Hospital Food

In that Beth and I have had the opportunity lately to dine on many hospital meals, I thought that I would share a little bit about our experiences, if only for the cultural value.

As "watchers" (bantay) of Jerard, we get three meals a day brought to the room (Jerard, of course, drinks milk that we bring him). The food is actually very good though with a distinctive Asian twist. Here is what we found so far.

  • Usually we have more than we can eat. Many times Beth and I have eaten the one meal and both of us have been filled. Of course, if I am the only one eating it, I somehow still seem to finish it myself.
  • There is always a cup of rice included in the meal whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • There is almost always seafood of some sort and many times there is a lot of seafood. I have never seen tuna prepared so many ways (all good). Also, I had the tastiest squid (calamari) the other day that I have ever had (the secret was in the sauce). Shrimp is common as well as just plain fish, sometimes with the head, fins, and tail still on. You have to pick through the bones at times. I really don't mind the fish watching me as I eat it :)

By the way, if it looks like there is no seafood in the meal pictured above, look again. Those aren't onion rings -- they are squid rings.

Surgery Rescheduled to Wednesday

We just found out this afternoon that Jerard's surgery has been put off by another day because the doctors were not satisfied with some of his electrolytes. He is on a special IV to help get them into balance. We are hoping that the surgery will take place on Wednesday.

In other developments, Jerard has acquired an amoeba infection so he is on medicine for that. He is pretty uncomfortable right now. It appears that he is bothered in his stomach or bowels.

We are on day 8 of this hospital stay so far. We would really like to be getting out of the hospital toward the end of this week after a successful surgery. That would be a prayer request. Thanks to everyone who is praying for Jerard and us. We are very grateful for you and how God is sustaining us by your prayers.

Surgery Scheduled

Jerard had a CT scan done this morning.

The good news:
His ventricals are re-opening. The fluid pockets with the drains are smaller.

The bad news:
Other smaller fluid pockets have developed.
But the most disconcerting finding is that the arachnoid cyst continues to grow larger. This cyst can cause the other problems (i.e. fluid pockets, down-turned eyes, etc...)

Jerard will have surgery on Tuesday to drain the cyst.
It will be done through an endoscope and will involve putting a shunt drain in from the cyst to the ventrical so that the CFS fluid building up inside the cyst can continually drain.

Jerard, overall, is in a healthy state. He has a slight fever but is on antibiotics and antifungal medications for the UTI he has.

Pray for Jerard to tolerate and come through the surgery well.

Pray for our finances as Philippine hospitals are cash-based.

Pray for our neurosurgeon and his colleagues assisting with the surgery. He and they are very caring, highly skilled men and we have complete confidence in their skills.

Pray for our family.


Update on Jerard

Jerard started running a fever last night and is on medicine for a urinary tract infection and a fungal infection.

He had a cranial ultrasound yesterday which shows that the pockets of fluid between his brain and skull are shrinking but the ventricals are not refilling as they should. It appears all the CSF is collecting in the areas between the brain and skull. These areas are drained by the external drains temporarily in place.

A CT scan will be done Saturday to get a clearer picture of what is going on in Jerard's skull.

He will probably have another surgery on Tuesday to put in an internal drainage from the pockets of fluid to his abdomen.

The external drainage system can only be in place up to 10 days. Beyond that the risk of systemic infection from the external drains gets very high.

Keep him and us in your prayers. Thanks.

After Surgery Update

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.