One of my favorite Seinfeld moments is Kramer reciting his mantra “serenity now” over and over with increasing frustration. You know you watch too much t.v. when you find yourself adopting coping mechanisms from a crazy sit-com character. There were a few times today when I caught myself whispering “serenity now…serenity now” as I struggled to understand the latest twist in Rudy’s journey…
I spent the morning at home finishing up a few house chores, grabbed a quick bite with Rolf on my way out of town (it was “Big Mac” Monday after all) and arrived in L.A. about 1pm. I hadn’t even set my bags down before I heard the news…fluid was seeping out of Rudy’s stomach incision. The pediatric surgical team came up right away to check it, Dr. Shew took one look at it and said he suspected it was chylous ascites…lymphatic fluid that was collecting in the cavity outside the stomach!!! Yep, for all you avid Rudy’s Beat readers, this is the same fluid that we battled for so long in his chest cavity called chylothorax. They sent a sample right away to be tested and we got word around 7pm that it is, indeed, chylous! The wretched monster is back!!!!
Rolf and I have many questions…we and Rudy’s team were so hopeful this was behind us! It still isn’t clear to me how this will effect the big picture scenario but, for now, they have stopped Rudy’s feeds in hopes of getting the fluid to stop leaking from the incision. The number one priority right now is to give the incision time to heal. If the fluid doesn’t stop soon, Rudy will have to go back to the OR to have the incision closed surgically. The chylous needs to stop completely before they’ll attempt to feed him again. Unlike the chylothorax fluid, chylous ascites cannot be “fixed” with any surgical procedure. From what I understand, it is (ONCE AGAIN) a matter of time.
This is a huge blow…we prepared ourselves for a slow back-and-forth on the feeds as Rudy’s digestive system adjusted AND a fluctuation of the ventilator settings but none of us wanted to suspect that lymphatic fluid would come into play again. This is particularly troublesome to me because Rudy battled the chylothorax for 8+ weeks!!!! Are we looking at a similar timeline with the chylous ascites? The test results came late in the day so we’ll have to sleep with our questions in mind until I have a chance to talk with the doctors involved tomorrow. “SERENITY NOW!!!”…Can I go up to the helipad and scream it from the very depths of my being????
I actually got a very timely birthday gift from Nurse Kristina last week…a little gift book from the hospital gift shop entitled “Serenity”. I read it cover to cover on Friday and a quote from the book stuck with me all weekend. The book was compiled by Sarah M. Hupp and in it she writes, “Serenity is found in the deliberate adjustment of our lives to the will of God”. So true!! Over and over we’ve had to stop, regroup, readjust our expectations and move forward ONE DAY AT A TIME. “Deliberate adjustment”, I have learned, is key to finding peace and acceptance in the midst of hardship. The events of today are asking us to take that truth to yet another level. Thank goodness God’s mercies are new every morning!