17 March 2010

A Heavy Day

This morning all the major doctors who are treating Nathan had a meeting to discuss the best plan to get him better. This included his cardiologist, hematologist, neurologist/neurosurgery, infectious disease and ICU. They came up with a plan and our cardiologist sat with Richard and I and discussed what they decided. Each of these doctors have competing priorities. The hematologist is trying to make sure Nathan doesn't have any more strokes. The infections disease doctors along with neurology want to treat his brain abscess and cardiology wants to repair his heart. In an ideal world, the hematologist would want 6 months to treat Nathan with an anticoagulant. Then ID and neurology would want to treat Nathan for the abscess 6-9 months, if not a year. Then he would be ready for his heart repair. Unfortunately, things are not ideal. If Nathan does not get his heart fixed, he is at risk for strokes and infection. So, the plan is for Nathan to have his abscess drained next Thursday or Friday. This gives the hematologist about two weeks from Nathan's initial stroke to treat/thin his blood. This past Monday, they were actually thinking of doing this surgery yesterday but the hematologist wanted to wait. He said that having a stroke is like an earthquake where after the initial one, there are aftershocks. He wanted at least a week or two to treat him before any type of surgery. If things go well with the draining, they plan on doing his initial heart surgery March 31. He will need 7-10 days to recover from that.

Right before Nathan has his abscess drained, the neurosurgeon will have him go for an MRI. If the abscess has shrunk considerably, they will most likely NOT do the surgery and plan on doing his heart surgery instead (not the same day). Dear friends, this is what we are praying for. Of all the procedures Nathan needs done, they are most nervous about draining the abscess since it is in his brain. Especially since he just had a stroke he is at risk for bleeding in his brain. The first 24-48 hours after the surgery is the most crucial.

Tomorrow Nathan will have a procedure to put a port in his hip area (not sure on the exact spot) so they/we can administer his IV antibiotic and also to draw blood. We are thankful for this as Nathan has been stuck quite a few times to get blood. They need to do this frequently so that they can tell how well the anticoagulant is working. He has two IV's placed but one is for the anticoagulant drip and the other has stopped giving blood for the most part. Sometimes they can get it but it's hit or miss. They are not going to put another PICC into any of the arteries so that they preserve those for what the cardiologists want to do when it comes time to start his heart repair. We will most likely be in the ICU for 3-4 weeks, if not longer for all of these things to be done.

As you can imagine, this was a hard day. I'm still kind of processing all of this. Richard is handling this much better than me but for those of you that know both of us, you could imagine that would be the case. For those of you who don't, Richard is laid back and super optimistic. Apparently though, the doctor's think we are doing a wonderful job with the news so I guess I can put up a good front sometimes. The tongue-biting to keep from crying in front of the cardiologist really worked for me. :)

On a positive note, Nathan had a good day. Some of the issues I mentioned in a previous post about his speech and coordination have subsided. He is talking like he used to and he is nearly back to normal physically. Being in a bed for a few days has weakened his legs but he's no longer leaning over and his coordination is a lot better. His rash where the PICC line was is also doing better.

This next week is a crucial time for prayer and I would love nothing more than for Nathan to go for his MRI and in 30 minutes get rolled back into his room bypassing a risky surgery thanks to our awesome God. Our cardiologist even mentioned that if by some miracle Nathan's abscess has shrunk considerably, that she is certain the neurosurgeon would want to wait on surgery. I think she opened the door with that comment! :)

I appreciate all your prayers. I don't know how to convey how much they mean to us except to just thank you for keeping Nathan and all of us in your prayers.

I have been trying to remember to post a few updated pictures of the kids from last week before all of this started. I keep forgetting to bring my camera to the hospital. Hopefully soon. I know you'd like to see Nathan and how well he was doing last week. I haven't posted any pics since China. Also, Richard has a couple pics on his phone of Isabel and Nathan in his crib in the hospital. They're pretty cute too. Hopefully, tomorrow.

Good night.


TanyaLea said...

Oh Kelly~

Praise God for a wonderful husband in Richard... and remember to lean on him and on the Lord for strength. And remember that it's okay to cry sometimes, too! They both understand, as do we. No one can be strong all the time. We're only human, and you have had to weather some really strong storms lately. Is it okay if I do a call to prayer for you on my blog? I want to rope in all the prayer warriors we can get. I know that BIG things happen when God's people join together in One Accord!

I couldn't sleep last night and felt called to pray more specifics for Nathan. It was wonderful to see your positive note on the good things that are coming back, as those were issues that I felt specifically led to pray about last night. God uses us as vessels and He wants us to lift up specifics when we can. It's so important that as Christians we are here to support one another and stand in the gap for those in need. God works through those prayers to deliver BIG things! And these seamingly small glimmers of hope are just the start of the amazing things I know He has in store for Nathan's life! His plans are for Nathan to have hope and a future...and that is exactly what I know He will do! So continue to give Him praise for these answered prayers and know that we all love and care for your family and are lifting you up and standing in the gap for Nathan. We're believing for that abcess to DISSOLVE as a testimony to power of prayer and the blood that Jesus shed for our sicknesses and diseases, so that we might be healed... so that NATHAN would be healed!! I will sing praises onto the heavens with you when this happens. Yes, I do believe that nurse's comment just set the stage for big and mighty things to happen and glorify our God!

Hang in there and get some rest while you can. We are sending hugs your way from afar.


WilxFamily said...

We were just praying for you a little while ago (yep...late night around here tonight!) and will continue to lift up you guys and Nathan.

I guess the one thing that comforts me about this path your family is walking is that it was all planned by God. It's not a surprise, and he has a purpose.

We don't know what tomorrow holds, but we DO know God will see us through.

Tami said...

Hi Kelly,

Would LOVE to see pics:-).

Will be praying for ALL you've mentioned and especially hard for His healing hand to remove the abscess.

It's good news Nathan is feeling better and that his rash is clearing up.

Lifting you ALL up as
'high' as possible;-).


Kristi said...

Dear Father in heaven,
I pray for this family and for precious Nathan. I pray for you to be in every detail as they travel this road and for them to feel your loving arms around them as they take each step. Thank you for being the great physician for Nathan and we ask for his healing in every way. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

We do not know each other but I follow New Day's blog and follow the stories of these precious little ones. I have a daughter from China who is now five. We homeschool and our Bible verse for this week is Daniel 6:27a He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.
As I checked your blog, the Lord brought to mind this verse and I felt led to share with you. We will pray for Nathan.