Garret and Jennifer Jones

Garret and Jennifer Jones
Garrett and Jennifer Jones

Monday, May 30, 2011

Week Four

Fri. morning, May 20
Just spoke with day nurse and numbers are encouraging for now. His blood gas oxygen level is hovering between 75 & 80 and his Sat O2 level is low 90's. A very good first 10 hours on this incredible machine that wasn't even around 25 years ago when he came into this world at 3 lbs. 7 oz. Now it is used predominantly on children much less than 6'-4" and 275 lbs. But there it sits, poundin roughly 3 breaths a second into his lungs. Thank you God.

Fri. evening:
 For all you "early to bed early to rise" folks, heres a mid evening update, instead of midnight. We've had a day of steadily increasing oxygen stats, s-l-o-w-l-y decreasing carbon dioxide levels and increased lung capacity. We've moved from a 1-100 scale of 5 to maybe a 15. But hey, beggars can't be choosers, and I've done my share of begging the Almighty lately. Doctors are "Cautiously optimistic". And if we've learned anything going through Brandons journey and Garett's roller coaster, it's no to get too comfortable or count your bytes before they download. But I'll feel a little better about going home to sleep tonight than I have in weeks. Can somebody knock on wood for me? Thanks to Stacie, my niece, for editing my Ambien induced blabbering last night. I owe you one , girl.

Saturday morning, May 21
Just spoke with day nurse, and she says Garrett had an uneventful night. His O2 requirements are down to around 75-80% from 100%. No steak and potatoes or sitting on side of bed, but that will come. Specific prayers that pneumonia will start to be affected by the antibiotics he's getting. Getting lungs back in working order has started, but his white count remains in the hight 40Ks. Think I'll go to nursing school when this is all over, I've got more med info swimming in my grey matter than I ever thought.  More later, thanks again from Janell, Kevin and me, and I know from Garrett for all your prayers. We're onthe 9th floor of the North Pavillion at UAB, Just ask for the Jones Waiting Suite when you get off the elevator!

Saturday evening, Janell's sister Joan posted this update:
Hello friends praying for Garrett. I just spoke with his mom. Everything is still about the same with the respirator and his breathing. We are thrilled he did not go backwards today! The other big problem at the moment is his astronomical white blood count. It has continued to climb even though he is still on six antibiotics. The doctor has said if they can not get the infection under control, all the progress that has been made with the respirator will be in vain. The infection is thought to be concentrated in his lungs but that is not know with 100% certainty. The cause of the infection is still not 100% certain either. So, please continue to pray for his lungs to heal and the infection to be wiped out!

Thank you all so much for the prayers. We have seen improvement.

And Sat. evening, May 21, Frank was back online:
Just finished a bedside visit, and it sure is easier to stand there and pray knowing the downhill slide has leveled out. But still such a long way to go. Janell hung a pic of him as a newborn, 3 1/2 lb. preemie and the nurses are loving it. One of them shaved him yesterday and gave him back his goatee that had become full beard. They are sure loving on him. Please pray specifically for the pneumonia which is just not responding to any of 6 antibiotics he is currently taking. Pray also that his kidneys continue to hold up, which is truly a miracle in itself. Tomorrow, the Lords Day, will, I hope, find all of you in His house praising Him for answered prayer. I may try to take in a service at a church close to the hospital, just don't feel clear headed enough to attempt to lead my congregation tomorrow. Don't know what time my next update will be on Sunday, so until then.....

Sunday morning:
Just woke up and called Nurses Station. They had been slowly easing down the pressure settings all day yesterday but around 2AM, he reacted negatively to their lower setting, so they had to go back up one step. Not what they wanted to see, but just a leveling where they were hoping for another micro-step. Infection count is down VERY slightly, not any victory there yet. Please pray today for continued lung improvement, and mostly for the infection which is still raging. "This is the day the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!"

Sunday evening:
Kind of an uneventful day, thank you Lord! Garrett has remained steady on his new ventilator, and they have made micro adjustments to it in order to trick his lungs and its working. He has developed a slight fever of 100.5, but no concern by Dr's or nurses below 102.5. His heart rate is slightly elevated, but the two combined may mean his system is starting to fight the infection. Notice I said might be. But still no steps backward. I left the hospital this morning and attended services at Glen Iris Baptist, about 10 blocks from the hospital. Lord I needed that. Message was on how the general was sent to Elisha when he developed leprosy and was told to go dip in the Jordan 7 times. He had the faith to do so, and was healed. Before this valley is over, I hope I keep enough faith to do whatever He asks of me. I have definately let Him down a few times lately.
Have a good night everybody. I'll try to update in the morning.

