Monday, June 4, 2007

Elijah Update (June 3)

Good morning to our wonderful prayer warriors,

Thank you all for your prayers for Elijah and for your praises to God for His grand healing touch. We are so very thankful to God for touching our little boy and allowing the doctors to remove the vent, and we are so very thankful that Elijah has stayed vent free for a week now. Woo Hoo!

I knew that we liked our doctor. This week I found out that we have yet another connection with him. He is married to an MK (Missionary Kid). Anyone who has ever been an MK, or married to one, knows that there is a special connection with others who have the same experiences. We talked a little bit this week about world travels and especially Ethiopian food. Mmmmm. We have built some good friendships here. This class of residents will be graduating in a week and we have been able to meet all the pediatric residents in this class. They will be spreading out and hopefully taking what they have learned from Elijah to help other little ones.

I have been recommending to our doctors and nurses that short term medical missions is great. We have been surprised with the response of "I just never thought I could be used because I am not specialized in infectious diseases." (Don't worry Dr. Bransford, we set them straight!) So many of our medical friends have shared the need for help with surgeries or help with clinics. An amazing amount of work to be done throughout the world. I do not know how these doctors handle their work load, but we are so grateful for them.

We told you how our Pediatric surgeon is a special woman and how she really has grown attached to Elijah. She came in and checked out all of his wounds to see how they were healing and is so excited to see how well he is doing. When she first met us she asked us what we call him since they were to become "best friends". Since then for some reason she calls him Eli. He does not seem to mind at this point.

Do you have any children in your circle who are trying to figure out what to do with their lives, or are you? We have noticed here that there is such a need for nurses these days. Especially in pediatrics. We would highly recommend getting into nursing. We have a nurse who began her schooling when her son did, and she is a woman who loves these little kids. We have nurses fresh out of nursing school who are learning so much about pediatrics. The motto here by one of them is: "We don't take care of ourselves so we can take care of you." Even on their days off they have called work to find out how Elijah is doing. So, become a nurse! You will find a job right away, that is for sure.

Elijah continues to have fluid build up in the tissue of his chest cavity. We are unsure as to why his body cannot pee off the fluid on his own. He now gets three different diuretics to help with this fluid. When the fluid is off, his breaths are full and relaxed, and when the fluid is there he goes with a full body breath. Our doctors think we may need to have him on these meds for several months until his Superior Vena Cava Syndrome clears up and his circulation improves.

He is doing a great job of breaking his addiction to his sedation medicines. He has been able to make it for at least 36 hours right now without any, but if he needs any he gets a small dose. With the smaller doses of sedation he is becoming more aware of the world around him. He is making the nurses do a bit more running, especially at night when his mom is at the Ronald McDonald House asleep.

Earlier this week Elijah was having some struggles breathing and so he was put on a CPAP machine to help get the full deep breaths. He handled that well for a 24 hour period and now is on a high pressure nasal canula. He does not seem to even notice this canula anymore. I am not sure what he will do without anything in his nose or down his throat. :)

Please continue to pray for Elijah. He has come a long way, and the battle has been tough. Pray that he will begin eating well, that his lungs will continue to heal from all the struggles, that he will pee off the fluid and that he will no longer require any sedation meds. There are many out there who are wanting to end their own lives, and Elijah has fought so hard to stay alive. Elijah has been an example to many of the fight for life. We must remember when he is older and giving us a hard time how much his fight to live saved him. God is still in the business of miracles. Never forget that!

Together in His service,
JJ and E

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