Is anyone surprised when I say that Lacey’s intuition won out over my suspicion about going home? We had some additional complications this weekend, so there is still no talk of us coming home going on around here.
Eli was struggling with throwing up bile. The bile indicated a backup of his intestines. We had some x-rays done, but we don’t know if there is a blockage or a twist or if the tumor has shifted and is pushing somewhere that it wasn’t before. However, the x-rays did confirm that his colon was distended. So they had to put a new kind of NG tube down his nose. The tube we had in was only good for administering medicine to his stomach. This new one is a bit thicker and allows him to be hooked up to a vacuum that sucks the contents out of his stomach. It can also be used to administer medicine and obviously the vacuum is shut off for 30 minutes after new medicine is given so it isn’t just sucked right back out. It’s certainly not fun (nor was it fun putting it in), but so far it has helped reduce the vomiting.

Thankfully, the x-rays from this morning told the surgeons they didn’t need to get in and do surgery to try to solve the problem at this point, his colon was looking better and they can hear more movement than they were hearing yesterday. He is on strict orders not to eat or drink anything until he has a stool. You should hear this kid try to negotiate and sweet talk the nurses into “one little sip of water, please?” He’s quite convincing, but we are hard ones to crack!
Eli has also been struggling with fevers, but Tylenol has been doing the trick quite nicely for those. If we were at home and he hit 101, it would be immediate hospitalization. The nurses and doctors have assured us that it is all but guaranteed to happen when we’re at home. Hopefully we won’t have to come to Iowa City, we should be able to go to Mary Greeley or Blank, because they don’t want him having a fever untreated for a 2.5 hr drive to Iowa City from Ames. His blood counts have reached critical levels a few times requiring blood transfusions (shameless plug for everyone to donate blood next time you hear about a drive) and this morning he had a platelet transfusion for his low platelet levels. One of Eli’s central line tubes showed bacterial infection, which is pretty common, so they have antibiotics going in to try to correct that problem.
Some good news is that his white blood cell count rose a bit today from 500 to 800. It’s not much, anything below 1,000 is neutropenic, but hopefully those will keep increasing at a fast rate. He actually takes medicine that helps those grow faster, so it looks like that is working.
We’re up to 198 people signed up for Eli’s CarePage. I feel like there should be some sort of prize for number 200. 🙂 We really appreciate the prayers and enjoy reading the Message Board every day. I know the Message Board is encouraging to others checking in as well. We’ve had such great support from our employers, co-workers, families and friends. We’ve even had great support from complete strangers! Most of all we’ve had great hope in the One that created all things, including Eli. Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” It’s a very scary time, and all of you parents will empathize that seeing your kid in pain is one of the worst feelings ever, but God has a holy purpose and plan. If you don’t believe that, we should talk sometime. 🙂

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