The odd existence we’re living here make times of focused or extended prayer a challenge. Today, like many days, we uttered a quick “Please, Jesus, let this be a calm day” as we stepped off the elevator on the 5th floor. Unfortunately we were met with a bump shortly after we got here as we were having a check in with Dr. Reemtsen. Alarms started to go off and, after a couple nonchalant looks at the screen (the usual first response), the tone got more concerned and then the inexplicable signal went off and six people were suddenly at the bedside dealing with the breathing tube. Just a few minutes passed and, almost as quickly as they came in, everyone was gone. No big deal–possibly just an obstruction in the breathing tube. I’m glad there’s always a couple that check on us before going and we usually lie and go along with the “no big deal” line, but I don’t think we fool them with our ashen complexions and tears welling up. I don’t think Rudy was ever in significant danger, but I don’t think we’ll ever get used to jolts like this. Suddenly we’re both in need of comfort foods and are craving Big Macs and lots of french fries (you go to your happy place, we’ll go to ours).
The conversation with Dr. Reemtsen did set forth a plan for the week. Rudy’s cardiac function continues to be very strong, so much that Dr. Harrison recommended that his next echocardiogram be at his discharge. Everything they are addressing now has little to do with heart function, the biggest issue being the chylothorax (lymphatic fluid in the chest cavity). The hope has been that the drainage into the chest drain would taper off, but that hasn’t been the case. The medicine they’ve been giving him (Octreotide) should have worked by now, but they’re going to give it a few more days. If there’s no change, the plan is to do another surgery on Thursday to ligate the thoracic duct. Not a major surgery, but surely one we’d rather not see Rudy have to endure, so please pray that this would heal itself and the flow of fluid to the drains would stop. So far we’ve seen fluids be very responsive to prayer so let’s channel the same effort that went into producing urine into the ceasing of lymphatic fluid.
Dr. Reemtsen feels that Rudy won’t make much progress until this can be corrected as all of his nutrition is likely just flowing out of his body into the drains. They are also looking closely at his endocrine system as they are wondering if there’s some steriod deficiency or ongoing thyroid issues that are hindering his ability to move forward. There’s also been consultation with the infectious diseases team as, though no significant cultures have grown, some of his symptoms (low blood pressure, occasional fevers) are making it tough to rule out). In any case of extended hospitalization, the threat of infection emerges, so we’re praying against this.
That’s this morning’s update. In the midst of it all, Rudy is lying very calmly and loves looking up at his aquarium. I do wonder often what kind of thoughts are going on in his little mind through all of this.