Mon. morning, May 23
Day nurse says Garrett has improvement in his blood gasses and x-rays. Fever is up to 103 so there drawing blood cultures to see if they can tell whats going on, but she says she is encouraged by what she has seen. Will update more later.

Mon. evening
Have been w/Garrett most of day, well, in waiting room,, but have had several visitors. He still has a fever, but not to worry. We spoke with the head Dr and he says he is "Encouraged" by the progress made in the last 4 days, especially last 36 hours. tentative plans if he continues his baby steps, will be a return to the original ventilator Wed. morn, which will provide needed relief from the high pressures of this one. Also stated that right lung shows approx 25% clarity or (Oxygen holding capabilities) which is more than they've seen in 3 weeks. So, we are ahead of where we were last week this time, and millions of prayers ahead of 3 1/2 weeks ago, thanks to so many who don't even know me, much less Garrett. Hopefully, Chris Pallone (? hope thats right) will do an update in a few weeks when we leave the hospital! I'll update again in the morning between 8-9AM, unless he throws us a curveball before then.

Tues, May 24, AM

Just checked in w/ day nurse and she says Garrett is continuing his baby steps. White count is coming in steps ( down from 58,000 last week to 37,000 this morning. Hopefully, we'll be given permission today to be able to attend to his affairs that we need legal permission to do.
What an awesome group of professionals are taking care of my son. And today, we ask you to alternate your prayers on Garretts behalf. Please ask the Lord to bless every person that has had an earthly part in getting him back to this point, and to answer their prayers and meet their needs. They've been so good to us, and are loving on our whole family, especially Tiny Man.
More later......
Tues. evening:
Stephanie here. Garrett's in crisis again. His lungs are taking a dive, and his heart rate is up, though his blood pressure is holding steady. Kidney labs are slightly worse, but he's still putting out urine. Frank doesn't have his computer with him, and isn't up to posting right now anyway, so he asked me to put this out to let you know what was going on so you could send up specific prayers for Garrett. Thanks, everyone.

And later Tues. night:
Got another phone call from Frank. It's time for a miracle now. Garrett's blood gases are worsening, he's on meds to keep his blood pressure up, and the doctors have nothing more to offer. We know it has always been in God's hands, but this is it. Frank and Janell and Kevin are united in their decision to let the Lord have him if that's what He decides. Family (who can be there) and friends are gathered 'round, loving and supporting them. We still believe in miracles; we haven't given up hope, and we thank you for your continued prayers.

Two and a half hours later:
The physicians decided the "pediatric" ventilator had accomplished what they had hoped, and changed Garrett back to the first ventilator again. He normally doesn't do well with changes, but did not lose ground with this transition. He is still very critical, but he is still with us. Keep praying, please. We feel it.

VERY Early Wed. morning, May 25

I sit here in the waiting room, everyone has left except Janell, and she is dozing. I think back over the last 12 hours and it seems like 12 days. But my heart is not heavy. For I know that I have witnessed a miracle. Garrett's CO2 levels have fallen from 106 at 2:00 this afternoon, to 66 at 2AM. Absolutely incredible and so much more than was expected. His O2 is still very low but there are still adjustments to be made on the vent. His pH levels which were critically low have risen to the best since he came to ICU.He survived a transfer from one machine to another, which I believe, in their hearts, they did not expect. He is still holding onto the edge of the cliff with his fingernails. I can't explain, but in the face of all this, I had a confident peace that no matter which way it went, God would get the glory. Yeah, I've heard a lot of "thank God"'s tonight, but it's almost like my heart was expecting this but my mind was saying othwerwise. The Master of the sea lives in my heart.
"When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrow like sea billows roll
What ever my lot Thou hast taught me to say
It Is Well, It Is Well with my soul."

Once again, ya'll have prayed our family through another storm. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.Thank you, Mike Royer, for being willing to share our story and prayer needs. I don't know how today will unfold. but I promised Garrett 3 1/2 weeks ago I would pray him through this. From one father to The Father, thank you.

