Wow! August already! I guess I’ve sort of lost track of time in the last couple of weeks. Everything that has happened seems like a blur, as though time has just flown by, and yet each day seems so very terribly long and grueling. It is extremely difficult to be at Lea’s bedside and not be able to communicate with her. I like to read the emails and greetings to her, and even though she can’t respond, I hope that she hears my voice and enjoys the messages you send.

The hospital prints out the eGreetings sent through their website, and I print out your email messages, so she will have those to read when she wakes up again. It will make her adjustment to the loss of all this time much easier to know that our thoughts and prayers were around her throughout her illness. She will have a lot to deal with, but she is a strong person, and I will do everything possible to help her through that adjustment.

I had a conversation with the surgeon who operated on Lea today, a Dr. Ivy. He has been present when Dr. Mah operated on Lea previously, and now has done her last two operations. The session today was conducted in her ICU room, rather than in the Operating Room. Dr. Ivy said that he believes he sees some improvement, although there is still significant swelling present in the wound, and she is not yet out of danger. She remains in critical condition.

He said that when they pressed on the pancreas in previous operations, evidence of infection was present. Today, when he pressed on the right side, there was no indication of infection, although some still remains on the left side. He said that she is tolerating the surgeries “quite well,” and that she is rebounding within a couple hours of each surgery, which is a good indication, and cause for optimism.

Lea continues on the dialysis. As I told you yesterday, the nurses had increased the amount of fluid they were removing from her body. They increased from 25 cc an hour to 50 cc an hour. Dr. Ivy said they had taken six pounds of fluid off of her yesterday! Her blood pressure dropped some early today, so they stopped taking fluid off, and just held her constant where she was, to see if she would stabilize again. They will watch her closely tonight to make sure she does okay.

Once she rebounds and stays stable for a day, they will start taking fluid off again . . .probably at the 25 cc level, I’m guessing, to see how she does. If she continues to rebound well, and handle the draw off of fluids, they will be able to get her back to her normal weight in a few weeks. She already looks much, much better, and as nurse Shelley, who took care of her once last week said, “I thought I was in the wrong room when I saw her!”

I can’t say enough about the nursing staff here at Hartford Hospital. They have just simply been outstanding. They really care about Lea, and take extra precautions to make sure she is comfortable, and that tubes don’t lay on her so long as to make sores on her. They are always very busy when they are working with her; changing fluid bags, changing her dressings, readjusting her position in the bed, rubbing her back and legs with lotion, etc. They have even washed her hair a couple of times, and put a string “bow” in her hair. Some of the nurses are just so caring and kind to her that I find myself wanting to give them a big hug. I sure am going to owe a lot of hugs of appreciation when this ordeal is over!

Dr Ivy mentioned today that it will probably be about another month before they can quit operating on Lea. If they continue to operate every other day, as they have been, that will be another 15 surgeries . . . 20 total! She will continue to be heavily sedated for at least two weeks after the final surgery, in all likelihood, because she will still be on the ventilator, and will have to been weaned off of that machine, and learn to breath on her own again. Gosh! Six more weeks of these one sided conversations! At least I get to have the final word for a change!

Thanks for all the comments about the photo of Lea I included with the message last night. Here another one of her cutting up for the camera. If you can’t download these for some reason, Lance will soon have these and more on the prayer page. I am including contact information below, with some corrections in mailing addresses, etc.

God bless and keep you. Thank you for your continued kindnesses.