Saturday, February 7, 2009

PICC Line In!

They were able to get the PICC line in, and today he started his TPN nutrition.

Surgery is still planned for this evening, but right now we are waiting for Dr. Duke to get back from College Station where he was inducted to the Corp of Cadets Hall of Fame today. What a resume that man has! Tonight he will do the routine wash out and also insert a chest tube to drain some fluid from around dad's lungs. Mom has signed the permission slip for the trach, but we do not know when they will actually do it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Notes

No major changes in condition. Surgery revealed some further dead tissue in the right abdominal wound which was removed. They think this may have caused some of the skin discoloration on his chest and abdomen. The doctors were a little concerned of further infection in this area, but a CT scan ruled out any need for immediate intervention. They hope the antibiotics and continued wash outs should take care of the local infection.

His kidneys are doing a little worse necessatitating continual dialysis, while his liver seems to have stabilized. Overall, Louie is still very sick but he has not suffered any significant setbacks.


The Nurturer?

Since dad's arrival he has been very well taken care of. Of course everyone knows he has great surgeons, but his nurses are excellent as well. They gently wash his hair (I'm sure they know that his remaining hair is fragile), they shave his face, and of course they also take care of their other nursely duties. Last night they offered to let mom help comb his hair, shave him, cut his toenails, etc. Had he been conscious he would have spoken up against this, but it made mom very happy.

Whoever would have thought that the prospect of trimming toenails would be so exciting. She fixed his hair, but opted to let the nurse do the shaving. She was concerned that her shave job might leave him looking like he'd flown through a windshield. When she relayed this story to me, I was concerned that had she taken this opportunity we'd have to pull together another blood drive. Either way, Ruthie's nurturing side is coming out, and she has spent every night since the accident sleeping in the waiting area down the hall from his room.

Mom's never fancied herself a nurturer, but after being so well taken care of by the nurses mom's scared that when he is ready to go home dad will not want to go home with her. The nurse will be wheeling him out of the hospital to mom's car and he will be hanging on to her for dear life, begging the nurse to wash his hair just one more time. We'll be sure to tell dad just how strong mom has been through out this and remind him how well she's taken care of him.

Tracy and Sue

Out of Surgery...

Uncle Louie is out of surgery. No update yet. Will update later after we visit the hospital.

In Surgery

Uncle Louie is in surgery now. Please send prayers.

We are excited to report that Shoppa's Blood Drive was a HUGE success. They collected 107 Units of Blood!! You all are great. I feel so blessed to live in such a great community!

If you didn't make it out to Shoppa's yesterday, there is a blood drive in progress at the Fire Department Training Room until 7. The training room is located at 200 Merchant.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

"He's getting better, but keep praying"

Uncle Louie is out of his seventh surgery. The doctors said that it went well and the bowel is looking good (at least not worse). They said that they had to clean out more necrotic (dead) tissue around the right abdominal wound. The doctors tried to place the PICC Line (for parenteral nutrition) but couldn't get access so they will try again tomorrow. There is still no trach, but it is still in the tentative plan.

In rounds this morning Dr. Ware said that "he's getting better, but keep praying". This is the first positive thing we have heard from the doctors. So as usual I am calling on you all, please keep the prayers up. As always we will continue to pray that each day we have no significant setbacks and no sign of further infection. I know with all of our prayers we can keep hearing the doctors say "he is getting better."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A story of hope and survival

First, let me say thank you to everyone for all the prayers and concerns that our family has received as well as those for Louie, Ruthie and their family. Greg will say it’s not about him, it’s Louie who is in need of the prayers. I understand where everybody is coming from and sincerely appreciate it.

Abby, you and the girls are doing such a great job with this blog. People everywhere wait anxiously for a new update! I just want you to know that it’s really appreciated.

We, ourselves, as some of you know, are no strangers to the ICU. The best advice I’ve given Ruthie, second to praying, is to buckle up because it may be a bumpy ride. We’ve been on this roller coaster before! When you go up and down, maybe even upside down at times, for so many times, you finally let yourself ride it out, and just hold on tight for the next turn. It seemed like Lacy, who has been in remission from leukemia since her bone marrow transplant in March of 2000, would go forward a couple of steps and back a step or two. Forward a few more, back another one or two. We still face obstacles, but you know what, Louie, like Lacy, has a very strong will to live. Add to that the many, many, probably thousands and thousands of prayers that are being said each day for Louie’s strength and for God to heal him, I just feel he WILL survive this. No matter how bleak the situation may look, don’t ever count him out. With that I’m going to tell you a story I call my 10-Minute Story.

This is a Lacy story of survival & hope. I’ve already shared it with Ruthie and want to share it with the rest of you. Anyway…this happened about 3 weeks or so after Lacy’s bone marrow transplant. During the middle of the night, her nurse noticed she was breathing rather shallow. She hooked her up to the monitor and found out her oxygen level was not good at all. The doctor came in and decided Lacy needed a trip to the ICU. I was told she may be developing pneumonia or there was one other possibility, which would be a worse case scenario. The doctors and nurses acted quickly to put Lacy to sleep (that in itself was a fight) and get her intubated while rushing her down the halls and elevator to ICU.

As it turns out it wasn’t pneumonia. Her lungs had begun hemorrhaging on the inside. All of the fragile little blood vessels were bleeding and filling her lungs with blood. The ICU doctor basically told me she had 10 minutes to live if they couldn’t get the bleeding under control. The only way to stop the bleeding on the inside of the lungs was to put her in a coma, paralyze her, and basically fill her lungs up with air pressure which would put force against the bleeding and hopefully stop it. The coma and paralysis were done because with her lungs being inflated, if she moved or fought it, could run the risk of her lungs bursting. They were able to stop the bleeding, and from that point the ICU doctors told me that if they could string some hours together she stood a chance to survive. Then it was if they could string some days and then weeks together, she would probably be okay. She was there for three weeks before they moved her back to her room, free of the ventilator. I knew that first day after the 10 minutes had passed that she would be okay. I just felt that God was watching over her. The moral of this story is you just never give up. It “ain’t” over ‘til it’s over. Lacy has had numerous close calls her entire life. Honestly, if she was a cat, she would have probably used up over half of her nine lives.

