Our Fridays tend to be frenzied days on this journey. I had a good week in SB and actually felt an ability to focus on some work stuff even while being very concerned about all that’s been going on at UCLA–quite a few nights I hit a second wind and was able to work from 9pm until after midnight. It’s good to feel a bit more on top things.
Today has had it’s high points: a fantastic breakfast with great company (thanks, Will), a drive down the coast next to a Pacific smooth as glass (just screaming to be paddled), getting to see my wife and have lunch with her, getting to see my baby boy and rest my forehead on top of his, a sweet attempt by Nurses Sara, Heather and Dr. Andy to surprise us with a Christmas gift (I’ll let Trish tell that story), and….a visit from a surprise guest (check back for pics soon–he’s HUGE!). It’s also had it’s lows: having to say goodbye to the kids, not being able to kayak out into that ocean, getting such a short time with my wife, and seeing my baby boy in a significant amount of pain.
As Trish mentioned, pleurodesis is a very painful procedure. As the object is to fuse the pleura (lung lining) to the chest wall by creating scar tissue, it means using surgical instruments to rough up the sides of the chest cavity and then putting substances there to create even more inflammation. Must feel kind of like getting scraped with sandpaper and then rubbing alcohol into it. That searing pain means it’s working. So, Rudy has been uncomfortable and his heart rate was very high most of the night (180 to 210 bpm). By the time I got here today he was much more relaxed thanks to medication (140 to 160 bpm). Too early to say if it’s working, but I was glad to see very little coming out of his chest tube.
Nurse Anita tried to put in a pic line yesterday and it’s got a kink of some sort in it. The team hasn’t been very happy with the way the lines have looked on that side the whole time, so Rudy’s just been taken down to the cath lab by Dr. Dan for an angiograph so they will have a better idea of where those veins are going. So, I’m sitting here in his room alone since Trish just left. It’s weird to be in here without him–the room is remarkably big when his rig isn’t parked in the middle of it. I’m looking forward to him getting back and just having some quiet hours back sitting with him. Our prayer is that he would have a calm night and a weekend of rest. Even though he’s usually lying in the same crib, transports and the procedures that require them are tiring on him. So once we have him settled in we’ll try for as much calm over the next few days as we can.
That’s it for now, but keep checking back as I know you’re dying to see who the mystery guest today was! (HUGE–I mean it! So great to live in Hollywood.)