Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wednesdays visit back to Duke for a followup 5-10-16

Ray and I traveled to Duke yesterday for a followup since his release last Friday (a week ago)
He had followup blood work and had his staples removed. The surgeon was very pleased with how his incision was looking and the infection that had occurred after surgery is healing very nicely. He will continue on his at home IV antibiotic for about another week in a half. That has been going well and we are handling the Picc line and administering the antibiotic nightly as "pros" now.
On the 20th Ray will take a picture and email to them to see how it looks since the staples have been removed. If it continues to heal and look better then they will stop antibiotics that week. Otherwise the surgeon released Ray from her care and turned it back over to Rays liver Dr., Dr King. He is able to drive now so he was EXCITED about that!
Dr. Sudan said his total amount of healing time and time out of work from the date of surgery will be 8-12 weeks so it seems he will return to work July 1st.
He will have weekly blood work done here to continue to monitor his liver numbers and his antibiotic levels to make sure he isn't receiving too much or too less of the vancomycin.  A home health care nurse will come each Tuesday to draw his blood and to change his picc line dressing. Once the antibiotic stops, they will pull the Picc line and then he will just have labs done as he did before.
His liver numbers were about the same yesterday- 2 numbers are in the normal range and one is still elevated (Alk Phos). They are hoping that as the duct heals, swelling goes down, once the infection is completely healed and he is off the antibiotic that, that number will go down. We will just continue to pray about that and wait it out.
Ray is feeling better and stronger each day. He looks healthier and more rested this week since being home for a week now. The kids have been so happy to have him home to hug, kiss and say "I love you too" in person!
We continue to thank you all for the support and ask that you continue to pray for healing for Ray and for those liver numbers to continue to stabilize as well as his kidneys to bounce back.
Thank you again friends and family
Ray and Janet

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ray was released from Duke on Friday May 6, 2016

Ray was released from Duke on Friday and Riley and I brought him home! Riley rode with me and surprised her Daddy!
He is happy to be back at his own house, in his own bed, able to rest and be comfortable and sleep "normal hours" not hospital hours!
The kids and of course "Scout" were and are happy to have him home too!
We go back to Duke on Wednesday for a check up with the surgeon, I am sure they will probably remove staples that day as well from surgery.
Ray continues at home with IV antibiotics once a day. We both learned how to hook him up and administer them (which is way easier than I imagined!)It is actually quite cool!
A home heath nurse will come twice a week to change the bandage/dressing on his picc line and to draw blood.
I am sure at our Wednesday visit we will learn more about how much longer he will need to heal, when he can begin driving, etc....
It was a good, low key FEVER free weekend! The quietest we have had in what seems like WEEKS! Somehow Ray even surprised me with getting flowers delivered for Mothers Day and he and the kids cooked me a mothers day breakfast, so those were both unexpected treats!
Thank you all for the cards, texts, emails, words of encouragement, Facebook messages, sharing our post with church groups, members, bible studies to pray for Ray, etc....it has meant the world to us and continues to.
We as that you continue to pray against this infection, healing of this billary duct that was operated on a few weeks ago- that it was successful and for swelling/inflammation of that area to go down and for all numbers- liver and kidney to go BACK down to normal and stay that way. We pray that we are coming down the other side of this mountain now.
Thanks friends!
Ray and Janet

Isaiah 40:4

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1st....beginning the month BACK at Duke again

Just wanted you all to know that Ray is back at Duke as of last night.
He went to the ER here (Greenville) and then was transported by ambulance to Duke.
He is currently on IV antibiotics AGAIN.
Since returning home last Wednesday his incision has been red, angry, somewhat feverish. When he was released on Wed the doctors were aware and sent him home on antibiotics 3 times a day to prevent any infection.
He has continued to have low grade fevers 99-100 off and on from Wed-Saturday.
On Saturday it became more red, tender to the touch, and swollen/inflamed above the incision.
The ER here felt it was a superficial infection and felt treating it with IV antibiotics would control the infection. They consulted with Duke, who agreed but wanted him there for treatment.
So he made it to Duke about 1:30am and has been on IV antibiotics ever sense.
No fevers today, of course!
He had labs here on Friday- liver numbers were elevated- of course!
The doctors it seems are at a loss. Today they said they will get this infection under control first and then tackle the next issues- reoccurring fevers, liver numbers rising.
The good news was his kidney function was down 1.7- that is a praise and he is getting rid of a lot of this fluid in his abdomen and legs/ankles that he came home with.
We still have a lot of questions for the doctors this week and hope that as tomorrow comes we will know more of what their plan of attack is.
As you can imagine- this is frustrating, exhausting, nerve-wracking, and as Jackson put it last night "this just stinks". I know we just have to keep our chins up, keep praying and stay faithful but I would be a liar if I tell you it isn't easy.
Thanks for the continued prayers and support
Ray and Janet

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

GREAT report from today 4-26-16

Sorry for the late update today!
He survived without me as I left Duke yesterday afternoon. He is continuing to do his walking "laps" and even showered last night for the first time since surgery!
Rays had a great day and very productive!
Pulled JP drain from stomach (this was from surgery)
Epidural is out
Blood cultures are still negative
Sodium bi-carb level is back to normal
Pulling tube out from biliary duct from surgery and even before (this is what attached to the bile bag)- liver numbers were almost within NORMAL range.
All liver test are almost completely back to normal!
Kidney function is 2.2...down from 2.4 yesterday and 2.9 after surgery.
Liver doctors were VERY pleased this AM during rounds as well as surgical team.
They will round on him tomorrow AM and if things continue to look good this afternoon, over night and with AM labs then there is a real possibility that he will be released tomorrow sometime.
He is READY, tomorrow he will have been at Duke for a week now!
I will update you all tomorrow and hope that it will be with continued good news and that he may be coming home!

