Update: Morning 1/26

I am dictating this from Kent’s hospital room. He is not thriving today. Doctor looked back down his throat and saw much inflammation and edema. Just give prayers for a reversal of the strength of his disease if that pleases God. – Davidene

Jan 26th – update

Dear Friends:

It is Saturday morning. I usually try to write to you every night, but I was too tired to think last night, so here I am this morning. Yesterday turned out to be an eventful day – full of surprises and new information. It started out with a phone call from Kent’s new surgeon that the tracheotomy was going to be done in a few hours. Concern over the length of time Kent has been on the ventilator prompted everyone to work him into the Friday schedule. They did not want him to get pneumonia. So it was done, and he tolerated the procedure very well. When he returned to his room from the operating room, he was free of tubes down his throat. (The “trach” attaches to the ventilator hoses through a hole in the front of his throat.) It will be easier to keep clean, and will aid him in the process of learning how to live life while attached to a machine.

We were told that he would be transferred to an Ltac – Long Term Acute Care – facility. Our children and I went to visit the most recommended one, and found it to be very good. It is an actual hospital, which is designated to care for complicted recovery patients, such as people on ventilators, strokes, newly paralyzed, and so forth. Kent will be transferred by ambulance from the ICU at Mercy hospital, to the ICU at Select Specialty Hospital. He will be there as long as it takes to acclimate him to his new ‘normal’, give him physical therapy to strengthen him, and occupational therapy to teach him how to do everyday things. This will take three weeks or longer. During this time, our home will be accessed to determine what changes need to be put in place there, and the work will be done. When both he and the house are ready, he will come home.

That’s the news in a nutshell. Here’s the specific prayer needs:
That he would adjust quickly to the feeling of something stuck in his throat. Although it will become normal to him in time, it is uncomfortable and scary as you are waking up from sedation.
Calmness for him as he wakes up.
Peace for our children. They have been at his bedside for everything. It is so hard to see their Dad in such a struggle. During the short times that he has been allowed to come out of sedation, Kent has cried at the sound of their voices. I know he is grateful they are there, which brings him to tears, but the worst part is seeing him try to cry, and hearing no sound. Until the time arrives that he can learn to talk again, we will all miss the sound of his sweet voice more than anything.
Pray against depression. Kent is not prone to depression at all, but his medications produce it, and he is waking up to the biggest change he could imagine. He entered the hospital thinking he needed lots of steroids, and then he would go home. We knew that might require being on a ventilator for a time, but neither of us thought he was to this point. It will be a shock. And he will grieve the loss of his ability to speak. By the way, I do believe that you can have faith, even great faith, and still experience depression. Faith is the belief that God can and will heal the depression, and the decision to trust Him daily until you are out on the other side of the dark tunnel that depression is. (Sorry about the little sermon, but I needed to remind myself.) I am selfish enough that I do not want him to experience anything more than the natural grief that he will have to face so that he can go on.

OK. This was not an update – it was an epistle. Thank you for letting me talk so long. Thank you, Lord, for such good friends! Davidene

jan 24th – update

Hi, Friends: It has been a long and eventful day. Kent was still off of the vent and breathing on his own when I arrived back at his room this morning. However, he was having a very difficult time working for every breath. As the day wore on, that effort grew more and more intense, until he was 100% focused and concentrating to gain each and every breath. His nurse said she had never seen anything like it. She said it would be like running a marathon while lying in bed, and he had been doing it for 23 hours. She is a fitness guru, and she stated that she could not have lasted an hour. But he was red and sweating with the effort, and his heart would soon show distress, so they decided to put him back on the ventilator. The doctor let Kent decide for himself. He asked him if he was having a hard time getting air, and Kent nodded. He then asked him if it was time to go back on the vent, and he nodded.He was past exhausted. The procedure went well, and he is again resting completely under sedation.

It was a disappointment in a way, but I am so glad that Kent had the chance to try to maintain himself, and was alert enough to decide for himself. He showed great strength and determination, and he will use those characteristics again to create a new pattern of life.

