Sorry to have to report another tough day for Lea, but she seems to be struggling quite a bit right now. She is evidently very much aware of the severe pain in her abdomen now, and that is causing her to hyperventilate and raise her blood pressure to dangerous levels. It is like she is in panic mode, breathing very fast and heaving her chest as though she can’t get enough air.

This has caused her nurses to give her more medications to support her heart and lungs, while trying to bring her up off the sedatives, until they reached a point that Lea seemed to just give up, and her heart rate dropped to nil again today, just about 23 hours after she did it the first time. In this case, however, the nurse was in the room watching her when the event took place, and recovery was much quicker.

I had talked to Dr. Kirton earlier in the day, who thought the problem might have been caused by her abdomen being bound up so tightly after the surgery, causing intense pressure on the organs. He thought this might have caused so much generally distributed pain that Lea just decided to give up in order to escape it. He did say, though, that he didn’t think that sounded like her.

After today’s “cardiac event,” as they call it, the hypothesis is that she had a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot in the lungs, that stopped the flow of blood back to the heart. Since she was now stabilized, they felt the danger was now over from that blood clot, but they had discovered another one, using ultrasound, at the top of the left groin. There was a danger that the clot would be the next to move to the lungs.

The ICU doctor on duty explained that they couldn’t thin the blood to dissolve the clot because Lea still has an open wound, and would bleed profusely from that. They weren’t able to do their normal scan for the embolism in the lungs, because the dye that has to be injected into the blood to do the test would destroy her ailing kidneys. So, they had to make an educated guess, and the guess was that she was having blood clot problems. They didn’t want to move her at all, so proposed doing an emergency procedure right there in her room. Because of the incision in her abdomen, they couldn’t tell on the ultrasound whether she had any blood clots already on the way to the lungs.

The procedure that the Dr. recommended is similar to a heart stent implant, except in this case a metal ball similar in shape to an umbrella is implanted in the large vein leading to the lungs. The device captures any blood clots that might be traveling to the lungs, and prevent them from causing any problem. If the device should get clogged with a clot, there are additional, smaller veins that would reroute blood to the lungs.

I approved the procedure, even though there was a chance that there may have been a clot already in front of the point of insertion of the catheter. If there was, it would likely push the clot into the lungs where it could wreak havoc. If the clot were big enough it could shut off a large portion of one of the lungs. I prayed, along with those of you who responded to our emergency prayer request this afternoon, that God would deliver her from this latest trial. And, He did! Praise God! He is working miracle after miracle in answer to our prayers!

Lea is resting comfortably right now, under heavy sedation. That’s probably going to help her rest much more than she was earlier when she was so apprehensive. Tomorrow Dr Kirton has planned another surgery on her abdomen. If she has healed well enough he may go ahead and close the rest of the incision up. Once that is done, she has a good chance of turning the corner and beginning the recovery stage. On the other hand, there are still lots of things that can go wrong. She remains very, very sick, and will be sick for several weeks even if things go very well.

Please continue to pray for her miraculous recovery so she can return to us healthy and whole, full of energy and good cheer, a blessing to all around her. Her countless friends and wonderful family earnestly yearn to hear her laugh and see that glorious smile. I long to have her by my side once again, my best friend, just as we were in Maine only a few weeks ago.

Glory to God for his loving care,