Thursday, September 6, 2012

Not Expected

Caleb's doctors appointment yesterday in Cleveland was not what he was expecting!

Caleb and Haley (his girlfriend) arrived into Cleveland at midnight after taking the bus from Chicago. Our friends picked them up downtown (bless you Matt and Sarah!) and they spent the night at their house.

Due to an alarm clock malfunction, they were both late getting up, and didn't have time for breakfast before needing to head out to Cleveland Clinic for his appointments.

Caleb wrote me a note from the clinic saying they were there and that they'd go do some exploring after the quick check-up, and before the longer appointment that afternoon.

But the quick check-up turned into something quite unexpected.

I love this guy! He knew his mom would want a picture...bless you Caleb!
As Dr. Cheng talked with Caleb about the pain, how he's been handling it, and the option of the neurostimulator to ease the pain, he said there was one other thing that he'd rather try first to see if it would give him some relief.

He left the room, during which time I got a message from Caleb saying, "Whoa, they are working on giving me an epidural today! It varies for every person, but it can give up to 4-6 months of relief depending on the person. He prefers that to the spinal stimulation, so he is going to try that".

And just that like, they gave him a hospital gown, put in an IV and he went in for the procedure!

The significance of all of this was the fact that for one, they only had four procedures scheduled that day (far less than normal) which made it possible for him to get in quickly - relatively unheard of in such a place as this.

But even more importantly...Caleb had an empty stomach! If he'd eaten breakfast, they would not have been able to try the epidural. Praise the Lord for His unusual, yet perfect ways of taking care of things by letting that alarm clock drop and send the batteries across the floor! Had Caleb been up on time and eaten that morning, he couldn't have had this done, which would've meant another trip to Cleveland in order to try the epidural.

With no time to spare after the procedure, he and Haley made it over to the other hospital a half hour away, for his second appointment regarding certification for the neurostimulator. That's still an option, but on the back burner right now while he waits to see if the epidural injection has any impact on his pain.

The two of them had just enough time after that appointment to get the borrowed car back to Matt and Sarah, and for Sarah to take them downtown to the bus station in time to leave for Chicago. Quite the whirlwind trip to Cleveland!

There is relatively no information that I could find online about this method for helping with his type of pain. Generally the epidural injection is related to back and leg pain, or sometimes is done for migraines. But I didn't see anything about pain that stems from nerve damage in the muscle wall of the stomach. Guess that's not as common.

However, Dr. Cheng is a renowned expert in these things so we trust that he knows the potential of this treatment, and Caleb will just wait to see if it has any impact on him.

If not, he'll be back on the bus to see Dr. Cheng to figure out the next steps.

The one thing he said was that sometimes this type epidural gives the nerves a break and a chance to regenerate, even though it's been ten years since they were damaged.

For sure we'll be praying about that!

In any case, we're thrilled by the Lord's ways and how He is going above and beyond to care for Caleb. It especially means a lot to us as we're far away and yet, he truly is in the hands of his better Parent! :)

Thankful Haley could be there with him too!

PS. He called us this afternoon to say that when he woke up, he noticed a change in the pain level already! Thank you Lord!

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