Sunday, December 2, 2012

Aftermath of the Adventures and more Thanksgiving

Thursday afternoon I got an email from the National Hospital with my diagnosis: a herniated disc. Happy Thanksgiving! Brother-in-law DeWayne the doctor called me from Boston to discuss what it all meant and options. Friday I finally cornered the AUN Clinic doctor who agreed: Derrill needs an operation and it shouldn't be done here. He also gave me a new prescription for an NSAID that actually works. I've been mostly pain-free since and have enjoyed and relished lack of pain.

Thursday we also had a Thanksgiving dinner with the AUN community. The kids had a great time. 
Friday evening I attended a dinner for our illustrious keynote speaker, the former head of the Central Bank and key financial adviser (left). Next to him is AUN's Founder, the former vice president - that  week is also his birthday so we celebrate Founder's Day most of the weekend. Next to him is the Chairman of the Board.

Near me (not pictured) was the Adamawa Peace Council, an initiative AUN has helped spearhead to reduce violence in the area, and several members of the US Embassy. From AUN were ... the economists. I think originally the idea was for a quiet dinner with the economists [two of them behind the chairman], AUN's President (an economist) and the keynote speaker (an economist), but somewhere along the line a few more guests and then a few more were invited.

At dinner, Pres. Ensign and I talked very briefly about the possibility of sending me, not to Switzerland or Tulane, but to UCLA for my surgery. In emails since then, Joy and I found a doctor on the insurance in Santa Barbara and our travel has been approved to have the surgery done at home! So ...

We'll be home for Christmas!
This was a very unlooked for blessing. Since we learned about it on my mother's birthday, we got to tell her on Skype, to much rejoicing across the ocean.

Since I shouldn't carry more than 10 pounds at once after the surgery, what we're able to take back here will be very curtailed. We decided not to carry the kids' Christmas presents back to the US and back again to Nigeria, having already carted them here in summer. So this Tuesday we're going to celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas (normally Thursday) and open presents from Mommy and Daddy.

Being pain free covered most of what I was thankful for last week. I was also thankful to be back teaching my students, that my macro students' second midterm went better than their first, that I made some pumpkin pie using crushed ginger cookies [right] for the crust, that pumpkin pie tastes remarkably good with Nutella for the whipped cream, that the semester is nearly done, that our Christmas lights work and the kids are excited about it [below], and last but certainly not least ... see next post.