Yesterday Chris had a Denver shunt surgically placed in his chest. The purpose of the shunt is to take the fluid that collects in his abdomen and put it back into his bloodstream above his heart. The heart can then pump it through his body, and, if enough of the fluid can stay in his vascular system, it will make its way through his kidneys and out through urination. It shunts fluid up to his heart only when he is supine. He can also manually operate the shunt with a little pump that is under his skin against his rib cage. When the surgical resident was first describing this pump to us, I said, “Does it have a big orange basketball on it?” Chris thought it was a good one, but the resident literally had no idea what I was talking about, because he doesn’t know what Reebok Pumps are. This is the world we live in. The residents aren’t even 30, and I look down on them for their youth.
Ideally, the shunt will serve to kick Chris’s kidneys back into action. Please pray it does. Getting his kidneys to function is the biggest piece of treatment preparation right now. Oh, and getting a diagnosis, which is still pending. Dr. Windsor and Dr. Rector (the chief pathologist here) are in direct and regular contact with Dr. Tan at MD Anderson who is working on Chris’s tissue there. Cell phone numbers have been exchanged, so when and if there’s any word, Dr. Windsor will know immediately. (Cell phone numbers have not, however, been exchanged between me and Dr. Windsor; nevertheless, she persisted.)
I’m tired this morning. Nights at the hospital provide no rest for the weary, as everyone knows. But we continue to be so thankful for our care here. I grabbed a handful of DAISY award nomination forms on my way up from the cafeteria this morning, because I want each of our nurses to be recognized for their wonderfulness. Most each of them. Many of them. Well, Gina.
But Erin and Quintar and Ingrid and Mary, too. All so wonderful.
I’m not in the mood for a deep and ponderous post. But I will say that, for me, and for many around Chris, these last few days have been heavy and raw with emotion. Just a lot of crying and praying and imagining and crying. Today, Chris is in very much pain and feels very terrible because of the procedure–please pray for relief and rest for him now–but while the rest of us are heavy, Chris’s spirits have been light. He feels peace and hope. Thanks be to God.