Hi, friends. So here's the update:
Jude is staying in the hospital, and we've been moved to another unit. (For those who are interested to know, we've been moved from 7A, the Infant Care Unit, to 7C, the Intermediate Care Unit / PICU stepdown unit.)
So, Jude's hernia repair operation has been tentatively scheduled for Monday afternoon; however, the attending surgeon who's in the hospital right now indicated that the surgery could be postponed if Jude fares well for the rest of the weekend and all of his lab tests and other indicators look good. (When surgery does finally happen, we've been told it's likely that Jude will have a hernia repair operation, an anti-reflux procedure called a Nissen fundoplication, and a g-tube placement.) Also, his gastric suction tube is currently removing the bloody contents that he was vomiting this morning and decompressing his stomach. For the rest of the weekend, the medical staff will be watching him pretty closely and doing blood tests on a more regular basis to monitor his status. Update: The attending surgeon, Dr. Smith, informed us at 8 pm that Jude's labs looked very good, which may portend delyaing surgery until later in the week.
So, you may be wondering why Jude was vomiting old blood in the first place. Unfortunately, we're not really sure why. There's speculation that having several tubes put down Jude's nose over the last day or two irritated his nose and/or stomach lining and made them bleed. That's certainly possible, I guess, but Rose and I are little unsure about it. We've seen trace amounts of blood in Jude's vomit before, which was also attributed to tubes irritating the nose and/or stomach; however, what came out of Jude this morning was far more than we had ever seen before, and about 75% of it was blood (including some larger clots) with the rest being mucous and secretions.
When talking to the attending surgeon, he seemed more concerned about the possibility that the Jude's stomach was at risk for ischemia, or an insufficient supply of blood. If Jude's stomach were to become pinched or squeezed in his hernia (i.e. between his chest wall and what remains of the patch that was used to close his hernia), then blood supply could be cut off to part of his stomach, which could be potentially disastrous and result in the death of some of his stomach tissue. But, while the surgeon was concerned about ischemia, it doesn't appear that has happened. *Whew*
As you can imagine, we still covet your prayers for Jude's healing and for the wisdom for his nurses and physicians. But we also ask for prayer for our family:
We are very tired. Our lives have been turned completely upside down over the last year, and we need an extra dose of God's grace to keep going. Rose and I hate to be apart from Annabelle, and we hate it that she feels our absence and is saddened over it. (Yes, kids are resilient. And yes, she probably won't remember the troubles of this last year when she's older. But no parents want to be separated from their child intermittently for 8-9 months in the midst of very stressful circumstances or see her affected by a barrage of changes.) I've just started taking classes at a community college in Florence, and I'm slotted to start a new job on Monday (i.e. the same day that Jude's surgery could happen), so I have to go back soon, leaving Rose by herself with Jude.
We're very stretched, and we need patience and endurance that only God can provide. We can try (and have tried, occasionally) to muster those things out of our meager resources as broken, sinful people, but our only real hope for peace is on our knees. We can try to reassure ourselves that "everything will work out" just like we want, but we know all too well that God's timing and purposes rarely accord with ours, and that He may very well ordain a future for our family that, on the front end, would seem like the opposite of what we desire.
God, please give us grateful hearts to praise you for your many mercies to us over the last year: The love, encouragement, and prayers of family, friends old and new, and brothers and sisters in Christ the world over; material blessings that helped us get by when our resources would have been utterly exhausted; physical, emotional, and spiritual endurance that did not originate in us; and, most of all, for the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection are the foundation of our life and hope. We know that you have wrought healing in Jude's body, you have brought amazing people into our lives, and you have provided for all of our needs, but too often we use those blessings as the means to forget you. Forgive us for putting our trust and hope in things other than you -- living in this place or that, having immediate fellowship with those particular people, having this or that job, having these plans work out. Disabuse us of these idols and the ones in our lives that we don't even recognize. Please give us our daily provision to subsist as we continue to go through this difficult period of life, which feels like walking through the wilderness. Help us to remember our spiritual, mental, and emotional poverty and how, despite our wanderings, you have still given us every good thing to continue through this long walk with Jude. Help us to remember who we truly are -- broken people who need your love -- and who you are -- a merciful God who loves to bless his children, even when they use his blessings as occasions to forget him or walk away.