The road before Louie may be a rough one. It may be a long one, but at least he’s still on the road. Ruthie, our prayers are constantly with Louie, you and the girls. We love you.


Out of Surgery

Uncle Louie is out of surgery. Bonnie, Ruthie, and Brian were able to speak with the doctors following the surgery. The doctors were pleased to see that his bowel had turned from grey to pink. It is still far from normal but we are always excited to see any improvement and pink is an improvement.

His labs have also improved slightly. Another small step in the right direction. The doctors are always quick to remind us however that he is still very sick. They also continue to stress that infection is of paramount concern. We will continue to pray that we see improvement daily and that his body continues to fight off the infection.

They have not placed the trach. We expect to see it placed in the next several days.

I just know that all of your prayers are helping so much. As always thank you!

The Lord your God is with you,
He is Mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17


Things I am Grateful For

1. I am grateful for the most skilled of surgeons who uphold my faith ("I am the hands, God is the healer” Dr. Duke), and even at times make me laugh.

2. I am grateful for family and friends who have attended to our every need, the most precious gift being storming the heavens with prayers.

3. I am grateful to my amazing daughters who each support me lovingly but in different ways. Each one brings their own personal strengths to the situation. I am truly blessed.

4. I am grateful for a wonderful husband- a fighter who in a friend's words is "tough as nails". I love him dearly.

5. I am grateful for Greg and Cindy who teach us that true friendship defies all circumstances.

6. I am grateful for ANOTHER DAY.

Love you all,

Back in Surgery

He has been taken back to surgery #6 where they will do another wash out and possibly the trach. We will update when we know more.

I was able to speak with Aunt Ruthie today. She was feeling so encouraged because she had a touching moment with one of Uncle Louie's nurses late last night. Louie's nurse told Ruthie that she had been praying for Uncle Louie and the family. Ruthie was so comforted knowing that Louie was being cared for by such a compassionate person she was able to get a good nights rest.

Ruthie was able to attend rounds this morning. Dr. Ware said the bowel was looking better (not by any means normal...but we will take better!) Generally his labs are improving slightly. Uncle Louie remains in critical condition, but every tiny little step in the right direction feels like an answered prayer to me.

Today Uncle Louie will likely have a tracheostomy tube placed. This should allow Uncle Louie to be more comfortable by taking the tube out of his mouth and reducing the risk of infection.

Please continue to keep Louie, Ruthie, the Girls and Greg in your prayers. Ruthie continues to feel God's presence in this situation and is so comforted knowing that so many of Uncle Louie's caretakers are good compassionate people. I know this is because of all of your prayers.

Thank you again!

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Psalms 37:39-40


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Out of Surgery

Uncle Louie made it out of surgery. Thank you for your prayers. We will update when we have more information.


Going into Surgery

Dad is going into surgery now for another wash-out. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Duke's Report

We were able to speak with Dr. Duke after the surgery. They were able to reconnect his bowel. At this time they still do not know if the bowel will function properly, only time will tell. Dr. Duke continued to stress that infection is his biggest threat at this time. He will go into surgery almost daily for a washout.

Ruthie was comforted that Dr. Duke stated that he tends to the injury while God heals the injury. He also reminded us that God instructed Job that he would not give him more than he could handle.

The road in front of Louie is a long one. Dr. Duke continued to stress that we do not know how long any of this will take.

I know that all of your prayers are paving the way for Uncle Louie. We will continue to feverishly pray that the Lord is with his physicians and that they can stay on top of any infection that they find. We also pray that Louie stays strong and suffers no significant setbacks.

Please continue to keep Louie and Greg in your prayers.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:18


Monday, February 2, 2009

Out of surgery

He's out of surgery and we are waiting for an update from the doctor. We will post more when hear from them.

In surgery

Dad's been taken back to surgery. Today they will do the usual wash out, and they are also hoping to be able to re-connect the large and small intestine. Send prayers.


Surgery has been postponed. It is still on the schedule to happen today but probably not until the afternoon. We will continue to post updates.

Surgery at 7:30

Louie is scheduled for surgery this morning at 7:30. Please pray for them all.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Still waiting for surgery

It appears that there has been an influx of patients in need of surgery thus Uncle Louie's surgery has been pushed back. As soon as there is room in the OR and Dr. Duke is available they will take him. Obviously we would like him to get to surgery as soon as possible but we will trust that this too is in God's hands!

Please continue to pray for Louis Buzek and his liver function. Also keep Ruthie and the girls in your prayers, it is going to be a long road. As you pray do not forget Greg, he also needs your prayers.

I came across this earlier today and thought it was powerful.

Isaiah 41:13

For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Thank you so much! I know the entire Buzek family appreciates it.


Urgent Prayers Needed

Bonnie just returned from speaking with the Doctors and Uncle Louie is not doing well.

His liver is failing. Also they need to take him to surgery to finish his bowel repair and are unsure about when they can do that, but it needs to be done soon.


Set for Surgery

Uncle Louie is set for surgery this morning. If you could please pray that God graces the surgeons with the patience and skill that they need to work on repairing Louie's bowel, that they do not find any sign of infection and that Louie stays strong during the procedure.

As always a million words of thanks are not enough for all each of you have done for us. We are so grateful for all of your prayers!