Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Bit More...

Okay, some of you have asked for the rest of the story on what Caleb is facing.

The doctor believes that the valve between the large and small intestines may have been removed, or at least damaged, in Caleb's surgery six years ago. This valve, the ileocaecal valve, is pretty important as one of its many functions is to keep bacteria from escaping from the large intestines into the small.

During his testing in the hospital they found a foreign bacteria in his small intestines that, until this theory was proposed, was perplexing to them. If this proves to be true, they first want to deal with the bacteria (which is what the antibiotic is for) and then deal with the missing or damaged valve.

During the colonoscopy they will be able to see (or not) this valve and assess the state of it.

The surgeon who spoke with the children's GI specialist said that the last, last, last resort is to open him up again and do anything inside his stomach. He said that for a child to have two stomach surgeries leaves him vulnerable to more problems in the future so he wants to avoid that if at all possible. Thus, the importance of the colonoscopy.

So...that's the longer medical version of what's ahead. Thanks for asking!

PS. You know I can't write a post without a picture! No meaning to this one...just brothers loving each other!

April 24, 08 - Another update on this one...the doctors here in the States don't seem to think this valve, present or not, would account for the amount of pain Caleb is experiencing. He hasn't had a test that would reveal whether or not it's there, but given that right now it's not the focus of their testing, I don't know when or if we'll ever know what part this is playing in his present troubles. I did quite a bit of reading on it before we left for the States and it does seem to be a small, but important part of the intestinal system. Time will tell if this has any relevance or not to his situation.


  1. dear caleb, This is Sam and Zac writing to say hi. Sam wanted to let you know that he has a gift for you and we'll get it to you sooner or later. we are thinking about you and just read the update on the blog. we will keep praying for you as they solve this stomach problem to it's end. Hope you have a great day and we'll probably see you at the spring conference. Bye for now.

  2. Hi Connie,

    I haven't written many comments but want you to know I check your blog almost daily and really love hearing about all of your happenings! Am so sad to hear about Caleb and am praying for all of you and for him especially. My heart goes out to him...So difficult! And so brave... Will pray for his continued encouragement and stamina, that the doctors figure things out quickly, and that his pain is soon reduced.

    With love,

    Jenny Trenckmann Matthes