Sunday, November 17, 2013

Update on J (continued)

For this one, I will put the most recent updates on top which will make it a little easier to find on the page. 

J is an ex police man who accidentally shot himself while holstering his gun. The bullet entered his stomach and traveled down his leg severing the femoral artery. He bled out immediately. They managed to bring him back. During surgery, he had to be brought back three times. Surgeons tried everything they could to save his leg, but had to remove it on the 6th. The beginning of this story is here.

Update 11/18/2013 2:00 a.m.: "Things are a little better tonight. He seemed more 'there' mentally than he has been. He's back on the ventilator, which isn't that bad a thing considering the struggle he went through. He's resting good. Answered questions correctly, and seemed to stay awake with me a lot longer than he has lately. ok, I'm going to bed, I'm going to hate myself in the morning when I've had less than 5 hours of sleep." Please pray for Mary's strength and alertness today.

Update 11/17/2013 5:59 p.m.: M indicated that J might be acting the way he is because he is septic and not because of ICU psychosis. With his fever, infection, and dialysis it is hard to tell. Please pray for him and his loved ones. Thank you to everyone who is praying and keeping other prayer warriors praying and updated updated.

Update 11/17/2013 1:29 p.m.: from M: "In the middle of the night, he ripped his trach and his pic line out. Thank God he didn't pull his dialysis catheter out or that could have been really bad as if everything else wasn't already. He's back on the ventilator and the feeding tube; sedated and restrained. They've ordered blood and urine cultures to try and figure out the fever and more surgery on his leg is coming. Even as I write this, that unexplainable peace is so tangible.....I don't know how to be, except to rest in who I know my Abba is."

Update 11/16/2013 9 p.m.: from M: "101.3 fever, agitated, & "ICU psychosis" which means between all the meds and the 19 days spent here, he's going thru a phase of really being out of it. He's woken up, told me that if I didn't drive, he was going to and that he wasn't staying here another night, another time he said he wanted to get up and walk on his own two feet. So while he already knows that we're down to one, he's not really here right now to know know that.He's so agitated and his breathing is all over the place, and I feel like it's because he's been off most of the pain meds since yesterday. Not much else to my update. Other than I absolutely hate seeing him go thru this and feeling so helpless."

Update 11/15/2013 8:57 p.m.: from M: Okay so yes dialysis is the problem (and the solution). The neurontin has built up in his system which explains why he hasn't been in as much pain (not to mention borderline comatose), but with his kidneys not functioning and dialysis now every other day, homie is knocked outtt because dialysis can't filter it out quick enough. So....doc says his O2 levels are great, no need to intubate him, blood gas levels came back perfect, they will cut his neurontin dose in half and tomorrow after dialysis he should be more alert. But for now, let him sleep, his body is healing itself. Thanking the Lord for all good news!"

Update 11/15/2013 7:28 p.m.: from M: "There's something wrong. They think there's something off with his blood gases. They can't get him to wake up, it's almost like he's in a coma. They're working on him now but won't let anyone back there. They said it might be because he was off the respirator too much today. He's on it every night, but during the day no. But without dialysis every day (now every other day) there's thoughts that could be a contributing factor. Please pray...."

Update 11/14/2013 6:14 p.m.: They did do the surgery day and only had to take a little off the side of the leg. The surgery was successful, and they received all good news.

Update 11/13/2013 8:15 p.m.: from M: "Another surgery scheduled for tomorrow. They took a good look at his leg today and they're worried there is some infected tissue. So tomorrow they're going in to evaluate further and see what needs to happen. 

I'm sitting bedside right now and he is sleeping hard. Of course that's always a very very good thing but especially considering how much he has been unable to rest due to the nerve pain. This is my first time seeing him today and while it's hard not to see those beautiful eyes looking back at me, it's good laying eyes on him while he's sleeping so soundly. 
Definitely pray for the surgery tomorrow, that we get ALL the good news." Thank you to all who are praying along. ~W
Update 11/13/2013 6:14 p.m.: from M: "Please pray for J's pain level, the phantom pain is excruciating right now and there's not really a whole lot they can do since it's a nerve pain. It means a lot to him to hear how how much love and prayers have been going out for him." 

Update 11/12/2013 11:31 p.m.: from M: "Updates? Go ahead and sit down...He's completely off all life support. No ventilator. I heard his voice for the first time today. Yeah I cried. No medicine to keep his blood pressure up. He is completely holding his own. They just got him comfortable and relieved from pain and are insistent that all stays silent and he sleeps. I'm sitting beside his bed right now...He asked the nurse to let me stay.  So I'm rejoicing quietly in my heart while the love of my life sleeps...and dancing all the snoopy dances on the inside." That's a nice update!

Update 11/11/2013 2:38 p.m.: from M: "Saw my sweetheart last night and again this morning before work. He's doing so good. We're communicating via reading lips and this morning he started writing letters on my palm with his fingers. Prayer requests: Please pray for his eyesight. He says it's really hard to focus and see. Please pray for his pain, he's experiencing a lot of phantom nerve pain in the leg that is gone. Please pray for his heart and spirit that God would give him strength and increase the fight in him." 

Update 11/10/2013 6:19 p.m.: from M: "Another super successful surgery!! Doc called this getting over hurdle 7 of 10!! Didn't see anything else to be concerned about infection wise. Things are healing, and he believes that this is a normal fever/infection that the body experiences about 7 days post surgery. He was very hopeful, very. :) T-minus 1.5 hours til I get there to see him today. I love you all so much......I hope it's not lost on anyone how grateful I am for all the prayers."

