Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Monday, March 23, 2009

Consensus

Bob and I just got out of our meeting with a few of Eric's doctors, namely the ICU attending, a couple fellows, and a resident. And we're breathing a huge sigh of relief. They say there was a group of about twenty medical doctors in their meeting this AM, and the consensus was (incredibly) unanimous. And they say that rarely happens. But they've decided that surgery, at least at this time, is not in Eric's best interest. They want to treat Eric conservatively as opposed to aggressively. This was super good news to Bob and I. Of course, this means a commitment to a LONG recovery and rehab. If all goes well, if there are minimal or no setbacks, we'll be here 2-3 months. Then maybe some time in a rehab facility. No one knows for sure exactly, only based on their previous experience with cases like this. And the attending says Eric's lungs are one of the worst cases he's seen. Any worse cases have had to have lung transplants. And we don't intend to go there. The short term plan is to get Eric nourished and stronger. And to recover from the present infection. Then sometime next week, he'll get a tracheostomy. He'll likely need to be on a ventilator, at least part of the time, ie at night. But that's probably down the road. This sounds extreme, but really it's a good thing. He'll be more comfortable not having that tube in his mouth. Eventually, he'll be able to talk and eat. Rehab will be much easier. And it's expected that the trach won't be permanent. The big issue remains the leaks in his lungs. Will they heal on their own without surgery? He may need to have the chest tubes in for up to six months or so. And surgery isn't completely out of the question at some point in time if the leaks refuse to heal. I did ask if Eric might start high school in the fall. The doctors were doubtful. But they don't know Eric. I say we'll see.

On a more immediate note, Eric had a great day today. He was awake most of the day. And he's motivated. Physical therapy resumed today. He got his hair washed. We weaned a bit more on the ventilator. SIMV 15, pressure-limited at 14, FiO2 .45, PEEP 5. Eric's off the dopamine and norepinephrine. He's on TPN and they've also started tube-feedings, and he's looking perkier already, lifting his arms better to scratch his head, writing us notes again, etc. He enjoys listening to music and having his dad read to him. Lisa, I'll be breaking that box open real soon to see what's in there for him to do.

Note to Dr. Thompson . . . sorry I keep missing your calls. We do appreciate your continued interest. They don't allow us to have our cell phones on in this ICU. Call 832-824-7076.

A friend once told me, or maybe it was my mom, that God had a reason for guiding me to become a respiratory therapist. He was preparing me for such a time as this.

Lots of prayers were answered today. Wisdom for the doctors, and increased strength and healing for Eric. Thanks, everybody!

16 comments:

Kimberly said...

Such good news, Angie. Keaghan and I have been checking hourly to see what the decision would be...

I am sure this is a huge weight off of your shoulders today...and then to see your young man actually looking and feeling better, how great.

We continue to pray.

Kimberly

Anonymous said...

I was concerned after reading your previous posting, but am much more encouraged now after this one. Thank God Eric is having a good day and is beginning to regain his strength. He is such a sweet boy and is so special to all who meet him. I know how relieved you all are, we are too!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that Eric is having such a great day and that the doctors have all agreed on the treatment Eric needs right now. It's wonderful that he doesn't have to go through surgery at this time. I'm praying God just heals his lungs completely without it. Thanks for the updates, Bobby and I check it often. Take care.

Susan

Anonymous said...

Praise God for the good report. I believe Eric will recover much quicker than he is expected to because of the continued prayer being offered for him . God is so good.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lord for the good news. The staff of Moss Bluff Middle continues to remember Eric and all in our prayers as do the many churches we represent. All of the students in SPARK ELA are praying for Eric. I continue to pray for Eric's healing, wisdom for the you, Bob, and the doctors, and strength for all of you.
Dee Dee Breaux
SPARK

Anonymous said...

This new post is such a relief! I am very happy he doesn't have to go through surgery right now.
It will take time, but Eric will be healed. Hang in there.

I work in an Alzheimer's assisted Living Facility...needless to say I told just about everybody I know to pray for Eric, whether they know him or not. Well, my boss told me that last week during Catholic Mass, the priest and everyone (elderly residents) present lifted Eric up in a special prayer. God works wonders!

Love, Kelli S.

jess said...

Praise God! Praise God! I'm so relieved. I like the word 'conservatively' -- I like the thought that seems to have gone into their decision. God did grant wisdom, didn't He? I'm sure you and Bob will make some plans for these next few months. Please let me know if I can help.

Vicki Loucks said...

As a nurse I know that getting that many dotors to agree is no small miracle in itself! What wonderful news that surgery is not the first course of treatment at this time. We'll pray that the nutrition strengthens Eric from the top of his head to the bottoms of his feet and that every day he continues to get stronger!
Isaiah 57:10 "I will give peace, real peace, to those far and near, and I will heal them," says the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Angie & family,

So glad to hear some encouraging words for Eric's continued healing. Everybody on Grove Avenue is praying for Eric's lungs to heal. May the good Lord carry you all through the long recovery period and may there be light at the end of the tunnel.

Ginnie

Anonymous said...

THIS IS A BANNER DAY!! As we used to the sing with the kiddoes in Jr. Church--"This is the that the Lord hath made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Please give Eric big hugs from me when he is able to receive them. Blessings to all of you and some peace of mind in the days to come. My continued prayers for an excellent recovery. Love in Christ, Willa

Anonymous said...

prayer warriors - continue to storm the gates in unity for His breath to be sufficient for Eric!
Praise to you Father!

Anonymous said...

The positive news is great. Prayers are a wonderful, especially when lifted up by so many people. So many prayers are being answered. Even with the lengthy recovery, I will offer prayers of thanksgiving that the doctors are of one accord in working toward what is best for Eric. If Andrew and your mothers ever need a ride to Houston, please don't hesitate to call. Have car, will travel.

Blessing on all of you, I pray the rehab will be an uneventful trip for you.

Love you, bev

Sara said...

Wonderful news! We'll keep those prayers going!!
Love, Sara, Mark and Rachel

Mindy Blanchard said...

Great news. I've bitten my nails to a quick. We continue to pray. (High school is great motivation - Eric can do it!!!)

Love much,

Mindy

Sheena said...

Thank God that today was a good day and that everyone is working for Eric's recovery. I have my whole Church here in State College, Pa praying for him. May God continue to hear our prayers and heal Eric as quickly as possible!

Sheena

Anonymous said...

I have been keeping up with Eric via the postings on the email only, and tonight went into your blog when I heard the words "Houston" and "surgery" mentioned in the same breath. Judy and I know a bit of what you're are going through, as we had one recover from Stage IV Hodgkins and is still in remission and practicing law again.

How much easier to bear if you are the one who is ill and your child stands by your bedside and holds your hand instead of having it the other way around. Damn hard to smile and try to hide the tears at the same time.

After reading through a couple of postings I can see that I am in uncharted territory as to Eric's problem, as it is completely foreign to me.

In spite of my sometimes foul persona, I did have a Christian atmosphere to grow up in (was in between and could see Methodist, Baptist, and Church of Christ from my house and attended one regularly and one on occasion--lost of Baptist girls in my home town). All this to say that when I try to Speak to a Higher Power, it is no stranger who knocks on His door. He has even been known to listen to a request or two. I keep stacking those for Eric up just outside the fabled gates, knowing that somebody will come and pick up the mail and it will get read.

Stay strong for both you and Eric. If I can help, I'm the only Honsinger in the phone book.

Encourage Eric to hurry back to wellness. The arthritus in my knees can stand only so much wear and tear, and I have a duck hunting partner who is in bad shape, so I have to say a few words in his behalf, too.

In friendship,

Harvey