Monday, April 4, 2016

Dengue update, Elder Bustillos, Conference?

Sunday afternoon, Sister Bowler (who is Spencer's mission president's wife) called and told us that he has dengue fever for a third time. They are monitoring him now, and have been out two years and haven't ever had a missionary with it a third time. Spencer is allergic to the OFF bug spray, and uses alternative methods but because there really aren't very many mosquitoes right now, he may have slacked off using the other methods too. She said he is tolerating this well and President Bowler just missed Conference and drove 4 1/2 hours to get him and his companion and drive them back to the mission home. IF needs be, he is also nearby the really good hospital. Yesterday, there was even talk that if this became worse, they could hospitalize him, and then send him home when well enough to travel. They do not want him to get this AGAIN, a fourth time. It is up to the Area Medical people, which they are required to report it to. Of course they take in to account what the President's recommendations are, and also the nurse in the mission. Right now, he looks really good, and I'll try and add a couple pictures Sister Bowler sent me yesterday. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR HIM to recover, be able to finish his mission the end of June, and that he won't have life-long complications that could come from this illness. THANKS to all who are and have been! Then this afternoon Sister Bowler texted me his blood counts: His WBC is improved at 5.3 and is back in the normal range. His PLT improved to 150, from 130, which is barely in the normal range. His HTC shows that he is dehydrated, so I will keep him here to monitor his water intake!! We will test him tomorrow, just to be sure his PLT's are headed in the right direction. He's doing great. (Your prayers are working!) She also said this is the first time she's ever seen platelets go up before Day 5. The Dengue test can't be taken until Day 5. 

Hello Family,

I'm doing really great actually. I didn't know I even had Dengue... it's still not definite until we test for it tomorrow. I hope that I don't have Dengue. Elder Bustillos gave me a blessing and I know that without that blessing, I'd still be struggling through this third time with Dengue. It's a puzzle really. No one knows why I'm doing so well for not having a great blood count. President saw me and said, "You look great Elder Tuft! Are you really sick?" Hermana Bowler said the same thing. I haven't had a fever since the first night. I just feel tired and a little weak but I'm not one of those who likes to be in bed or sitting down doing nothing. It's a challenge to get myself to lay down and go to sleep. I didn't get to see the Conference sessions on Sunday and Saturday night Priesthood was a little hard for me to concentrate a lot on the talks. It all was a blur to me. I'll have to read all the talks again because I couldn't focus well. I'm glad a went though.
Mom/Pam has included this for those wondering what Dengue is:  Dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults, but seldom causes death. Dengue should be suspected when a high fever (40°C/104°F) is accompanied by 2 of the following symptoms: severe headache, brain fog, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash. Symptoms usually last for 2–7 days, after an incubation period of 4–10 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. Severe dengue is a potentially deadly complication due to plasma leaking (hemorrhaging), fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment. Warning signs occur 3–7 days after the first symptoms in conjunction with a decrease in temperature (below 38°C/100°F) and include: severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums, fatigue, restlessness and blood in vomit. The next 24–48 hours of the critical stage can be lethal; proper medical care is needed to avoid complications and risk of death.

And if you're still wanting to know more, another site has this: 
Those who become infected with the virus a second time are at a significantly greater risk of developing severe disease. Symptoms are high fever, rash, and muscle and joint pain. In severe cases there is serious bleeding and shock, which can be life threatening.  Treatment includes fluids through IV rehydration and pain-relievers. Severe cases require hospital care. There are 4 distinct, but closely related, serotypes of the virus that cause dengue (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4). Recovery from infection by one provides lifelong immunity against that particular serotype. However, cross-immunity to the other serotypes after recovery is only partial and temporary. Subsequent infections by other serotypes increase the risk of developing severe dengue.

Back to Spencer's letter:
On Saturday in between the Afternoon and Priesthood Sessions, we visited Dirian, an investigator that is looking really positive. The lesson went well and then her dad came to pick Dirian up to go home after work and we sensed he wasn't happy that we were teaching his daughter. We are going to show her a video of the Book of Mormon: How Rare a Possession. We believe that it will help her a lot because it helps give a great example of a man who changes from being a Pastor to being excommunicated from his church because he believed in a book without a title (it was the book of Mormon). I hope it'll help her have the motivation to make the right choice. 

Elder Bustillos is from Chihuahua, Mexico. His dad is Catholic and his mom is LDS. His dad told him this last Christmas that he would stop drinking and change and be baptized when Elder Bustillos got home. He loves music as well and plays the guitar. Before the mission he was in a band. He's super relaxed and well motivated. He works hard and efficiently. The other night, I was talking with the District Leaders and he stands up next to me and starts making strange movements. I looked at him and then did a double-take and realized he was practicing submerging someone below the water and practicing the baptismal prayer. I starting busting up but we're confident that we will baptize this month-she seems golden.

I'm getting tired and when I get tired, Hermana Bowler said I need to go home and sleep. (He's staying down the street at the Elders' apartment who are in the area of the Mission Home.) But I hope you get better, Mom, and Dad I hope you enjoy the break this week. I love my family more than anyone could imagine.

Spencer James

PS Mom Hermana Bowler will get the test results today in just a few minutes and we'll see if my white cell blood count went up or down again. She'll let you know as soon as she gets the results back. Yes, I think I'll "die" with Elder Bustillos as my companion ... ;D (Meaning Elder Bustillos will be his last companion & send him home.)

PSS I haven't sent pictures for a while because they are so darn hard to upload and send. They take up so much time on slow internet connections. I didn't see Ian in conference... I couldn't concentrate very well that day.

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