Jerard just came back to the room after surgery and the recovery room 30 minutes ago. Surgery went well and as planned. The cerebral fluid was not clear (it appeared to have blood in it) but we won't find out what that means until a culture is completed within a couple days. It might just be that there was some slight bleeding when the brain had shifted due to different fluid pressures. The doctor explained that that happens sometimes and he didn't seem to concerned about it. If the culture shows an infection, then that is the much greater issue. We will see in a couple days.
As of right now, Jerard is awake, attentive and hungry. The doctor has not cleared him to drink milk yet but hopefully soon.
Thank you for your prayers. We are pleased with how the surgery went. Now we will wait to see if the brain shifts into the proper position over the next couple days.
We met with the neurosurgeon today to review the results of yesterday's cat scan. There is some sad news. The back part of Jerard's brain has moved all the way to the front of the brain.
If you recall, Jerard's brain only exists as a relatively thin layer of brain matter around the inside of the skull with a large amount of fluid in the center of the skull. A number of weeks ago the situation was complicated by pockets of fluid between the skull and the brain at the back of his head and a cyst in the center of the brain cavity.
Now the cat scan shows that the fluid has increased at the back of the skull forcing the brain that was at the back of the head all the way across the brain cavity to settle against the brain matter at the front of the head. What this means is that we are going to have surgery on Monday to do a couple things.
- Temporarily stop the shunt from flowing.
- Install two more shunts at the back of the head that will drain into an external bag.
After a few days, hopefully the brain matter that has shifted will go back to it's proper position. If that occurs then the two additional shunts can be removed (along with the external drainage bag) and the shunt released to flow again all without an operation (which is good news).
Why are we doing this? Because we want to give the brain the best chance to keep on growing and it is very important that the brain be in the proper position for that to happen. If Jerard's brain can keep on growing there is still a very real possibility that Jerard will grow up with a normal IQ.
Well, hopefully you have enough to pray for. As always, thank you for your prayers. Pray also for Beth and I and the rest of the family because hospital stays are very stressful for the whole family. Please pray for our finances too since hospitals here in the Philippines require cash up front for everything.
This is Ben with a small jackfruit. It is not ripe yet but Ben can barely lift it!
One of our neighbors asked me to help him pick some of of the jackfruit from the tree in front of his house. He needed the help because he wasn't so sure about climbing into a tree and safely harvesting 40 to 50 pound fruits -- imagine that :)
Our neighbor in the jackfruit tree. In the foreground is one of the fruits.
A closer shot of the fruit (but this one is still not ripe). The fruit to the left that is within the white bag is the one that we actually harvested. It was larger.
The fruit that we harvested weighed 46 pounds -- and yes, we only harvested one fruit. But at that size, isn't that enough? How much do you think that we eat over here?
Lizards are our friends here in the Philippines. Here is our friend eating our enemy, the one inch long cockroach. We keep dozens of our friends around our house at all times (as if we could do anything about it)! Better to have our friends around than our enemies we always say :)
Mikayla has really been enjoying playing clarinet and learning trombone.
Yesterday, the Middle School band had a concert for parents during the day before the band director and his wife go on furlough in a week.
The band director and his wife are fabulous musicians. Mr. Becker has done a great job teaching music and developing the band program here. He and his wife, Jessica, add so much. Jessica teaches music and Bible at the High School.
They are expecting their first baby in a few months. Pray for safe delivery for the baby. Then the three of them will be back in August!
Mikayla and Jeen played a duet. The whole band sounded great!