It was a very quiet day here in the ICU. I can’t say “peaceful” as Rudy struggled during his first two sprints and so they cut them off early and cancelled the one for this evening. The primary suspect is his nutrition—he just isn’t getting enough calories or protein to get strong. In his condition, breathing on his own takes a lot of energy and if he’s not replenishing calories then he’s not regaining strength. His little body has such a delicate balance within which the team needs to work.
So the strategy of packing as much nutrition as possible began this weekend. They’ve backed him off several medications (Lasix, Octreotide, Fentanyl) because he doesn’t seem to need what they do, but mostly because they represent ccs the doctors would rather have for nutrition. So they’re stuffing him with the richest mix of TPN (IV feed) they can until there’s a green light for him to start feeding to his stomach again.
This makes for an intricate chain reaction of things we’d like to see fall into place. Rudy is still on the surgery schedule for Monday to ligate the thoracic duct if the fluid on his lungs doesn’t stop. Without the drain that fell out on Friday, the team relies on chest Xrays to assess this. This morning’s looked very clear; let’s pray that tomorrow morning’s is indisputably clear. Once we are convinced that this chylothorax (the fancy name) is behind us, the team will then re-initiate feedings to the gut—which will allow him to pack in calories and gain muscle strength so he can then make progress on the ventilator. So, please pray for this all to come together and that there would be clear indicators for the team to make the decisions they need to make on Monday morning. No curve balls, please! We could say Rudy is making progress simply because he hasn’t had any setbacks, but it would be very encouraging to turn a corner this week.
One final note my friends at the Rescue Mission will appreciate. Yesterday, Rudy started methadone therapy to ease his withdrawal from all of the narcotics he’s been on since birth. So please pray for his recovery—don’t think they have NA groups for folks his age, but we’ll add this who knows how many things he might have to process one day thanks to this whole experience. I wonder who he needs to make amends to. The one truth I do cling to is that recovery happens in relationships so I’m extremely glad for all of you friends who are pulling for Rudy to make it on through.