TIP: I was given this tip to pass along to M's family and felt it can help other patients and families, so I am sharing it here. My friend Eileen is a veteran nurse who said she has had patients repeat word for word to her conversations that were had around them while they were coding. For that reason, she recommends families request that no medical information, especially negative reports like the one J received, be shared in front of the patient even if they are in a coma or appear asleep. Poor J laid there for days afraid they would end his life and was unable to speak to get clarification or better information. Hopefully this advice will save some other patient in crisis from going through the same.

Update 11/10/2013 11:43 a.m.: from M: "He has a fever of 103. He's going in for another surgery at any moment to remove whatever infection they can find this time around. There is a question of him being allergic to "cillins" but we can't find it documented in any if his medical history and the hospital doesn't have a record of it, so his mom is going to check with him to see he can answer the question." and a little later: "He's not allergic he said, this will be good news for the doctor because they've really been wanting to put him on penicillin." Please keep praying. 

Update 11/10/2013 9:42 a.m.: I am sorry I've slow on the updates. We are doing a tremendous amount of work on many fronts (firewood, animal care, wiring and plumbing to new buildings, homeschool, farm sales, etc). I am trying to keep the updates current for the many who are joining in prayer for J. It is the least I can do to say thank you to those who are faithfully praying for my friend's boyfriend.

from M: "I wasn't able to update last night because emotionally I was in a state of needed time to process. But what I've been waiting for happened last night....our first conversation. He can nod and shake his head but he can also mouth words. I'm not going to go into everything but he heard every word the vascular surgeon said to his mom that night and he's terrified they're going to take him off the machines and let him die. That was why I couldn't type last night. I was caught between being elated and being THE most angry and shaken I have ever been. We soothed him and reassured him and he immediately fell back to sleep. He knows about his leg, it wasn't an issue. Staying alive was. That's all I can articulate right now." 

Update 11/9/2013: from M: "Since yesterday's surgery, for the first time since being in the hospital, J's white blood cell count came down!!!! This most likely means that the area of infection around the bullet hole is/was the problem and not the leg. They're still going to go back in tomorrow and do some more checking around but the doctor said he removed a LOT of infection yesterday. 

They're going to start bringing him off the sedatives more and more and they want to start giving him pain meds through his feeding tube and begin weaning him off the heavy stuff. This = more alert J!!!"


Update 11/8/2013 2:29 p.m.: from M: "Hope, hope and more hope in that meeting today. Yes there are some issues, but the head trauma surgeon had a lot of good things to say. J is going into surgery in about an hour for them to do a wound evaluation and look into the bullet wound area and figure out what is infected and dead tissue, clean up and remove what they can and do the same thing down lower on his leg. They really want to save the thigh to give him as much chance of being able to utilize a prosthesis as possible, so that's the goal right now. His vent tests are doing good, pneumonia is a small side issue no worries there. But his white blood cell count is high so there's infection somewhere. That what they've got to figure out. If everything goes as planned getting the infection under control, they're going to try to get him a trach collar on by Monday, and then he'd be able to be completely awake and lucid. Such a significant change from last night. Unbelievable....no words do justice to how grateful I am at this second."


Update 11/8/2013 9:38 a.m.: from M: "A different doctor on J's team just came in and talked to his mom. He was very upset by what the vascular surgeon had told his mom. He said this is by NO means over and J would have three good limbs. What he did with those limbs and what he made of his quality of life would be up to J, but that if/when it ever was hopeless enough to give up, HE would be the one to let his mom know. So they're using this meeting at 12 to improve communication and restore hope back to the family. The gloves are still on. Thank you Jesus!" We need to pray for the vascular surgeon. His grim spin on things and his manner of delivery can cause a lot of needless worry and anguish on patients and their families and affect the level of care patients receive. 

Update 11/7/2013 7:36 p.m.: Please pray! Please pass this need to other prayer warriors. A group of us are fasting and praying tomorrow. Please join us if you feel like it. from M: "I'm struggling so freaking bad right now to write this crap. Bear with me.

The vascular surgeon came into the room tonight to talk to [his mom]. I quietly excused myself because I knew she was gonna have words with him because he has yet to come speak with her since the surgery yesterday. She came back out into the waiting room in an absolute mess. 

He told her that the amputation was not a success, that the remainder of the leg is dead too. (Why the heck didn't they take it all THEN??) This is how he told her this crap. That he doesn't think J will survive another surgery but if he's to live they will have to remove the rest of the leg all the way up to the pelvis. He wants to call a family meeting tomorrow at noon to discuss decisions and end of life wishes and to decide just how much they want to put him through before calling it quits. He even went on to say that he doesn't think J would ever be healthy enough for a kidney transplant (way to jump the gun there). I'm so furious I had to leave. God did NOT spare his life for his life to be thrown away as less than a leg. Yes quality of life might suck but he has blown everyone away at every step of this journey, why write him off now?? Let him decide what he wants his quality of life to be!!

God I want off this freaking rollercoaster!!!!!!!!!"


Update 11/7/2013: from M: "Hauled tail to the hospital after getting the call that he was waking up. He opened his eyes a little for me but never really focused on my face. Then his lip started quivering and tears started running out of his eyes...

Prayer requests: 
He has pneumonia now. His vent tests for being weaning off the ventilator are going good but this is a huge prayer request that God would heal the pneumonia.

Rose & Womble is trying to keep him held to the lease that he signed 6 hours before the accident and keep his security deposit. Even though they never gave him keys and weren't supposed give them to him or collect the first months rent till the following Friday. We need a lawyer. Prayers and any help with this would be great.

I need strength, emotionally and physically. I'm fresh out. Seeing him struggle to open his eyes, and then cry, zapped what little I had left." Please do pray for M. She is his girlfriend and still has to work and take care of her two boys through all of this. She has been incredibly strong through her faith.