Friday, July 17, 2009

Amazing Grace

I spoke to Dr. Duke this evening and he indicated that he may be ready to start grafting again next week.

There are a few things to remember concerning this possibility. First of all, Dr. Duke's concept of next week does not always coincide with ours. Nevertheless, it may be soon and so we need your prayers beginning today and continuing throughout this grafting process. Because of the excessive amount of bile collected in the wound vacs and suction canisters, we need to pray that this fluid will be diminished. Leakage can be a disaster for a skin graft causing it to disintegrate.

Next we move to what we believe is the reality of what will happen in the future. The fistulas do not allow the bowel to be in working order at this time. This is not something you can "fix", but rather must heal over time. The bowel surgery may be another hospital stay many months (or longer) down the road. We only have to look at how far he's come to realize that this concession is a small one.

Remember the tremendous blood loss or the days we prayed that his heart would be strong? The days of the pacemaker are behind us. What about the weeks of continuous dialysis? His kidney function is excellent. Those dreaded words "his liver is failing" brought with them absolute fear. Your loving prayers restored his liver function back to normal. Infection was a constant demon; Dr. Duke tirelessly fought this with all of his tricks including those maggots. Remember the frightening time of waiting when Louie wouldn't wake up? He did and his memory and thought processes are excellent. There were many words we came to HATE. Sepsis, multiple organ failure, quality of life, and "feelings of impending doom". Each and every time together we brought these issues to the Lord and He answered us.

So, as we move forward remember where we have been and thank God for His great gifts. It really puts into perspective where we are going.

When the Mennonite young men come to sing at our room we always ask for the selection "Amazing Grace". It is a beautiful song, especially in their exceptional voices. Before this hospital stay, I used to relate to this song differently - as more of a promise of Heaven. Now when I hear it I think of it as a parallel to Louie's recovery here at Hermann Hospital.

"Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come;
'Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home."

Once again we ask you to pray for the grafting process. We need His Grace to bring Louie home.

Love to all of you,


Dad went to and from surgery this morning. Nothing new to report, he's just keeping up with the routine of the surgery schedule. All's well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Dad went to and from surgery this morning and had physical therapy this afternoon. Now he's napping. :) We've been having pretty good luck with the wound vac lately - it's worked majority of the time! Continue the prayers, they are working and he's doing well.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Deviating from the schedule #82 and #83

Dad went back to surgery on Saturday. Dr. Duke had been racking his brain trying to find a good solution for this on-going wound vac problem. He told mom he'd been looking at all sorts of options and in fact he'd even dreamed about it the night before and came up with a couple of ideas! Dad headed to surgery Saturday evening and Duke worked his magic. Unfortunately the magic didn't last long and the wound vac was already beeping by Sunday morning. Yesterday Dr. Duke came in wrapped dad in some more plastic, got it to work and as of this morning the wound vac was still holding.

Dad is back in surgery this morning (#83), and God willing he will return with everything working.

On a more positive note, we learned this weekend that the "tunnel" that connected the center wound with entrance wound on the left side has closed. This tunnel (accompanied by the leaking around the wound vac) possibly caused the 2nd skin graft to fail. Dr. Duke has not said when he would try to graft again, but as of now he does plan to graft both of those areas together. First and foremost he needs the drains and leaking issues resolved so when the grafting does resume they will have the best possible chance to take!