At age 22 while living in Mongolia I developed a severe chronic pain condition that effects every aspect of my life. Continuing this blog reminds me that life's challenges are stepping stones meant to lift us, not roadblocks meant to defeat us.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


oh and to try and keep myself sane during this I have started working on more art, and I've started a blog to try and keep me motivated ;) It is and there are some pictures about mongolia, and probably a lot more to come considering that it is one of my very favorite places :) If you have a minute check it out :)

real update!

Hey! I think we might actually have some idea about what this all is. We have ruled out about everything else, so we think that this really is what is wrong with me. My doctor was trying to decide what to do next and he remembered a patient who was a young girl and had a lot of bad, unexplained joint pain. They traced it back to a salmonella infection. He did a blood test to see if I had salmonella in mongolia, and it came back positive. There is apparently a rare complication of salmonella infection called reactive arthritis and reiter's syndrome. It causes inflammation of the joints and can inflame places where tendon attaches to bone and the vertebrae in the back. This could explain all of my symptoms and the time frame matches, so we think we have a positive diagnosis. Studies show people usually recover within a year. I have no idea what this means when it comes to trying to finish my mission, but it is very comforting to finally understand a little bit about what is going on ;) There are some medicines that can help and I will probably be starting those soon, so hopefully things will start going up from here!! yeah!! :)

I can't quite do this again yet, but hopefully I will be able to soon! ;)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

a little bit of hongkong

This woman is an angel! Her name is Trinidad and she was my "companion". She is a wonderful lady from the Philippines.
a few million people live in Hong Kong. This is how they all fit.
Big Buddah

my flight from mongolia was delayed so when I got to the airport i missed my connecting flight, they gave me a 12 hour visa for china and I stayed at a hotel close to the airport in Beijing. It was the first time I had been alone in 9 months, and it was in mainland China ;) (and mongolian sounds a lot easier after you hear chinese. I am really glad I had to learn mongolian.)

The Hong Kong Temple! We got to go twice.

more snapshots

Man herding his sheep down the road. Mongolians are the cowboys of asia.
a view of the capital from a russian monument.
Us at Naadam, the mongolian olympics!
Sukhkbaatar square, that big statue in the back is Chengis Khan.
Man who made the Mongols famous before they they became a beacon for the church in asia ;)
This is a view from a church member's apartment, we lived buildings like the big tan one. The russians built them when they were in mongolia.
Mongolian kids are born half monkey, they can climb on anything.
This girl was worried that I would get cold, so she taught me how to wrap my scarf. It was warm ;)
This is inside grandma and grandpa's ger, many people don't have power so we would teach by candle light, I loved it :)

This is our church!! it was so dark and smoky and the church was by far the biggest building in the area, and it was always lit.


The update is, that we don't have much to update you on. Still no more definite results, still might be an autoimmune disease that hasn't manifest enough to diagnose yet, the rheumatologist thought it might be some kind of long lasting viral infection, but we don't know. We are waiting for the results of some more specific blood tests, and I am going to meet with a neurologist just to make sure we rule every other thing out.
i'm kinda going crazy ;) and am learning about faith and patience, even more than I did in the mission field. But my family is wonderful and it is fun to be with them, and my dad is still doing really good in Haiti! The Hospital is completely up and running and the operating rooms are busy. They are planning on being there for several months. That is all for now! I wish I could update you on how the investigators and new members are doing, but I don't know either haha, and of course they are in the Lord's hands ;) everyone take care!