Thank you all for the continued prayers, thoughts, texts/emails to Ray to help pass the time since he is there by himself now!
Janet and Ray



Monday, April 25, 2016

Today has been a busy day...but a good day!

Well this has been a busy day, AM so far.
Capped the bile bag so it is draining inside now as it "should" be...tonight's labs and tomorrow AM will be the tell tale sign of what is happening with the "repair".
Sodium bicarb is much better than what it was over a week ago
Liver numbers continue to come down
Kidney function is continuing to come down, it was 2.4 today....was 2.9 on Saturday so its slowly coming down- improvements are improvements. Rays poor kidneys just take a beating during surgeries.
The liver team came by and was very pleased with everything so far. Surgical team didn't come by today they were in a surgery.
Feel recovery will be a minimum of 6 weeks with the big incision they had to make or "remake!" Hospital stay till about Wednesday/Thursday.
They did take the catheter out and the epidural is turned off. Epidural not pulled out yet- his platelets were low yesterday/this AM so they want to wait until they go up so there isn't a bleed.
They had been giving him heparin shots to prevent blood clots after surgery but since he is moving around those have stopped today. So hopefully in the next day or two platelets will come up and then they can pull the epidural.
Was able to eat solid food today- graduated from jello/liquids....to scrambled eggs/bagel!
Slowly but surely things are getting better and better.
I would say overall doctors were pleased today and I see a big improvement in him today.
I am staying until this afternoon and then heading back to Greenville for a few days. A certain 8 year old is REALLY missing her mommy!
Continue to pray for healing of this duct, that liver function/numbers go down, that kidneys continue to bounce back from surgery and kidney function goes down. NO fevers today either so continue to pray against those.
Thanks everyone as always. Ray will be by himself for the next few days- now that he is feeling a little stronger he will appreciate text or emails I am sure to help pass the time!
252-347-1449
Ray and Janet

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Turning a corner today we hope!

Today has been a bit better- not so tired, not so sluggish, not feeling as poor as he did yesterday.
Still fevers off and on- low grade. Did chest xray to double check it wasn't anything with that- it was negative. Blood cultures are negative as well.
Will broaden antibiotics for fever
Dr. Sudan feels the fevers may just be from bile duct obstruction- that is was maneuvered and messed with in surgery.
Epidural will hopefully come out tomorrow pain team said. Once eating real food then it would come out. Once bowels are waking up.
No dehydration today- He's had a lot of output today-so that is much better than yesterday.
Able to drink and have fluids today- so had some jello, some gatorade, water and a little broth.
Kidney function- down to 2.7 today...from 2.9 yesterday....slow progress but progress none the less.
Liver numbers are looking good.
Catheter will come out with epidural comes out- again the hope tomorrow.
Next hurdle- will be bowel action- that is beginning late this afternoon- so that is a good sign.
We are hoping for good reports tomorrow AM from the teams- catheter out, epidural out, everything inside waking up. Hope in next few days to cap bile bag and pull JP drain in his stomach from surgery- those will be next big milestones. Maybe by mid to end week he will be discharged- next few days will tell a lot. 

Thanks again everyone
Ray and Janet

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Update on 4/23/16

Hey all, not much of an update today
Very RESTLESS night for Ray last night.
Pain has been under control today but he is still connected to epidural pump with main meds going in intermittently....probably till tomorrow...that should come out.
He did walk this AM with me, about 5 laps around the floor.
Pretty dehydrated today, like A LOT, blew both IVs had to get new ones and then got a bolis of fluid. Creatine (kidney function) is up to like 3.9...it was 2.0 before surgery so that is concerning to me but Rays kidneys have trouble bouncing right back.
Small low grade fevers off and on- one last night, one today.
Really had a rough day from about 12-evening.
Able to drink small sips of water today.
NG tube- nose tube out this AM, he was VERY happy about that.
Bowels are beginning to awaken...and tonight he is starting to feel hungry...so those are good signs. But his stomach is feeling extended and full....just needs to get it out!

We are praying that tomorrow is a better day. I hope that he will have a bit more energy tomorrow. Praying that fevers subside (he is on IV antibiotics), praying that he just makes more gains tomorrow. I am staying now for sure until Monday because I wasn't really pleased with how he bounced back today, or lack there of.
So he still is in need of your prayers for healing. Hoping tomorrow is just a NEW better day.
Thank you as always to ALL of you all.
Ray and Janet