Happy Sunday friends! We hope that no matter what season or week you find yourself in, that you get some good Sabbath rest today (or that you did yesterday if you are a Saturday Sabbather). After spending the majority of last week in the stressful, busy, hectic ICU, we are extra attune to how powerful rest can be for the body, mind, and soul from our much quieter hospital room.
Today is our 12th day in the hospital. By now, we know most of the nurses on our floor, Adam’s mom and I have claimed our own meal table in the hospital atrium, and I exclusively wear slippers around like I own the hospital. For as comfortable as Adam’s mom and I have become with the hospital, Adam remains fairly uncomfortable.
Soon after our last update, Adam took a turn for the pain. On Thursday night, Adam weighed 40LBS more than he did when he entered the hospital. That would have been alarming if he’d been given the key to the cafeteria, but it was extra alarming because he’s been on an ice chip and iv drip diet. The doctors sent Adam for a CT scan Friday morning and found massive quantities of fluid in his abdomen and behind his lungs. He immediately had a procedure to drain the fluids and they removed seven liters from his abdomen. Yes, you read that right, SEVEN LITERS. He is still retaining a lot of fluid in his legs, and some in his trunk. So to summarize, he’s got fluid. The fluid retention is a side effect of removing lymph nodes. The doctors hope this abdominal fluid retention was a one-time occurrence, but they can’t guarantee that.
In addition to finding the fluid in Adam’s abdomen from the CT scan, the doctors found that Adam’s left kidney did not survive the surgery, despite the surgeon’s best efforts. The loss of kidney function explains some of the recovery complications that Adam has been experiencing. The doctors feel confident that Adam will be fine with just one kidney, and that his right kidney will soon learn to do all the work on its own and some of his side effects will subside. Thankfully, they don’t believe they will need to remove leftie (Praise for no additional surgeries on the books.)
Since the epic fluid drain, Adam has been feeling much better! He has been moving and sleeping so much easier. Yesterday he graduated to a clear liquid diet (including Jello, which Adam is legitimately excited about). And today, Adam was granted soft foods – so he basically just got his master’s in post-surgery diet.
I won’t sugarcoat it; these are long and weary days. Sometimes, it’s hard to celebrate progress with continued setbacks. But as I re-read the last few posts, I am reminded that Adam is healing and has come so far.
Here are some praises:
· All of Adam’s organs that are going to wake up have woken up (RIP Left Kidney). This is huge, huge progress!
· Adam has graduated to a soft food diet. If all goes well, he will get to introduce solid foods slowly. For now, he’s getting specialized nutrition through an IV to boost his vitamin levels.
· The doctors have figured out pain meds that manage Adam’s pain. He’s still in a lot of pain, but the meds are helping (not fixing but helping).
· Adam has been in much better spirits since the fluid was drained and his pain has become more manageable (go figure). It’s so good to see him smiling and being funny (snarky) again.
Here are some more prayer requests:
· Adam’s kidney function – The doctors have said that they have seen damaged kidneys gain some level of functioning back. We would love to see his left kidney heal, or to see his right kidney pick up the pace. Kidney function is critical to reducing fluid retention and keeping electrolytes and potassium levels where they should be.
· Adam’s mobility – Adam is out racing our elderly floor mates daily on the walker track. He is gaining speed and distance, but moving continues to be painful. He’s frustrated that he ran a Tough Mudder in July and can barely walk for 4 minutes without being winded. This surgery was no joke.
· Adam’s fluid retention – Adam is still retaining a lot of fluid in his legs and feet. We would love to see his body start to absorb the fluid, and for him to feel more comfortable soon, and for this to not be a long-term ongoing side-effect of lymph node dissection.
· Adam’s heart rate – Adam’s heart rate is still elevated, please keep praying for calm for his body and mind and for that heart rate to get to a safe, consistent pace.
Thank you for your love, encouragement, and faithful and faith-filled prayers.
To God be the glory great things He has done (and will do),