We just arrived home from the hospital about two hours ago and it sure does feel good to be home. Jerald came home with two wounds from the shunt operation, one on his head and the other on his abdomen as you can see in the pictures.
He is still occasionally spiking a fever and he will continue several medications at home. We will see both of Jerald's doctors on Tuesday for a checkup.
Hi, I'm home from the hospital for a short break before going back up there for the night.
Jerald is spending one more night at the hospital as early this morning from midnight - 6 or 7 a.m. he was running a fever and having loose stools frequently. That has all cleared up now.
They'd like him 24 hours fever free. He also lost his IV vein last night and had to get another one started.
His head has gone down 1.5 inches since surgery. His face is filling out and looking much like his brother's.
It looks like he will be released tomorrow morning (Sunday our time.)
I can't wait to post a photo of him for you all to share in our joy at the improvement he is making since surgery.
Pray that the visual center of his brain will develop. He only occasionally focuses for a second on objects or faces. Mostly his eyes wander back and forth.
Thanks for all your prayers.
Jerald continues to improve but his hemoglobin is low (94) so they are going to give him some of the blood from the donor to help get it up. That should be happening a little latter tonight. Also, they have trouble keeping IVs in him; just tonight they are going to get another one in after the last one lost the vein.
Other than those two issues, Jerald is getting better. He started drinking milk again today which he really enjoyed. His head has decreased in size by one inch as measured in circumference. The surgeon does not want it to shrink too fast. This means only allowing his head to be raised a little off of horizontal because he higher his head is, the faster the shunt drains the fluid in is brain into his stomach. We also think that he is sleeping more now that he has some milk in his tummy.
Thanks for your continued prayers for Jerald. It looks like he will be in the hospital at least until Saturday per the doctor. Pray also for our whole family at this time since life is so different with Beth practically living at the hospital and the kids being in a totally different routine. They understand though and are quite supportive.
Jerald's surgery was done this afternoon and all went well. He just came back from the recovery room 1.5 hours ago. He is awake and active and all signs are good. Beth and the private duty nurse will be with him all night and I am with the other kids at our house.
I would love to post a picture of him but the hospital does not allow cameras to be brought in. They shaved Jerald's head and made an incision at the back right portion of his skull. They also made an incision in his abdomen. They had to poke and prod him all day long quite a bit. For example, this morning they tried all four of his limbs before they could get an IV to work. But he is on the mend now. He won't be able to drink anything for about 24 hours after the surgery but he already soiled his diaper and that is a good sign.
He has not needed the blood transfusion yet. They are going to check his hemoglobin tomorrow morning just to make sure that he does not need the transfusion. If he doesn't need it, there is a patient of the doctor in another hospital that needs the same blood type so we are going to let them use the blood. AB+ blood is harder to come by here in the Philippines.
Beth and I want to thank all of you for your many prayers. Please continue to pray that Jerald recover fully. Our long term prayer for Jerald is that he (and James) know Christ and walk in the spirit of Christ all of their lives. After that in priority our prayer is that God would grant Jerald a normal IQ. Our prayer is that his brain grow now that the pressure is relieved, etc.
As I write, Beth and Jerald are at the hospital (it is 10:30 pm here) and I am home with the other kids including James. Everything is ready for surgery tomorrow at 1 pm.
The hospital is quite nice though here in the Philippines things are done a little differently. For example, in almost all hospitals (except for the one that we are in) the patient's family is responsible for finding the prescriptions. There are no drugs to purchase at the hospital so that often means getting around town trying to find a pharmacy with the needed prescription. One of the reasons why we chose this hospital was so that we didn't have to do that during Jerald's hospital stay.
Another example: today I took a friend to the Red Cross to be a blood donor for Jerald. After the blood was drawn in the morning, I came back to the Red Cross after 5 pm and picked up the blood myself and took it back to the hospital for storage until tomorrow. I'm glad I didn't drop it!
In the hospital the family is expected to care for the patient. The nurses will do the technical stuff but it falls on the family to take care of the patient. In our case, we have hired a private nurse to help Beth through this first night with Jerald. Generally it is expected that there will be two people with the patient at all times. We will see how it goes. This is our first hospital stay here in the Philippines so we are being a little conservative in our choices.
Thanks for your prayers.