Caleb and I arrived in Portland, OR right on time after our 24 hour trip. Met by my friend Michelle, as well as ER doctor friend, Vernell and her husband, Brian, we all headed straight for the ER at OHSU, making ourselves at home for the five hour wait until he was finally taken in and put in a room. Michelle's mom and dad, Jim and Jan Watson, were there, too - my pastor from years ago and dear friends to this day.
I have never been in an ER in the States so it was quite an experience, one that I will remember for a long time. The staff were so helpful, engaged, professional and yet compassionate. We felt very well cared for there.
They did all sorts of testing on Caleb...carefully watching over him every step of the way. Things in the ER don't move as fast as you think they might though...guess I've watched too much tv somewhere along the way to think that they'd be hustling and bustling around us the whole time! There were long periods of time where it was just Caleb, Jim and I, talking into the wee hours of the morning while the ER personnel consulted and tried to figure out what was the best way to begin dealing with his problem.
In the end they decided to do a different type of CT scan than he'd had in Czech, which meant swallowing 2 liters of barium within an hour...what a champ he was at glugging that stuff down!
My mom, dad and brother joined us around noon as we waited for the results of that test.
Not surprisingly, they found nothing of significance in the scan, nor in the blood work. I'm glad we've been through this before as I was more prepared to hear those results. The last time he went through this, everything came out negative (or positive, depending on how you want to look at it!) and it wasn't until they actually went inside that they found the problem. I wonder if it will be the same this time.
The good news is they were able to get us in to see the Division Chief of Pediatric GI there at the hospital this coming Tuesday (not an easy task getting in as their books were very full). He will take a look at all the labs and scan to make his assessment and recommendation for getting to the bottom of this.
We left the ER 16 hours after we'd come in and went to stay Jim and Jan's house in Portland, just 7 minutes from the hospital. Caleb was terribly nauseated as we walked out the door of ER...kind of strange to be walking out with him feeling so horrible. But we know this is going to take some time to diagnose and treat...I keep reminding myself that we Patty's are often medical oddities!
He continues to have significant pain unless he's on pain killer, which they gave to at least keep him in relative comfort until we go back. He's pretty tired (jet lag doesn't help) and still not eating a lot. But his smile is almost always there and he's had an incredible attitude the whole time. While this is not by any means easy, I see it producing some very sweet fruit in his life.
We have received such an outpouring of e-mails, prayers, love and concern. THANK YOU!! It seems to me that the Lord must have great purpose in all of this since he has called out his saints to cover us in such deep prayer. I can't help but wonder what all this will mean someday in Caleb's life. For sure it is developing a faith and trust in the Lord in all of our lives, something that only comes through adversity and trial.