Saturday, February 21, 2009
Dr. Duke reported yesterday that the maggots are working. The ones he removed yesterday had grown quite large.
"They're about this big (*motions his pointer finger and thumb to signify about half an inch*) and they eat like teenage boys."
So, we asked for hungry maggots and that's what we got. Tomorrow they plan to do a routine wash out, and then on Monday the 3rd string of maggots will get to work their magic.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Dr. Duke showed off his pager yesterday. There was a frantic message from dad's nurse --
"THE MAGGOTS ARE ESCAPING!"
Without the wound vac the tape stays moist and some try to crawl under it. Yesterday's nurse was given orders to "quickly smush them if they get out".
This is a side of nursing I never knew about, and an experience that some of the nurses seem to want to quickly forget.
Yesterday evening dad was a little more alert. Maybe it was the "maggot itch" that woke him up (because he really wants to scratch). He was quite squirmy, kicking his legs and wiggling to the edge of the bed. Little does he know that he can't escape the maggots. There are MANY, MANY of them and only one of him. Last night they gave him medicine to help him relax and rest up for today's surgery. On today's surgery agenda - out with the old and in with the new. The next shift of hungry micro-surgeons are scrubbing in.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Also if you could please say a little prayer that our "micro surgeons" are able to do their job successfully!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Are you sitting down? Dr. Duke wanted to make sure we were before he explained his new course of action. Dr. Duke has told us from the beginning that he doesn't do everything these "young uns" do.
Today Dad became a member of an elite group. You may have seen it before on House or Gladiator. On today's surgical agenda - maggots (we might prefer to call them "micro surgeons"). While I'd heard of this before, I guess I thought it only happened in movies. Nope, not the case. They order these medical micro surgeons from California, and apparently they can do what scapels and lasers cannot by eating and dissolving dead or infected tissue.
Dr. Duke was happy to report that the maggots will be able to remove necrotic tissue without nipping the healthy tissue. Sometimes he goes to remove the infected skin and it makes the healthy tissue bleed. These micro surgeons will only eat the necrotic tissue. At first we were a bit skeptical about this. Obviously we trust whatever Dr. Duke wants us to do, but after a little Internet research we are almost excited.
Here's some information we have found.
Excerpt from National Geographic:
Sherman recalls the case he saw if a woman with perforation of the bowels and an infection that had spread through the abdomen, causing death (gangrene) of her bowel wall and peritoneum. Because it became necessary to remove dead tissue every other day in a risky surgical procedure, the attending physician decided to try the maggots.
"Two thousand of them were sprinkled over her open abdomen, and then covered with a dressing," said Sherman. "Two days later the maggots were washed out, revealing no more gangrene. She healed well, and the abdomen closed, without the need for any further intra-abdominal surgery."
Dr. Ronald Sherman of the University of California, Irvine
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
They are going to watch him for the next 24 hours and if his heart has no incidents they will remove the pacemaker tomorrow. Part of us just wishes they could leave it in. It's been such a relief to us knowing that it's there and will spring into action if needed. However, the doctors said the line is another risk of infection and could possibly even damage the heart. In that case we're okay with them removing it. (not that anyone even asked our opinions)
Thanks again for all of the prayers. They are working.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thanks for your prayers.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Cayla came for a brief visit this weekend as well. Of course she didn't visit Pawpaw, but Mimi was thrilled to see her little ladybug. When leaving this evening Cayla and I passed Dr. Duke and another Dr. in the hall. They were in deep discussion, but I pointed out to her that that was Pawpaw's doctor. She really wanted to meet him, but he appeared very busy. After we passed, she told me --
"Mom, he really just needs to give Pawpaw a 'walking stick' or 'wheeling chair'. If he did that his tummy wouldn't be wiggly when he walks and he could get better. Next time I see him, I'm going to tell him that."
She really wants me to arrange that meeting for her. I'm not sure how Dr. Duke would respond to her 6 year old wisdom.