I don’t like roller coasters; I think I get that from my dad. Growing up whenever we would go to an amusement park, I would be the one sitting at the the exit waiting on my family and friends. I think the reason I don’t like them, is because I’m not in control. That’s tough for me. I like things ordered and neat, and more so, I like to be the one to order them in the way I want them ordered. Today has been a roller coaster. It started last night with Bethany having to do a prep to get ready for her colonoscopy today. I know from personal experience just how miserable that can be. To top it off, she didn’t even get to begin until 8pm last night, which ensured that she/we would be up all night. This was due to her G.I. seeking extra counsel as to whether or not she would be able to make through the colonoscopy without perforation, due to the swollen and fragile state of her colon. After deciding it needed to be done, the prep began. The team came in this morning to make sure she had completed the prep and made the call to the endoscopy suite to let them know. The procedure was supposed to begin at 11:15am. At 1:15, we were informed it had been moved to 2:15pm. In addition to the waiting, Bethany was not allowed to have anything to drink. No water, no ice chips, nothing. This also meant no pain medicine by mouth. She was still able to have I.V pain medicine, but it wasn’t adjusted to account for the medicine she wasn’t allowed to have orally. So we sat and waited, as she laid in bed and soldiered through the pain with grace. After being taken to the prep area, it was finally time and she was wheeled into the procedure room. I was told it would take about 45 minutes and then they would come and get me, and allow me to sit with her in recovery. After sitting in the hallway with my sister for about 20 minutes, the nurse came and got me. I got back to Bethany and she looked so peaceful. Like she was finally able to rest without the nagging, constant pain. Ten minutes later the doctor came over to talk and go over the results. I had silently been praying all day and trying to prepare myself for what could possibly be found, but I still wasn’t ready for his findings.
He confirmed what we thought, that this was Ischemic Colitis that she was dealing with. He begin to show me the pictures and my heart sank. From my own experience and from having a desire to go into medicine before I was called into ministry, I know just enough to make me somewhat educated. The moment I saw the pictures of her colon, I knew it was bad. I somehow managed to mutter, “that’s bad”, to the doctor, only to have him respond, “that’s very bad.” He said he took some biopsies and had them rushed. We should know Wednesday. He feels the next steps would be to consult with a hematologist (blood doctor), vascular surgeon and a general surgeon. As he began to walk out of the room, and as Bethany began to wake from sedation, I followed him out to inquire further and have a heart to heart. This G.I doctor I think highly of. He is the one who made the decision to transfer me to UNC and to get me into the care of the surgeon that is one of the best in the U.S. for G.I. surgery. He is thorough and diligent. I told him if we were looking at surgery that I’d like her to go to Chapel Hill and have this surgeon do it. Then I asked him, “What would you do?” he responded, “let’s get her to Chapel Hill, I’ll go call Dr. Karuda.” He told me that this is exceedingly rare. We left the recovery room and headed back to Bethany’s room. Things begin to move quickly. As we tried to discuss the next steps, Bethany was beginning to read the concern on our faces and see that we would leave the room to talk. She asked us to, “to tell her like it is”, and “don’t sugar coat it”, so as we cried together we told her what was on the horizon. Transfer to UNC and beyond that a lot of unknowns.
It was here, as we discussed what ifs, that the Lord graciously lifted our spirits. The G.I. doctor returned to Bethany’s room and told us that he had spoken with my surgeon and that he felt Bethany did not need surgery at this time. He said he has never seen a case like this is someone this young and didn’t believe she needed to have a colon re-section, that there is a possibility that this could heal on it’s own. So where does this leave us? As of now, Bethany will remain here. We know for certain she has Ischemic Colitis.
Essentially, she has suffered a heart attack to this area of the colon. Even with this confirmation, we still need to get to the bottom of the problem. Ischemic Colitis is what caused her to land in the hospital, but what caused the Ischemic Colitis? As we have been told many times, this is exceedingly rare for someone her age, and of her excellent health status. We will see a hematologist and vascular surgeon tomorrow. The thought currently, is that she may have some type of clotting disorder, or vascular issue. If she is to heal without surgery, she is looking at many weeks worth of recovery. We are thankful for the Lord’s graciousness and goodness and are praying for continued answers. Again we are overwhelmed by the love and generosity of you all. We are overcome with gratitude! Please continue to pray!
Specific things to pray for:
- That the biopsies are negative. There is a very real possibility this can be the dreaded C word diagnosis.
- For the doctors to find the root cause
- Rest for Bethany. She is so weary. As you know it’s hard enough to rest in the hospital.
- Peace. Bethany has been a champ, but she is mostly worried about the boys. Pray that the Lord would pour out His peace on her.