Thursday, January 29, 2009

Speed Bumps in Life's Journey

On January 13th about 6:30 PM, Lakshmi was walking over to her house after working at her computer doing some ISCOWP paper work. She was only about 100 yards from our house when she slipped on some ice and fell, breaking her wrist. Rudra, our farm dog, kept pulling her in the direction of our house as she was sobbing and in great pain. I still was not able to drive due to some medical difficulties you read about in previous updates, so I called the neighbor and he took Lakshmi and my wife Chayadevi to the ER at the hospital in Moundsville, about 10 miles away.

Not only were we concerned about the wrist, but Lakshmi was just going into her 5th month of pregnancy so we were worried about the baby.

The wrist was x-rayed and indeed it was broken. The doctor monitored the heart beat of the baby and the baby was alright. They didn’t return home until almost midnight.

Two days later Lakshmi was scheduled for a cast to be put on the broken wrist. Again my wife and Lakshmi were driven to the hospital only to find out that it is a very bad break and that she would need an operation to properly set the broken bone. The operation was set for the next day.

Because of Lakshmi being pregnant it was deemed too dangerous for her to receive general anesthesia as it would adversely affect the baby. The 2 hour operation was done with a local anesthesia and screws were set in her wrist and arm with metal rods holding the bones together above her arm....quite a site to see.

There is no cast, just a gauze dressing which is changed daily and her arm cleaned with Hydrogen Peroxide. Painful and no fun at all for Lakshmi. She is a tough young lady and toughing her way through everything.

Krsna Rupa comes everyday to cook for Lakshmi and do some cleaning for her. Thank you Krsna Rupa. Gintas is driving Lakshmi and myself to our Drs appointments and helps with some errands in town. Thank you Gintas. Chaitanya Bhagavat was driving us around and helping in the barn until he had a hernia operation. Thank you Chaitanya and we pray you recover well.

Laksmi will be out of commission for the next 6 to 8 weeks as that is when the hardware is scheduled to be removed. It is on the right arm and wrist. After that she will still not be able to do as she has before for awhile.

For many years Lakshmi has done our data base, monthly letter update, monthly gift preparation and packaging. Part of her service was to notify donors about their total yearly donations for tax purposes. Needless to say we are running behind on everything in the office. So we humbly ask that you be patient with us and we will get the imformation to you as soon as possible.......hopefully within the next week. Thank you very much.

So, Chayadevi is now taken care of the feed out for the cows and making sure the water troughs are de-iced. Ray, a local friend, comes up every other day to help with the cows as well. Chaydevi is still helping me as well as playing nurse to Lakshmi and trying to keep up with ISCOWP office work. She is definitely going full steam ahead.

I have been seeing an acupuncturist. Slowly but surely the pain in my leg is diminishing. This week I have been able to take short walks around the house without too much pain. Each day seems to be getting better and better, and I am actually doing a little bit around the house to help Chayadevi.

Today I actually drove from our house over to Lakshmi's house and went into the little barn and saw the Brahmans for the 1st time in 2 months. Needless to say I was very excited. The babies were very glad to see me and started licking my hands and face.

The Acupuncturist feels that by mid March I will be able to do some work in the garden department. I have an appointment with the heart Dr. on February 3rd, so no new news on the heart now.

We would like to thank all of you for your kind words, letters, and prayers during these speed bumps in life’s journey. We couldn’t take care of the cows without your support on all levels

Monday, January 05, 2009

Balabhadra Health Update

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

The many letters, prayers, and phone calls have been a great source of comfort for Balabhadra. Thank you again and again. Our hearts are touched with your kindness.

Balabhadra is now at home. It was concluded that heart surgery was not necessary. He has been given many medicines to take for his heart and high blood pressure. In one month he is to meet with the cardiologist again to see how he is doing. He is not feeling so good from the medicines but we are told that his body will adjust within a few days. His heart was not at all damaged by the heart attack.

The test results on his liver came back normal.

The whole situation with his leg has not been resolved as the neurologist did not come into the hospital on the weekend. Our general doctor there gave us the name of the expert neurologist in the area and wants us to call him and get an appointment as soon as possible. The fact that he has been immobile and in pain for so long is not good for his present and future health.

Right now he is sleeping soundly which he wasn't able to do in the hospital. The pain in his leg comes and goes in severity. He is scheduled for the acupuncturist in a few days and hopefully he will be feeling well enough to have the treatment as it gave him much relief.

Balabhadra is receiivng phone calls at our home phone: 304-843-1658. I am hoping he wil feel well enough to access on his laptop his own email at balabhadra.iscowp@earthlink.net . You can still also write to iscowp@earthlink.net and I will make sure he will receive it.

