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April 30, 2003

Meghan has experienced a few changes since the last update. 

First, she received her immunization shots that were two months overdue due to her neurological problems.  She developed a low-grade fever and was sick for a few days afterward.  Meghan was given an IV to keep her hydrated and antibiotics.  In addition, she struggled to keep her blood oxygen levels up, so she was given oxygen.  During that time, Ellen and I held her to comfort her, but she had two or three consecutive sleepless nights.  When her fever broke on Friday, we resumed physical therapy and Meghan’s regular routine.

Second, Meghan received a “P.E.G. G-Tube” today.  A G-Tube is a tube that is surgically placed directly through her abdominal skin into the stomach.  This will allow us to feed her much easier while she regains her ability to eat orally.  This surgery went well, but Meghan is very sore.  She received morphine for the pain, but we are told that the worst of the pain should be gone in a day or two.  After surgery, her IV went bad, so the doctors ordered another IV to avoid dehydration.  Unfortunately, it took 9 tries to get the second IV in—bringing the total needle pokes in 24 hours to 18 (16 for IV tries and 2 for blood draws).   Ellen and I think this is the very hardest part to watch Meghan go through.
Because of the new G-Tube, Meghan no longer needs the “NJ Tube,” which is a small tube that runs into the nostrils, down the esophagus, through the stomach and directly into the small intestine.  This how she had received her medicine, food and liquids for the past five weeks—now we will use the G-Tube to administer these necessities.  Meghan will be much happier, because the NJ tube caused her to gag often, was uncomfortable, and could cause internal damage if left in her nostrils too long.

Ellen and I received extensive home ventilator training this past week.  There was a lot to learn. The trainer was great!  Since we are not respiratory therapists and there are no Home Ventilators For Dummies books on the market, we will have to learn the basics of the vent via on the job training.  We’ve been told that as we use the ventilator more often, we will become very comfortable with it.  During the past month, Meghan has been a favorite of the nurses on the floor.  In fact, during any given day, Meghan is visited by 8-10 nurses (that are working elsewhere in the hospital) just to see how she is doing and to sneak a peak.  The entire nursing staff is really pulling for her and is looking forward to the day when Meghan walks back into visit them in the future.   That will be an extremely memorable and exciting day…
Please pray often for Meghan.

God bless you.

Mike and Ellen

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