Kent will stay under sedation until next Monday or Tuesday, at which time a surgeon will do a tracheotomy. Kent will be much more comfortable without a tube down his throat, and the current tracheotomy devices have a valve that makes speaking easier to learn how to do. You know Kent – he will work on the new skill of talking with his new apparatus before he does anything else! It will be a challenge that he will conquer. As soon as he can communicate, he will tell me to bring a box of books to the ICU so that he can give them away!

For now, please pray for rest and healing for him. Pray for rest for the family, and for wisdom as we tackle some decisions that will need to be made. God is slowly revealing what lies ahead, one step at a time. I am grateful that it is not one leap at a time, because it would be too much to handle. We are learning a new normal, and Kent does not even know how much has happened and how much activity has swirled around him as he slept. When he wakes up from surgical anesthesia next week, it will be to a new world for him. Pray in advance for him as he learnes about what has happened to him, and faces the immediate future of improvement and rehab. Your involvement in our lives is cherished by us. Davidene and family

january 23rd – update

Dear Friends: What wonderful prayer warriors you are! We felt the effects of many many of God’s children meeting at His throne in Kent’s behalf. What power and strength we felt today, and we needed it.The day began with Kent’s sedation being lowered so that he could wake up. It took him until 2:15 this afternoon to come up from his deep sleep into a groggy awakeness. The doctor asked him if he wanted to try to breathe on his own, and Kent nodded. The doctor didn’t just turn the ventilator down; he turned it off! Kent breathed! He made it look easy! All of us standing, with our own breaths held in anticipation, broke into huge grins, and even tears. He was breathing. He was awake and off the ventilator. What a miracle. And no matter what else happens in life, that moment will be forever held in my mind as one of the greatest miracles I have ever witnessed.

Kent woke up calm, thanks to you, and has stayed that way ever since. He did not experience one minute of panic or anxiety. He just breathed. Again, thanks to you!
It was as if God was showing off His power and sovereignty; as if He were saying, “I heard, I am aware, I care, and I can do anything. I am in control. You can trust me.” And we will!

Three hours later, Kent was beginning to show signs of distress. His effort to breathe was becoming more difficult, and his blood pressure and heart rate were very elevated. Medicines were not bringing the numbers down, and there was talk of putting him back on the ventilator. I left him at 6:30 p.m. to get some food, not knowing what I would find when I returned. The thought occurred to me that God was not less in control, nor was His miracle less amazing if Kent had to be put back on the vent. We just may not yet see the entire picture, or understand yet His motivation and purpose. So we must wait. When I got back to Kent’s room, new medicines were working well, and his blood pressure and heart rate were good. He eventually began to rest well and even appeared to sleep. I left the hospital at 10:30 p.m., and Kent was resting well and peacefully, still breathing on his own. However, his effort to breathe is still very difficult for him. He is working hard. The effort must become much easier, in order for him to sustain a daily life with it.

THANK YOU for sustaining us through this day. My children and I are indebted to you for so much that you have provided for us through prayer. We will face new questions tomorrow; but, today is done, and God was more than good in it. Nt only was our faith again increased, but our admiration for Kent’s inner strength and fight to live was increased, too. We have an amazing husband and father.

THANK YOU, again.
Davidene, Lance, Kenda, and Kami

Tuesday evening – update

Dear Friends: There is a lot of news today. Kent has again rested peacefully, and his inflammation is down. So tomorrow is the day that his doctors will try to bring him out of sedation, and see if he can breathe on his own. You might ask, “How can he breathe on his own if his airways are collapsed?” Good question. But, as his doctor put it, “We have to give him the chance to try. After all, this is KENT we are talking about. He has defied medical logic many times before, and has had miraculous experiences. So, we will give him the chance to breathe on his own before doing anything else.”

