Hospital Day 9

There wasn’t supposed to be a Hospital Day 9 on this trip, but on Day 2, during the routine physical examination, a tumor was discovered on my kidney and the doctors decided they needed to remove it. That final decision was on Thursday and they wanted to schedule the operation for Friday but the operating room was not available. It was then decided to operate on Saturday but then the Bangkok blood bank had no A-negative blood that I needed. It took them two days to find it and finally we were able to have surgery Saturday morning.

This picture is of me is in ICU after the operation. I really never felt terribly bad and mostly only had pain when I made large movements like sitting down or getting up. All in all it has gone very well.

Hospital Day 5

I will be here at BNH Hospital in Bangkok for the next five nights. In a routine physical exam here, the doctor found a tumor on my kidney and wants to remove it. Surgery was to be the next day but the blood bank did not have my A-negative blood so they had to postpone the operation until the right blood type was found today. The surgery will be tomorrow (Saturday) morning. I will not be posting here for the next few days, but as soon as the anesthetic wears off I’ll try to get going again.

Hospital Day 4

This is the cardiology department of BNH Hospital where I have been having my physical exam after two years of waiting. My doctor found a nodule on my kidney and wants to remove it so I am scheduled for surgery Saturday morning, but first I had to be checked out by a cardiologist. He noted that my heart rate was 43 beats per minute when I had an EKG on Monday and he made a note to the surgeon to have an external pacemaker ready in case my heart slowed down even more during surgery! An odd twist! I never heard of anything like that before. As you can see BNH Hospital is quite nice, part of the medical tourism package that Thailand offers to people especially throughout Southeast Asia.

Hospital Hangout

I have spent a lot of time at BNH Hospital in Bangkok the last four days, putting in 4 to 7 hours each day as I went through a series of tests and examinations as part of my three-years delayed physical exam. The last exam I had at BNH (where all the Cambodian Maryknollers go) was July, 2019. It is a really pleasant hospital but also a highly rated one. There are a lot of good people here. One of the “people” is this floor-cleaning robot seen here on its “lunch break” in its charging corner.

Maryknoll Bangkok House

One of the nice things about being part of Maryknoll is that through the years there was always a place to stay in many countries in Asia where Maryknoll had a presence. This photo is of a third-floor porch at the Maryknoll house in Bangkok. It’s not much for scenery but being able to stay at the house while I am in Bangkok for medical exams is wonderful.

Priests Retreat — Days 4 & 5

On Friday evening, the priests had a barbecue outside at the pastoral center.

Bishop Olivier used it as an opportunity to announce all the clergy changes and to what parishes different priests were going.
The annual retreats have always been a special occasion for the priests, a time to get together with friends who are far separated in the provincial parishes.
The next morning representatives from the parishes and groups and the faithful of the diocese came together with the priests to discuss ideas for Pope Francis’ synod.
All those attending were divided into four groups to give final recommendations for the synod document.

Bangkok Trip-Day 1

I was supposed to finish up some photos from the priests retreat today and start posting about this trip to Bangkok on Monday, but life got in the way and disrupted plans. Now it’s late and there’s no time so there will be more tomorrow. But for today here’s a picture from the plane today, leaving Phnom Penh, the first time I have flown in almost three years.


I was fully prepared to keep posting updates here for each day of the retreat. It’s just that the wi-fi system at the pastoral center did not cooperate. The last two nights, when I was ready to post photos and comments, I could not gain access to the Internet at the center.

Priests Retreat–Day 1

Traditionally all the priests of Cambodia had a retreat together the first week of June. Because of Covid there was a two-year hiatus, but this year the diocese of Phnom Penh organized a smaller gathering of only the Phnom Penh priests at the diocesan pastoral center on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

Fr. Alberto, from the Kampong Cham diocese, presented a talk each morning of the retreat.
The afternoon session was led by Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler.
In the evening I sneaked out of the retreat to attend a farewell for Liz Pfifer, the outgoing country representative for Catholic Relief Services, and a welcome for her replacement. Marc D’Silva (c) organized the gathering.