Thursday, August 20, 2015

Unexpected Mercies

Yesterday was a HUGE day for countless reasons.

Tuesday evening Adam and I headed out for the big city in order to be able to get up extremely early and be at the hospital by 7 a.m. on Wednesday.  

We arrived at the admissions office a little early and got checked in fairly soon.  They sent us to the wrong clinic first so once we filled out a little paper work for that one we headed up to IR.  I'm not sure if it is a good or bad feeling when the nurse who comes to the waiting room for you knows you by first name and your son acknowledges him by name as well.  Actually, it was kind of comforting to me to know that all of the staff in IR know him well and care about him in a sense.

The nurse who was checking us in yesterday was the same nurse that Adam had in IR the very first time we ever went down there with him to get work done while he was hospitalized.  Who could forget her?  She is a soft spoken, kind person who treats you so professionally as well as with loving care.  

We jumped right in to the plan of the day for their particular procedures and we began the litany of staff telling us what orders they had and the two of us responding with what we were told we were going to have done.   Those two scenarios don't always match.  It didn't seem as though the drains would all be coming out according to her account and that caused some consternation in both of us.

An IV team person was brought in to start his IV and let's just say it didn't go well.  It has been terribly hard for nurses to get a needle in Adam's veins since coming home.  His veins are tough from months of medications and his body is so depleted of nutrition that it is just extremely hard to get a good stick.  The team member decided to give him a break and left the room.  

In the meantime, a resident doctor from GI kept coming in (at least 3 times) and asked us to give consent to them doing an ERCP when it came time for us to go down to the endoscopy clinic.  Each time he came in and asked us for consent we both said NO.  You see, the ERCP procedure is the very one that gave Adam pancreatitis in the first place so we were prepared to say no to that no matter what.  Plus, at one point in his hospitalization I remember a conversation with a nurse who had told me "oh, he will never have one of those again."  

Well,  both Dr. G and Dr. O came down eventually and explained to us that the procedure would be called an ERC and that it would somehow be different which I will not go into here.  So with trepidation and my heart begging God to please help us, we had him sign the consent.  He had to do it prior to his other procedures as he would be heavily sedated and after that he would not legally be able to consent.

Another IV team member came in and put an IV in while nurse R finished telling Adam what drugs he could expect during the procedure and when.  At one point, Adam and I had had some "words" with each other and with the difficulty of the IV going in and watching him suffer I was crying a bit.  At that point God really stepped in for me.  

We were about to send him back and R had said she would personally go into the procedure with Adam and take care of his medications as he needed them best even though she was not really scheduled to do that.  At that point she asked us softly, "Would you be okay if I said a prayer for you?"  OH. MY. YES

I had wanted to pray for him before he went back but my emotions were already frazzled and I didn't feel I could do it on my own.  God stepped in and used R to give both Adam and I comfort and to ask Jesus to be with us.

And off he went.

During that procedure they took out the very uncomfortable final back drain, repositioned the two front ones and took out the biliary drain leaving a wire for the GI docs to work with later.  They also did a thoracentesis which is putting a needle through his back and into his right lung to draw out fluid.  They removed 2 liters from his right lung.

Before he was fully awake and around noon (which was our appointed time for his ERC) the nurse from endoscopy came down and transported him up to their clinic.  Of course before this happened they had already done two chest X rays in his bed to see if the thoracentesis was successful.

After consultation with the nurse anesthestist and the anestheisiologist he was taken back for his second round of procedures around 12:30.  

I got a snack and went outside to sit for a while and walked around a bit while I waited.  My dear, lifelong friend Sheila was texting me throughout the day and made it so much better than being "alone".  I finally decided to go back to the waiting area and sat in there for a while more.  It took about 2 hours and all of a sudden I heard a page that said "Dr. XXXXXXX XXXXXX please call #### STAT."  Then it was repeated. 

My heart dropped.  Was there something going wrong?  Why would Dr. O page him during the procedure.  I threw God some desperate prayers.  Then before I knew it, Dr. G came bounding into the waiting area and said that they were not going to put a stent in after all because it wasn't needed, etc. and then off he went.  (That is how he always operates.)

Then a couple minutes later, Dr. O was standing next to me and asked me to come out into the hallway to talk with him.  I was a bit worried but figured he was going to tell me they were done in private.  Then he told me the most amazing thing.  He said, "We went to put in a stent into the bile duct but when we looked in there, the duct was already the right size. In fact it is bigger than if I had put a stent into it.  I can't explain it.  The stricture has disappeared.  I don't know what happened.  I don't know what made that happen." 

 I said, "Maybe it was God."   

He said, "Maybe. I just don't know how to explain it.  And I don't think he will get pancreatitis."  I assured him that I didn't think so either even though deep inside I was really hoping and praying that we were both right.

After a bit more of a wait they came and got me and I waited with Adam back in recovery for a couple more hours until he felt he could travel.  

We stopped on the way home and he got a crispy chicken sandwich from Arby's and ate it all happily with no bad results.  Praise Jesus!!!!

South of Sabetha we met Craig in a parking lot and Adam got in with him and headed home while I went on to worship band practice.  When I got home late I got Adam's wounds all redressed where he needed it, flushed his drains and got him set to sleep and went to bed myself well after midnight.  

It was a day of many things, but for me there were several unexpected mercies, not the least of which was the miracle of my son not needing a stent and therefore probably not needing any surgery when in the past months things were certainly more bleak looking in regard to his health.

Thank you, Jesus, for your daily unexpected mercies!  They are new every morning!

Thank you, Friends, for your faithful prayers!  We love you!

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