Here is the doctor’s concern. There is a devastating panic that occurs when a person is waking, still fuzzy in his mind, and feels the great discomfort of tubes down his throat into his lungs. A big man like Kent can really put up a physical fight, not realizing what they are doing. When or if this happens, he cant get enough air to accomodate the energy suddenly being spent by flailing arms or legs. So that patient must be medically put to sleep again to try later.

Therefore, PLEASE PRAY ALL DAY TOMORROW THAT KENT WOULD BE CALM AND COULD COOPERATE WITH WHAT THE DOCTOR IS TRYING TO DO. Then, as the action of the ventilator is slowly decreased, we will see how much healing the Great Physician has chosen to do, and whether or not Kent can breathe for himself. What a miracle THAT would be!This process will begin about 10:00 a.m. The plan is for myself and our children to be with him constantly, talking to him, touching him, just loving and encouraging him to help calm him. Please pray for us. This will be hard to see if Kent fights, but we will do it together as a family for him. Thank you in advance for your help in prayer.

In Him, Davidene

Monday evening – update

Dear Friends: This is a nice way to end the day – talking with friends about the man I love. His room in ICU is peaceful and quiet, and he is resting well. That is what he needs, a chance to rest completely and let his body recover. We have no news at this point, because the doctors are letting the medicines and rest have several days to work before they look down into his lungs again and decide what to do next. We are just waiting. My favorite place is right beside him, holding his hand. I am much better today, after having had a good night’s sleep and time to process what has happened. Thanks for your prayers for me. I feel strength that I did not have yesterday. I told God this morning that I really did not want to face this new journey, but I did not want to face the journey 2 1/2 years ago when Kent’s airways were first damaged, and God gave us grace and mercy and showed us how to go. And life has been good – different, but good. So I will just trust Him to show us the way again. Here we go, one day at a time.

Sunday evening – Kent

Dear Friends,

Kent had a rough night last night, and kept having more difficulty breathing today. By this afternoon the decision was made to move him to the Intensive Care Unit. His airways were inflammed and swollen, and he was struggling to breathe. He was put on a ventilator and heavily sedated. After two or three days of heavy medications to aid his airways, the physicians will assess his condition and make an ongoing plan. I will let you know what happens as things progress. We have many unanswered questions, but we know who has the answers. We are depending on the Great Physician.  What we do know as of today is this: Kent’s heart and other major organs and systems are all in good shape. We do not know the source of the inflammation yet, but it appears that only the lungs’ airways are involved. Please pray for healing in his airways, wisdom from his doctors, peace for the family as we wait, and a divine sense within Kent’s spirit of the Lord’s presence and love. Thank you, Davidene

Sunday-Kent Update

Dear Friends,
It is Sunday morning and I am dictating this blog from the hospital. After increased steroids at home, Kent was getting no better. We came to the hospital last night. He is on steroids by IV and a pulmonologist will see him today. We will know more later today and I will update you when I can. Please continue to pray, we feel your prayers.
In Him,
Davidene

Kent – Saturday morning

After another hard night, Kent is still struggling to breathe. Steroids have been increased again, and we watch his blood pressure closely. He is still at home. Keep praying. Thank you, Davidene

Update on Kent’s Health

It is now Friday evening, and Kent improved slightly today – at least enough to let him stay home for now. He will receive steroids all weekend, and see the doctor again on Monday. We were already scheduled to travel to Johns Hopkins for his regular check-up on Wednesday of next week, so please pray that we can go. We learned today that he does not have pneumonia, or any such illness. His inflammation factors from his lab work are spiked, which indicates increase inflammation in his body. He has no fever, and does not feel ill except that he can hardly breathe. He possibly inhaled something that badly irritated his airways, and they subsequently became very inflammed. When they become inflammed, they swell, reducing the size of the interior of the airway. Not enough air can get through to sustain any movement, so even walking to the table for a meal becomes very difficult or even impossible. That is how things are at our house. Pray that he can sleep and that the steroids will continue to give improvement. We are both doing well. We have been here before, and we are more prepared at this point in the journey to know what to do and who to call for help. God has always been gracious, and He still is. Thanks for your prayers and comments. In Him, Davidene