Since I have been unable to go back to Haiti, at least at this point, I will update you on my health situation and allow Dan Boerman to share his update of the work projects in Haiti.
Since the last health update, I did go home with the catheter in to keep the bladder decompressed and protect the repair on it. Unfortunately, the debris from the repair, etc, has repeatedly blocked the outflow and the repair appears to have fallen apart. After 12 days of constantly soaking everything, despite wearing the large Depends, I returned to Pittsburgh to have another pigtail catheter put in the largest urine collection in my belly (but outside the bladder). Not fun, but have drastically reduced the urine from my incision and I am dry, except for some on the incision, tolerable. Around the clock bladder irrigations have also helped prevent leakage, though have to be done gently to not push the hole more.
In light of the fluid collections getting infected, I am on IV antibiotics, they take about 1 ½ hr to run in each 6 hour, so sleep has been disrupted as my brain wants to sleep while the IVs run, but I need to watch the infusion, then doesn’t understand why I want to go to sleep afterwards, sending it mixed signals. I am back home, dry and happy to be able to be there, so will keep trying til the antibiotics are infused and pray that the infections stay away, the wound will heal and the bladder hole will fill in by itself, without need for further surgery, which would be difficult at best.
I now have 2 pipes sticking out of my upper abdomen to drain the small remnants of intestine. The bile and pancreatic drainage are tough on the skin and it is often red, raw and tender. We are still working on a variety of techniques to figure out how to make the bag stick to the skin and prevent leaks. As my skin is more of a war zone than a plastic repair, the irregularities of the surface make adherence of the stoma wafer difficult at best and often needing to be replaced, only aggravating the irritation to the skin. Plus, I think that I will feel much better once the antibiotics are done, they aggravate the nausea and “benauwd” sensation, for those who understand that untranslatable word from my native Dutch, a feeling of being off kilter all the time, etc.
The view from my recliner at my sister Margie’s handicap accessible basement apartment is most appreciated as fall progresses and the critters run from the hunters across the fields, etc. I am very thankful for all my family’s help in caring for me, especially Gord and Margie plus brother Will, a nurse who has gone with me both times and helps wash me in the short times he is allowed to be in the hospital. It seems like the well intentioned nurses never have time to help and I am not allowed to do it myself. As he spent most of his life in the service and our family overseas on the mission field, we really rarely saw each other and have found this a good time to share our lives and goals and desires to see ourselves and our families live for God in the time we each have left to live. It has been a blessed time and a break from the long hours alone in the hospital (especially as they had me in isolation and thus staff came in only if absolutely needed, as they had to gown up, etc each time).