I am next to a dude who is about to have brain surgery, and that was when I felt really lucky. Good times. 

So, they did the surgery, and I remember I woke up when they were wheeling me out, and I decided that they had done an awesome job, and I gave everyone high fives. They were really confused at why a drugged out of his mind missionary wants a high five after a surgery, but they gave it to me. Then I went back to sleep. Then, I woke up later, and the doctor came in and said he put in a plate on each bone, and screws. And I can get them out in about 18 months, so within a month of being home, basically. And he did two incisions, one on each arm, and the longer incision has 17 stitches, the shorter one 12. And I get them out Wednesday. 

And physical therapy suckkksssssss. I have to do it because all the muscles got screwed up, so my fingers were super weak. I couldn’t even crush a stupid yellow foam ball. I could hardly put a teeny tiny dent in it. But now, I can crush that sucker. I am improving a lot, just a lot of hard work. Boo yaaaaa. 

So I stayed inside the house a week, doing nothing, with a soft cast. after a week, they took off the cast, and now its PT. still sucks to walk around, as people, I swear, try to bump into my arm on purpose, but I kind of just keep hiding it behind my back and hide it. I am basically scared of everything now. Everyone on the streets used to look at me before, cuz GRINGO, but now, they just all stare at my arm and look like they want to vomit. Good times. 

Also, funny story. I was on the metro, getting back from PT, and this dude starts coming to me and starts talking to me about my arm, says that his dad is lds, but he doesn’t want to be, and kind of just talking a bit. And I am exhausted, PT takes a lot out of you, even if it is just moving your arm and hand. So he asks me if he can say a prayer over my arm. and I was like, uhhhhh, hold on, my comp is over there, leaving the metro ( last stop), so I look at my comp and mouth the words HELP ME, and the dude just asks my comp, and my comp is like, I guess sooooooo. so the dude holds my hand, holds the hand of my comp, and his wife and daughter come and join our little prayer circle, I was werided out quite a bit. So he starts to pray. And if he did not tell me he wasn’t LDS, I would have thought he was, besides the prayer circle, because he prayed exactly like we do. It was odd. When he was done, we said thanks, and walked away. Super weird. 

So that’s the story of my broken arm. Woo!!

And just a quick update 

CARNAVAL IS THIS WEEK AND IT IS GOING TO BE OFF THE HOOK and by that I mean they are going to throw rotten eggs and dirty water at everyone and so we can’t leave the house. Good times. Woo!!
Have a great week, 

Con Amor, 

Elder Berg