Friday, March 20, 2009

Catching Up

Yesterday was a busy day! Louie had a echo cardiogram in the morning to check his heart, because they were still looking for the cause of the fever. Later on he had a cat scan that Dr. Duke observed. Dr. Duke also looked for further infection before surgery. Louie ended the day with 4 hours of dialysis.
*****Since then we have found the cause of the fever to be a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics had already been started and Louie no longer has fever!*********

I was able to speak with Dr. Duke after surgery. He says the belly is looking "clean as a whistle". He is still working hard on the exit wound and inserted new maggots. He said the belly is not nearly so yellow anymore, indicating a little bit of liver function. He seems cautiously optimistic that these functions (liver, kidneys etc.) will return with time. Everything, including the cleaning of the wounds, takes so much time. He likes to compare things to farming and country life so when Carol Pratho said it was a "long row to hoe", he totally agreed.

I was again impressed by his commitment to his job and our case. He had told me previously that he would be gone at the end of this month for a hunting trip to West Texas. Since time is drawing close, I asked what arrangements he had made for Louie's surgery during his absence. He told me he was not going. He felt the only person he would be comfortable leaving him with would be Dr. Ware. (and Dr. Ware is going on the trip also) His words were " I signed on for this job and I intend to carry it through." He is truly exceptional! I have never cried when speaking to him because he always speaks with confidence, but this was truly a gift and I had tears in my eyes.

Love to all, Ruthie

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Surgery 32

Dad had surgery today, and Dr. Duke said it went well. Very minimal tissue was removed and he got a new team of microsurgeons. Unfortunately dad is still running fever and while we are thankful that all testing has had favorable results, this means they still cannot find what's causing it. Mom had a chance to talk to Dr. Duke today, and she said he sounded cautiously optimistic.

Keep the prayers coming; we appreciate them so much!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day report

Surgery went as planned. A new batch of maggots (microsurgeons) were placed. He continues to be off the pressors (blood pressure support).

There was some concern for blood in his nasogastric tube which resulted in him having an EGD, which spelled out is an esophagogastroduodenoscopy. That's 26 letters for those counting. The EGD showed a small superficial ulcer at the junction of the esophagus and stomach. The gastroenterologist thinks it was probably caused by the NG tube, so that has been removed.

His blood counts did drop a little so he got some more blood today, but there is no apparent active bleeding right now.

Plans for tomorrow include hemodialysis and some more therapy.

Quoted from St. Patrick:

"God, whom we announce to you, is the Ruler of all things."
"The God of heaven and earth, of the sea and the rivers."
"The God of the sun, and the moon, and all the stars."
"The God of the high mountains and of the low-lying valleys."
"The God who is above heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven."
"His dwelling is in heaven and earth, and the sea, and all therein."
"He gives breath to all"
"He gives life to all."
"He is over all."
"He upholds all."
"He gives light to the sun."
"He imparts splendour to the moon."
"He has made wells in the dry land, and islands in the ocean."
"He has appointed the stars to serve the greater lights."
"His Son is co-eternal and co-equal with Himself."
"The Son is not younger than the Father."
"And the Father is not older than the Son."
"And the Holy Ghost proceeds from them."
"The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are undivided."
"But I desire by Faith to unite you to the Heavenly King, as you are daughters of an earthly king."


Out of Surgery

Don't have any surgical details yet -will update when more info is available.

Surgery #31

In surgery now. Please pray.


Things continue to progress, but of course there are little bumps in the road here and there. Dad has a fever today so they are changing some lines to try to find the culprit. His white blood cell count is still in the "normal range", so that is very good. He did very well with hemodialysis yesterday and his blood pressure is still holding its own. He's also started occupational therapy, so mom has been given some exercises to do with him. Right now they are concentrating on hand/arm work. Mom opens and closes his hands, moves his thumbs, and works with his wrists and shoulders as well.
Yesterday and today he also spent more time sitting in his chair, and while I'm sure it was exhausting for him he did well. He's been moved off the full ventilator and back to C-PAP. Sometime during the day he should go back to surgery to retire and rehire microsurgeons. Today he has some drainage that is darker than before and he actually threw up this morning as well. (what might have been that same darker stuff - excuse my lack of medical terminology) The doctors are trying to figure out what the darker drainage is, and what is causing the fever. Other than those to things, he's still making forward strides.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

From Behind the Eight Ball

Written by Marilyn Goerig

We cannot doubt the power of prayer
It's the glue between us and God.
No matter how bad the situation
Prayer brings us through somehow.

When Louie started on this journey
Dr. Duke admitted to all
His chances were pretty slim,
He was, in fact, "behind the eight ball."

While we know he is very sick
and the road ahead is long,
Dr. Duke marvelled
"He must have been very strong."

"I tend the sick, God heals the sick."
Dr. Duke admits humbly
"I'm just a worker in the vineyard"
Is his philosophy.

Although we get impatient
and want Louie's battle won
Dr. Duke reminds us
We signed up for Patience 101.

There are no unanswered prayers
As we pray for a positive sign
Our challenge is to remember
NOT in our time, but in God's time.

Update - Surgery #30

I've fallen behind on the updates. So here's a catch up post.

Yesterday evening dad went to surgery. He got a new set of microsurgeons, and Dr. Duke removed just a little more tissue from dad's right side. Hopefully this time they've taken the last of the infected tissue. Dr. Duke said that the bowel looks good, and today's labs show other improvements as well. His white blood cell count is still good, his liver function has improved (not yet near normal - but there's improvement), and dad is still off of the pressors (even though his blood pressure is a little lower today - somewhat borderline for no pressors). We we'll continue to pray he is able to keep his blood pressure up.

This morning one of the staff members woke mom up and told her that they needed her back in dad's room. She's always scared when she gets a request like this, however today was good news. When she got back there she saw that they had dad SITTING UP IN A CHAIR! She has not had the opportunity to look straight into dad's eyes since before the accident. She was just so surprised that he was able to sit. Of course this is a special chair (to me it kind of looks like one you would find in a dentist office), and he was strapped in so he wouldn't fall out, but he was able to sit there for almost 3 hours (not awake all of that time, but drifting in and out). After 3 hours he was exhausted and seemed quite uncomfortable so they moved him back to his bed. Now he's sleeping very hard - the chair completely wore him out.

Surgery nor dialysis are scheduled for today, so this cold, rainy, Sunday can be his day of rest.