Sunday, July 24, 2011
We met with Dr. Loftus for well over an hour on Monday, discussing his history and treatment options for the future. On Tuesday, Dr. Devine said he was VERY pleased with how well Alex is healing after surgery. We talked with him a bit about his expectations regarding weight gain and then were back over the meet with Dr. Loftus regarding some concerning bloodwork from the day before. Alex's liver enzymes are elevated, which could be from residual inflammation in his biliary duct around where his ulcer is located in the duodenum OR it could be a result of Tylenol use, medications and dehydration. After some further testing (ultrasound), Dr. Loftus determined that it was difficult to tell which was the culprit. His biliary duct is slightly dilated/more open than when they measured it in the hospital, but not by much. There was no obvious obstruction, so he wants Alex to get frequent bloodwork, stop taking Tylenol and one of his medications and see how his labs look in the next few weeks. If that takes care of the problem, we won't need to return to MN until around early November. If the bloodwork is still of concern, we may need to return in the next few weeks.
Alex is having a great birthday so far. We ate at his favorite breakfast joint, First Watch, this morning after church. Lydia has given him an extra dose of birthday "muah's" (kisses) all day. He is taking advantage of Lydia's naptime with a little birthday nap of his own. ;) We will be coming back to KC tomorrow and plan on staying put for a while! It will be so nice to be home! Alex plans on starting back at work in a couple of weeks. I know he looks forward to getting back into the swing of things.
So sorry again for the gap in updates! We hope to have more good news to come as Alex continues to heal and recover.
Love and blessings to you all!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Short update, just wanted to let you all know we are almost home!!!!
Love to you all :)
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Lydia came by for a quick visit yesterday, but was fast asleep by the time she got up to the room. She was SO excited when she woke up and saw Daddy right next to her! Below are some pictures of her signing his Mayo Clinic pillow (which happened to include her shirt, unfortunately!) and giving it to Daddy.
Dr. Devine was in this morning and was very pleased with the way his incision appears to be healing. They are planning to clamp his NG tube (that is currently draining his stomach) tomorrow. Depending how he tolerates that, they will decide whether he is ready to start on some liquids and may even remove the tube then as well.
Alex continues to feel pretty good. He is starting to get very hungry and is really looking forward to being able to drink some tomorrow.
More later...I am being sent on a paper run :). Love to you all...
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Alex is doing great this morning! He had oxygen and several other tubes removed this morning before he went on his first walk. He did great, walking at least 200 yards round trip!
Now he is sitting in his chair reading the newspaper!
Lydia should be up with Carol and Brett any minute now, so hopefully I can add some pictures of them as well. Dr. Devine and his team came by this morning to check on him. Everything is going very well. His pain is well-controlled with his IV pain medications. He will switch back to oral meds once he starts drinking liquids again on Sunday or Monday. Dr. Devine just reiterated that we are going to "take it very slow"...which sounds like a great idea!
Friday, July 1, 2011
Dr. Devine also said we would be taking things very slowly for the next few days. He will stay on his TPN, waiting until Sunday or Monday to try liquids for the first time. This is when he may start to get nauseated, depending on how he tolerates the liquids passing through the new anastomosis (connection). From there they will just slowly increase his diet until he is tolerating soft solids well. At this point, they will decide if he is able to stop the TPN and get enough of his nutrition orally.
Prayer requests now include LOTS of praise for a successful surgery!!! Also, quick and thorough healing, management of any pain, and (heck, let's go for it...) NO nausea. Thank you so much to all of Alex's prayer warriors out there. You are all so dear to us and essential to Alex's healing!
He was brought to recovery @ 6:30. They said he would be in recovery for about 2 hours, so I am expecting him back up in the room in another 30-45 minutes. I got one update at about 5:15 from the "communicating nurse" (Sarah) that just said the doctor reported that all was going well and that Dr. Devine was proceeding as planned. Sarah said that hearing less is more from Dr. Devine...that he typically only sends lots of updates out if there are unplanned events. If we don't hear much, that we should assume that all is going great and things are going as planned.
More to come after I speak with the Dr...
Yesterday, as I was leaving the hospital, the song "It is Well with My Soul" was playing on the radio. Peace surrounded my heart as I listened. The whole hymn is a great one, but these beginning words seemed to resonate the most-
"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul"
"...though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul."
Here's one version by Chris Rice...
What a great hymn. We have an awesome small group at our church and one of the ladies who is a part of that group is a singer with a beautiful voice. She sang "Give me Jesus" at our last meeting as a prayer for Alex and I. It was awesome. As I listened to this song yesterday, I couldn't help but hear her voice singing as if she was right there with us. Thank you, Vernia.
Thank you again for all of your prayers. Maybe we should add strength, focus and discernment for Dr. Devine and his team since it sounds like Alex will be following an unanticipatedly complicated case.
We will keep you updated as to when he heads into surgery.
Love to you all!