Friday, November 27, 2009

Where's Waldo?

One of these things is not like the other...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Surprise & A Welcome Home

On Sunday afternoon, Chris and I were out on one of our laps around the floor when Dan (his oldest brother) arrived to visit. We said, "Walk with us." But he replied that he had something in the room for Chris; it was obvious he wanted us to cut our stroll short. So we turned around to redirect our course and from behind the wall enters Deg. What?! Deg?! But he's in Utah!!

Dan was the mastermind behind bringing our faraway brother to the East Coast. He didn't even tell his parents! Chris was so thrilled to have him here. Thanks Dan!

The next day, Chris was told he was ready to leave. We jumped for joy, but delayed our departure.

Because Chris, being a Valentine, had to do a good deed before he said goodbye. His second roommate, Steve - who broke both legs, his back, his pelvis, and his tongue while plummeting from the top of a tree, was in dire need of a haircut. Upon hearing that the man's friend who was meant to cut his hair continued to ditch him, Chris decided that he could do it. And so he did.

We arrived home Monday evening to find a quiet house, an inviting bed, and a roommate who wanted nothing more than to cuddle (Dexter).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting Comfortable

A couple days ago, we said goodbye to our first roommate, Jonathan. He was a really nice guy with a really tough life. There are some people you meet that you just won't forget, and he was one of them.
Our day: I arrive sometime around 9 am. Chris gets up and takes a few laps around the floor (it's really good for him to walk). He gets his vitals checked, they bring him a lunch of broth and juice that he doesn't drink, we walk again. I eat lunch with my brother Derek. Chris tries to sleep, I try to read, he gets up and walks again. Chris writhes in pain because he's extremely bloated and it's difficult to think, the nurse changes his IV bag, we walk again. We watch TV, we walk again. I leave at 11 pm - we get up and do it all over.

After 6 days of this, we're getting pretty comfortable here in the hospital, but we're also getting irritable and ready to go.

Yesterday afternoon Chris ate food for the first time since last Monday night (5 1/2 days without eating!) Thank goodness for PB & J and tapioca pudding!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Warning: Not for the Faint of Heart

Want to see Chris' battle wounds? This one's for you, Ropers:

Okay, so here's how it works. The two smaller incisions are where the doctor put her tools inside of him. The larger incision (which really isn't that large at all) is where she pulled his small intestine out of his body. At this point she made the cuts she needed to and sewed him back up. She also needed to cauterize the wound to stop the bleeding before she put him all back together. Sorry if that's gross, but I find it super interesting!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Foot Shorter

The surgery on Tuesday went well! Dr. Bourdianou took a foot of small intestine out of Chris through a small incision at his belly button. But first, she took care of a microperforation (a tiny leak) that had stuck itself to his large intestine because of some pus (sorry for the mental image). The doctor said that if he waited much longer he would have lost part of his large intestine as well.

We are so blessed that Chris was able to get into surgery as quickly as he did. We know it was an answer to prayer. Now, it's time for the recovery - he is able to walk around (the nurse actually said last night that he's walked around the most that she's ever seen after surgery like this) and he's feeling "better". He'll be in a lot of pain for awhile, but he's going to feel really great pretty soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Call the Doctor

Over the past year or so, Chris has been having Crohn's Disease symptoms on and off. Crohn's Disease is a form of IBD which presents itself as inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Basically, whenever Chris eats too much or too fast, especially when he's eating foods high in starch, he gets an incredible amount of pain in his stomach (or more accurately, his small intestine). He was diagnosed with the condition about 7 years ago, and it hasn't been an issue until now. A couple of weeks ago, the symptoms became quite severe. It got to the point where he was unable to digest the food he was eating and could barely drink water without feeling like he gorged himself. Naturally, we went to see the doctor. We found that a portion of his small intestine had become inflamed so often that scar tissue formed in his intestinal wall, allowing little food to pass through. This was causing the healthy intestine above to dilate (stretch out) and collect a build-up of half-digested food. Since medication can only reduce swelling and not fix scarring, Chris is heading into surgery Tuesday the 17th to either remove or repair the scarred area. Here's a little diagram of what his insides look like right now:

Chris should be in the hospital for about 4-6 days, depending on how fast he recovers. And then he'll be lying around for several weeks while he heals. Looks like Thanksgiving will be a little weak this year.