yes, that is exactly what happened. But I was able to find the sql dumps in the home folder. From that I was able to drop the dbispconfig database, create it, import from the install sql file, then import from the backup sql file. I had to remove sections of the sql file in the backup, such as the list of countries, etc. So that I could accept any additions from the new install sql.
In the end I was able to fix the issue. But the upgrade still dropped the table. That is broken. Unless the upgrade says exactly that the database will be dropped, it shouldn't ever do so.