Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Back to Hospital

Hello again, dear friends!

It is a good thing that we do not know things in advance, because if we did, most of us would run away as fast as we can. I am so grateful God gives us the strength we need daily, and that we can rest on that fact. We never need strength for the week, but just for one day at a time.

Christopher goes to the day clinic at least twice a week now, to check his bloods. This Monday, they discovered that his creatin levels had risen by 23 points. In the past, that many points were insignificant due to his already high levels of creatin, but because his levels have stabilized in the 80's, a 20 point increase is very significant.

He was booked into the Hospital again last night, and is on a four day intravenous drip of imunosupressants. This is an extra dose of steroids to ward off the possibility of his body rejecting the graft kidney. I am told this is not that unusual in the early days of a transplant. We trust the Lord that this will be enough, and that his body will learn to 'accept' the new organ in good time.

Acute rejection can come at any time, and I am grateful that the Doctors were pro-active enough to deal with the situation. Once again, I was caught unawares, and had to shift my priorities for the week. What a good lesson this is to learn! Just when you feel organized and self-sufficient, something happens that reminds you that God may have other plans.

Thank you for your prayers, and may our Heavenly Father bless you this week in the situations you face.

With love,


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back Home at last

Dear faithful praying friends!

God has been gracious and has allowed Christopher to be well enough to come home. It is such a relief to have him with us again, and I do not miss the three trips daily to the Hospital Ward to deliver food, drink and company!! (Yes, the Hospital food is less, much less than desirable!)

His levels are getting more and more stable, although the electrolytes are still off balance as the graft kidney settles in. He still has the stent, which is allowing the blockage to be cleared. In about 5 - 6 weeks they will remove it via a scope. The hope is that the blocked ureter (my ureter from my kidney) will then have a free flowing connection between the graft kidney and Christopher's bladder.

We are settling into a routine of taking his vast amount of medication three times a day. Christopher has become very good at this, and understands his responsibility. The big risk factor now is infection. Because he feels better, he wants to participate in his previous activities again, but of course this is way too premature. He needs to stay at home for the next two months at least. I pray the Lord will bless him with patience of a different kind now!

As I try to put things into perspective and as I look back at all that has transpired, I am amazed at how God prepared us as a family for this. God gives us the children that He wants us to raise, and while it is sometimes hard to understand why we have such an ill son, I know that God chose Peter and I to raise and nurture him. I praise God for friends like you, who have helped us along this road with your prayers and encouragement.

It is a privilege for Peter and I to be Christopher's parents, and my prayer is that we would rise to the occasion daily, to train him up to be all that God has called him to be. Indeed, we pray this for each of our children.

May our heavenly Father bless you in the midst of your circumstances as well. And may we all maintain the courage we need to fulfill His calling in our lives.

With love and continued appreciation,

Lenora and family

Monday, January 11, 2010

The longest Day so far

Dearest friends!

Christopher and I started out January 7th with anticipation. He had been able to spend the night at home, and we were being sent to Groote Schuur Hospital for an early morning procedure. We arrived at the Radiology department early, and were the first patients to be seen. My heart sank as I noticed blood in Christopher's nephrostomy bag. There had been no trace of this for days, and this was therefore surely a sign that something was wrong.

The Radiologist seemed confident that they could proceed though, and attempted to insert a stent via his nephrostomy site. The unknown problem was that the nephrostomy had begun migrating out, and only the tip was remaining in tact. As soon as the dye was inserted, the liquid began spilling into his abdominal and peritoneal space. This meant instant pain for Christopher. I was in the waiting room reading, and suddenly heard screams of agony. I was hoping this would be temporary. The suffering continued however, at which point I 'came unglued' as well. Needless to say the procedure had to be stopped, which now meant he was without his nephrostomy, which allows the urine from the graft kidney to drain into the catheter bag.

Christopher was sent via ambulance back to Red Cross Children's Hospital, and I drove there. He was considered an emergency case now, and the Doctors attempted to book Theater time. At this point it was Noon. Christopher was beginning to get very bloated, as the urine still had no place but the abdominal cavity to go! The discomfort grew by the hour. He could not lie down or sit, and remained standing upright.

By 8 p.m., he was finally admitted into the Operating Theater, to firstly drain the fluid from his abdominal cavity and also for a scope to try and insert the much needed stent to relieve the blockage. These two procedures were successful and there was instant relief.

In the meantime, Andrea was due to fly back to Arizona that evening. So good friends of ours stepped in and helped us with the airport arrangements as well as staying with Christopher. By the time I saw him again it was midnight, and he was in a good deal of pain. He needed to be catheterized immediately, which provided much needed relief again. By 1 am I fell into bed, grateful that Andrea was safely on the plane headed for the US, and that Christopher was under control in the Hospital.

As it was the last day of the Summit Course, the rest of the family was still at the Camp site. I assured Peter that we were fine, and was very grateful to our good friends for their helping hand.

God is the Healer and we rest in Him. Christopher is once again on the mend and we hope to have him home in the next few days. He will need to return for a permanent removal of the stent in a few weeks time. Thank you for your prayers, that no infection would take place during this time.

My next challenge is starting the school year! I feel quite unprepared, and am trusting the Lord for some tutorial help for several subjects. I would appreciate your prayers.

We love you, and are so grateful to be able to share our ups as well as our downs with you.

Lots of love,

Lenora and family