One Big Adventure
An opportunity to log in some of the thoughts and activities of our homeschooling family of eight. We love books and good food and aspire to a Christ-centered, multi-generational, agrarian life.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The low-down on James

We're home and catching our breath after a whirlwind 6 days including two trips to Atlanta, one to Macon and beyond, and a chicken processing day--not necessarily in that order!

Monday was a very long day for James. We got to the hospital at 6 in the morning. It seemed really busy and we were late getting checked in to a room. Later, our nurse would tell me that they normally have 30-40 children come through Day Surgery but Monday, they had 57 scheduled children! Yikes! Considering all that, things went remarkably well from the logistics standpoint. We left the hospital just before 7 p.m. and James' surgeon, Dr. P was heading in for yet another surgery.

The first thing James had done was the fluroscopy. They use a clear liquid dye (I forget what it is called) and put it into James' colon by way of his mucous fistula. Then the radiologist took pictures of the dye travelling through the colon. This showed that James' colon was very small for his age. There was some concern about whether the colon had not grown for the last two and half years or perhaps if there might be something constricting the colon.

Thankfully, James was sedated for the procedure and afterward he fell soundly asleep. Now there was a great delay waiting for James' turn in surgery. One case before James' had new issues come up in surgery and their time nearly doubled (from 2 hours to 4 hours)... When it was nearly James' turn, Dr. P poked his head in to let me know that the scope he needed for James wasn't working, but they had the technicians on it and hoped to get it fixed soon.

Finally it was James' turn and since it was so late in the day, we were able to stay in James' room, rather than move again out to the waiting room. Dr. P came to see us when he was all done with James.

He is very concerned about the condition of James' colon. He said it is very inflamed, pussy, and full of bacteria overgrowth and mucous. It is difficult to tell if this is scar tissue and tissue damage from the colitis James had at the beginning of his chemo or if it is just from non-use for two and half years. Dr. P did say that while it did look like there might be some constricting running the length of the colon, there isn't anything wrapping around it, but that the inflammation in the colon is so severe that the constricting is not even worth considering at this point.

So the plan is this: Once we get the results of James' rectal biopsy to be sure that he has the necessary nerves cells, we will begin flushing his colon daily with saline (the same way they did in the hospital) and follow that with flagyll. The saline should help soothe the inflammation, flush the colon of mucous and other excess cells and hopefully begin the healing process. The flagyll is an antibiotic, which we hope with kill off the excess bacteria (which should then be flushed with the saline).

After two months, Dr. P wants to see James again and do the same tests (the fluroscopy in x-ray and the sigmoidoscopy in surgery) to see if there is any improvement...

My take on Dr. P is that he is currently not even cautiously optimistic. He is very concerned, but not ready to give up.

We are considering using some of the same things we would feed James, that would be nourishing to his colon, along with the saline flush. Please pray for wisdom about what to use and when, and that God would be glorified in healing James' colon and having it all put back together again.

Thanks for following our journey with James and for praying for us and him. While we are done with chemo, we still have a long road to travel with James.

Edited to add: Thoughts and suggestions on ways to help James are welcome! Especially natural ones!

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