Get your tissue. This is going to be a difficult one.
This Saga Chapter was an especially hard one to write. These particular days held many intimate moments and details that will be left out for now. It’d be an additional books-worth!
This was one of the most powerful days of my life (as well as the next installments’). ~Summer
Monday, June 2nd
This morning we slept as long as we could. Once up, I noticed my cell phone wouldn’t turn on. My heart skipped a beat. This is how the ICU contacts me if anything is going. But as quickly as I panicked, Sarah reminded me that they had her number as a back up. I called in, and they said the night was uneventful. Scott was still soundly sleeping, barely upgraded to “semi-stable”.
I turned my cell phone over only to realize my battery was bulging. What to do. $4 on Amazon and $30 at BatteriesPlus in Hazel Dell was the difference between getting it today vs. getting it in 4 weeks. We made the obvious move. Next door was a salon. Sarah said she wanted to treat me to a pedicure since we were right beside a good place to do it. Seeing my major resistance, she reassured: “It’ll only be an extra 30 minutes, and let’s call the ICU right now to see how things are.” We did, and all was well. Of course.
what a lovely stress relief!
Now, pedicures aren’t a new thing to me. But this was the best one I’d ever had. The chairs were fully massaging. The lovely women worked long and hard – longer than usual. How did they know?!
9am – Sleep was a good thing. This morning is a new day, with new hope. I am thankful for a good nights rest, and for a bit of clarify of mind.
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. – 1 Cor. 14:33
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Cor. 4:16-18
When we got back to the car after getting a pedicure, Sarah’s phone was waiting for us with a missed call and message from OHSU (my phone was charging with its new battery). They were going to “do a procedure” and wanted my clearance. My heart, once again, skipped a beat. How could I miss that call?!
I dialed them back quickly, and they assured me that they would go ahead with any necessary procedures even if they couldn’t contact me directly, but they would always try to first. Meanwhile, they had not done anything, as there was no emergency need. They were wanting to go down his throat again with a scope to see if they could get a better look of what was going on, and to possibly “glue off” the trouble vessel. You’ll recall they tried to do this last May 24th unsuccessfully. The risks were that the glue could go into his heart, mainly. Yikes… But…. Okay!
11am – Docs are going in with a scope right now and are hoping to be able to “glue off” this vessel that’s giving us grief. Pray for success. What a blessing this would be.
While we waited, I got a message from our pastor, asking if he and some elders could come and pray over Scott this evening. I welcomed it.
1pm - Scott’s stomach was too full of clotted blood that they could not vacuum out to see what was going on well enough. They pulled out and are giving him medication to help clear it out, if possible, and will try again later today.
He did introduce the option of surgery to remove his stomach if this doesn’t work.
Please, please pray that they can get good access later today, see the problem, and have success.
I have NO idea what a no-stomach kind of life means.
We’ve paged doc for a talk. I need to hear more.
Please pray. His body is tired, and may not be able to deal with another surgery, if necessary. I hope it’s not necessary.
At this point, I was really a mess. I knew Scott would struggle immensely with this possibility. I couldn’t help but be so sad that he has slept through most of this. How would I tell him what all he had been through when he wakes up… That he has no stomach? How would I cook for our family, knowing he may permanently have to be fed through a tube in his side? Would I watch him wasting away over the next hand full of years, only to die a sad and miserable death?
Wendy blessed me so much by calling. She has a history as a trauma nurse, and was able to “hold my hand” through these thoughts and questions. She said that yes, it can be hard, but people can live long, healthy lives without a stomach. Doctors can even form a “pouch” of sorts, limiting intake, but allowing patients to orally eat, etc… That God would give us the strength to tackle this if we must.
Sarah & I went to be with Scott in his room. We spent every moment we could with him, aside from eating, and very limited visiting with loved ones. I really felt like God allowed me the opportunity to focus on him fully right now, and was blessed that I could be by his side, even if he was sleeping.
The doctor that was overseeing him in the ICU that day said that he had really given them a “run for the money” during the endoscopy earlier today, bleeding excessively and requiring massive transfusions while they were working. They got it okay, but he was definitely keeping them busy and challenged.
In the last few days, my upper chest hurt. It was hard to take deep breaths.
Later in the day, I ran into Dr. Orloff on the main floor. The liver team had met for 2 hours this morning to discuss a plan. She gave me a print out of what the upper GI and stomach removal would look like. She included a several-page study that her father had written, with several case studies and statistics. It was a plan.
We talked about how Scott could not go through this surgery right now. This could absolutely not be done as an emergency, but would have to be well planned out over the next few days, and he’d have to be stronger. That he would have to recover a bit, asleep and comfortable. This would be a serious and huge surgery. One that the outcome would be dicey on a perfectly healthy individual.
We were running out of options. It was the “best” thing these doctors now had up their sleeves to help him. There was no doubt that they had been furiously trying to implement all other techniques before having to do drastic things. But we all wanted him to live. So it was time to stretch a little more. Continue Reading »