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Day 54: Setback— Like a Punch in the Gut

Caleb has enjoyed nearly two weeks of good progress (and good food) during his transition to rehab activities at Jim Thorpe SW. His days have been full and active with speech therapy and lots of physical therapy, and then afternoon wind downs with his own form of therapy—building LEGOS and hanging out with his wife.

Then, on Monday in the wee hours of the morning, he awoke with terrible stomach pain that led to vomiting. Doctors ordered a CT scan on his belly and lab work to rule out any abscess or infection in his gut (which had been opened right after his accident On 10/3 as doctors searched for internal bleeding). Suspecting that adhesions from scar tissue might be creating an intestinal blockage, the medical team started a Gastrogaffin test with barium dye to see where any blockage might be. This kind of test takes over eight hours, during which time Caleb’s stomach must be completely empty—they even used an NG tube to suction it out when his vomiting was not enough! In the meantime, Caleb’s gut pain grew so out-of-control that they had to start morphine drips. He has been very anxious and exhausted by constant stabbing pain. Please pray for his comfort and peace of mind! Shannon is exhausted, too. She can only do her best to comfort him during this ordeal.
Tonight, Shannon learned from his nurse that the doctor called and said Caleb will be having an exploratory laparotomy surgery tomorrow. They do not have a time scheduled yet, but Caleb will be transferred to an acute care room (regular hospital room at Integris SW Med Center) either tonight or in the morning. This kind of surgery is very time consuming and involves re-opening the belly, so please pray for healing and answers—and relief!

As you might imagine, this has been very demoralizing for Caleb, who was looking forward to eating some good Thanksgiving leftovers in his room with friends as he made more progress in physical therapy. To face yet another invasive surgery seems so daunting. Please pray for his courage, and for strength for both him and Shannon! We keep hoping that God has something important that they need to find in exploratory tomorrow so that this “setback” can become yet another step towards a complete recovery for a Caleb.

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