If you could continue to pray for his improved general health and that his leg situation is resolved soon so that he may be able again to walk amongst the cows.

Your servant,
Chayadevi

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Balabhadra's Health

Written by: Chayadevi (Balabhadra's Wife)

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

We would like to thank all of you for your phone calls, messages and prayers. It means a lot to Balabhadra.I will try to explain as simply as possibly what has been happening with Balabhadra's health.

Balabhadra has always had back problems for over 40 years
(he is approaching his 63 birthday in April). He was always able to get over any flare ups and continue to physically work very hard. His whole life has been full of physical work and in his devotee years (initiated in 1969) mostly centered on farm life and the cows. This last year has been different. He has collapsed about four times and his recovery has been slow, like two weeks or more for each collapse. His visits to doctors, MRI, etc. revealed herniated disks, moderate spinal stenosis and some other deterioration but nothing that was considered an emergency surgery candidate. Some meds, instructions how to go about his activities, and physical therapy was recommended. At the same time it was found that the pain he was experiencing in his left knee was a result of very little cartilage on one side of the knee. Because he was favoring the other knee this was also negatively affecting his back problems.

Five weeks ago he was in physical therapy to strengthen his left knee and felt a tinkling and burning in his right leg. He told the therapist and was told to work through it. The following day he could not walk, the pain in his right leg was so severe. We went to the emergency room and were told he sprained his knee and the pain should decrease in a few days. The next five weeks were spent trying to get the state clinic we are a member of to understand this is not a sprain because the pain is severe and not getting less intense. After being prescribed more meds, we were told they could do nothing for us. The third week we then tried an acupuncturist who gave Balabhadra some relief but was scheduled to go on vacation for the next two weeks. The acupuncturist felt positive he could relieve the pain with more treatments.

Last Tuesday we were able to get a treatment at the acupuncturist and for the first time in five weeks Balabhadra could lay in bed without constant pain. We were very happy thinking we were on the right path to recovery. The past five weeks he had been bedridden, his only activity trips to the bathroom which is about 15 feet away from the bed. The pain became most intense when standing upright. Then Wednesday night he went to the bathroom and I heard a loud noise, as if something was knocked over. I opened the bathroom door and found him lying on the floor, his forehead bloody. He fell and hit his head on the ceramic floor. He was conscious and I tried to help him move back to the bedroom. Halfway there he began to slowly fall from me onto the floor. On the floor his neck began to arch and his eyes began to roll to the back of his head. He was moaning and he seemed to be leaving me and this world.

From caring for dying cows and other animals, this is what I have seen before the soul leaves the body. I started lightly slapping him and calling to him, he came back to consciousness and I called 911, turned up the volume of the Prabhupada bhajan tape we had playing and gave him rescue remedy. At one point he began to lose consciousness again but by talking to him he stayed conscious.

The ambulance came and brought us to the hospital where he was hooked up to a lot of wires and drips and monitors. It was decided he should stay overnight since some of the readings were questionable. The next morning we were told the blood tests indicated he had a heart attack and it was ongoing. That was why they were checking on him constantly and readjusting all the drips. It was a mild heart attack and his heart was not damaged. Eventually the heart would stabilize or something bad would happen. We were told that people who have this type of heart attack usually have one again within 6 months, and then it might be more severe. It was decided that he needed a procedure (angioplast ?) in which the doctor goes in through a vein in the groin and takes pictures of the heart to see if and where any blockage might be. In the meantime the blood tests found that there is something not quite right with his liver.

His heart stabilized by the following morning (yesterday) and he had the procedure. Problems were found which needed some consultation with the expert cardiologist in the area. We are now waiting to hear what the doctors recommend as to the next step for his heart, more test results on what is up with his liver, and a report from the neurologist as to what is causing the pain in his left leg and hip.

The good news is that since the one treatment by the acupuncturist he has been off most of the meds for his leg pain and is experiencing far less pain in his leg and hip. His heart remains stable and he is off the drips. The other good news is that he is hearing from devotees their concern and that they will pray for him. He is still in the hospital and has been receiving calls at (304) 843 3301. You can also write him a note at iscowp@earthlink.net and I will print it out and give it to him. It really does mean a lot to him when he hears from the devotees. We are now just waiting for information. It may be a few days as it is the weekend and a holiday here.

Balabhadra is realizing he is at a crossroads in his life. He no longer has the facility to be the workaholic "earthworm" and has to now become a "bookworm." With your prayers and blessings and Krishna's desire he will recover and in the years to come will engage himself more in speaking about cow protection with the purpose to encourage others and fulfill his eternal debt to Srila Prabhupada who has saved us all.

Your servant,Chayadevi (Balabhadra's wife)