Thursday, March 27, 2008

Catch 22

Yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, Andrew was looking much improved. Much of the swelling had gone down. After a few hours, however, his leg began to swell again. The doctors kept an eye on it and by this morning, they had to open his leg, while still in his room, and drain the blood out. This is the risk of having him on blood thinners, blood pooling. They lowered the dosage of blood thinners two hours ago, but the bleeding has not improved. If it does not improve, despite the dosage lowering, they may have to take him into surgery again and look for a vein that's leaking and needs to be sealed. Please pray that God would fix Andrew's leg so he won't have to go into surgery again.

They need to keep him on blood thinners, because of how extraordinary the blood clot was in his flap last Saturday. It had clotted the three inches of vein they had attached to the flap, which is extremely unusual. His flap has been doing well, though, since Saturday, so that's a really good sign. Usually, they only need to see the flap has been doing well for three days, however, with all the complications he's had, they've wanted to wait longer and watch it. Dr. Lassig, the reconstruction doctor, is hoping they can take him off the blood thinners tomorrow, since that will put him at 6 days of his flap being healthy.

Andrew has a fever. At first it was only 100.8. They said it might be because they saw his lung was a little collapsed in his x-ray, which can happen when you've been in bed for a week. But now it is up to 101.8. Over 101.5 is concerning. Please pray that his lungs would be okay.

With all the complications Andrew's had, he seems to be in a catch-22. For instance, yesterday morning, they were finally able to put him in a bed that allowed him to sit up like a chair for an hour and push him around the ICU halls one turn. With that minor activity, he felt sore and exhausted, but this was progress and was part of his physical therapy. He was supposed to do the same thing again today, but because of the bleeding problems with his leg, they decided to postpone his sitting up today. And yet, not laying around, would prevent problems with his lungs.
They even stopped his tube feeding this morning in case he had to return to surgery again. And yet, the sooner he can get that nutrition, the more strength it will give him to heal. They only give him about 60 mL of feeding per hour 24 hours a day. It drips slowly over the hour, so they make sure his stomach reacts well to the feeding. The last thing one needs after oral surgery, let alone everything else that has gone wrong, is to throw up. Thankfully, Dr. Lassig examined him around 4:30 pm, and she said he was okay to go back onto the feedings.

It's very frustrating and uncomfortable having all these tubes draining blood in each of the surgery sites, constricting his movement and often weighing on the cuts, and having the flap pricked and checked every hour, because it is very difficult to get rest. This is again part of the catch-22. He still needs this close monitoring, and yet it prevents him from getting the good rest he also needs.

We are hoping to get out of ICU within the next few days. The way I remember the normal wing of the hospital last year, which was the only place we had to go last time, was that it was a vacation in comparison to this. We could watch movies, play games, Andrew was capable of moving around, and we could have as many visitors as we wanted. Here, Andrew is too messed up to be able to watch movies, too messed up to move around, and aside from visitors being restricted, too messed up for anyone see him.

Nonetheless, Andrew said that when we get out of ICU and into the normal wing of the hospital, we're going to have a party and everyone can come.

Please continue to pray what you've been praying and:

1. that the flap would continue to be healthy

2. that Andrew would heal and for no more complications, especially for the next 48 hours. (especially lungs and leg mentioned above)

3. Pray that we wouldn't get frustrated but trust in the Lord and be content in the circumstances He has given us.


  1. Dear Grace,
    I have never met you, but went to college with Andrew @ UCLA. I have been praying for Andrew and your family everyday since I found out about his condition a week ago. Just to let you know, it was a pleasure to reconnect with Andrew after speaking to him last week before his surgery. You have such a remarkable and strong family, that your prayers will be answered. I have prayed to my God and if there is anything I can do in California, please let me know. I want to send flowers and a card, but do not have an address to send it to. Please email me at and let me know the best mailing address (your home) to send flowers to.
    You are incredible with your strength. Stay strong and tell Andrew all his friends back in California are in prayers.

  2. Grace and Andrew

    Know that we are praying for you all. I know that HE is using this in your lives for a reason. Your courage and strength in HIM is a testimony to people all over the world.

    Grace and Peace,

    Kurt Porter

  3. we love you guys!!!! daily on my knees for your family!!!

  4. One thing is obvious: God is so intensely proud of you and moved on your behalf. As hard as it is for us to understand, it is often His most cherished ones that are chosen to go through the most desperate trials. Know this: For every tear of heartache they will be multiplied with copious tears of joy!

    Lifting you in prayer,

    Ron Taylor