Wed. afternoon
Garrett still resting as comfortable as you can in a med induced coma. No real changes, but Co2 still a concern, but my prayers are directed at conquering the pneumonia. Can't understand why it does not respond to any antibiotic, even the big guns. God is the only answer here, and I am praying & believing His guidance will lead the doctors to an answer, or He will remove it himself. Know all of you reading this will join with me in petitioning Him.

Wed. night
Fixin to leave the hospital, and no curveballs today! We do have a little concern over a chest tube put in the left chest cavity today that is really draining some serious amounts. Wasn't thought to be fluid that prompted it's insertion, thought it was air. But not the case. Left lung does show some pneumonia involvement in left lung now, so it's more urgent that God "do His thing", and I don't mean that irreverently.
I am still amazed at the number of folks wanting updates and showing such love and care for us, especially Garrett. With Brandons journey, it was spread out over 4 years. But this has been compressed into four weeks and I just feel so unworthy of such atteention being paid to us when so many are hurting. But because of everyones prayers we still have our son and words can never express our gratitude! I cannot and will not give up, because as a Christian father, what kind of faith in my God am I showing my son if I just hope for a cure. I'm expecting it. But my time frame and God's are obviously in different sliding scales right now.
I'll update again in the morning when I call in for an early report, probably between 7-9AM.

(At this point, there are 5 chest tubes in place--3 on the right and 2 on the left.  Garrett is still under a "Do Not Turn" order. It has been 4 weeks since he was found in the rubble.)

Thurs. morning, May 26
Good Morning! A call in to the night nurse around 5:30 revealed some further deetails. A medication he's been on thats given to bed ridden patients to help w/blood flow also has a slight thinning effect as well. Garretts body has embraced that small one side effect and magnified it so that not only is his clotting abilities been slightly compromised, the oxygen carrying capabilities have been lightly impaired as well. He had a night full of ups and downs with his oxygen and carbon dioxide stats, but has been given a drug that should reverse the thinning effect. His lungs are so sensitive to movement of his bodythat it has also prevented things such as the normal procedures done to prevent bedsores, the ability to move him to do a CT scan, and several other things they would normaly do for a patient with his injuries. He's been paralyzed now for two weeks, on a ventilator for 4 weeks. Improvement of his lungs is just very neccesary. Seems like 75% of his problems could be cleared up if the lungs would clear up. Hope this helps you folks know how to pray. Those standing in for Garrett in prayer services might have hands laid on their lungs while praying. Hope this is not TMI, but it helps to know what to pray for specifically. More later in the day. Thanks everybody.

Thurs. afternoon
We have had a day of soul searching as we know that if conditions don't improve greatly in several areas, we will be forced to make possible life changing decisions for our son. I talked at length with a chaplain here, and her words were simple but clear. Her prayers for us after knowing us for four weeks are that (a) God will do what is best for Garrett and (b) what will bring the most glory to God, whatever that may be. There is nothing wrong with praying for healing, but if His will is not to heal Garrett here on earth, then we are trying to change Gods will. Not impossible, but improbable. She suggests we pray that God will, through our prayers, bring us in line with His will. And that, to me, makes sense. With literally thousands praying for us, I would ask that all of you pray that for us. God knows whats in our heart before we pray. But my prayers will be more effective if they ARE claiming His will, and not praying against His will. Does that make sense? I'm not blessed with articulation, but hopefully I've conveyed my thoughts well enough for you to understand. I'm still believing a miracle is coming, and that is the ONLY thing, according to the Doctors, that will change my Tiny Mans condition.

Thurs. night
Today has been extremely challenging. I realize my earlier post was vague, but due to my middle son not knowing about a crisis we were in, and not needing to inform him of it till after he got off work, I could not say anything for fear of it getting back to him before we could talk. Here is what transpired today. When we arrived at the hospital this morning we were informed of the Trauma dept head dr's of the need to put Garrett on dialysis due to worsening chemical imbalances, and early signs of possible kidney distress. The decision was ours, and being blindsided with this life changing scenario was quite distressing. This could effect Garretts quality of life when God allows him to walk out of here. Plus putting him on it will open a whole new world of infection possibilities. After stuggling for a couple of hours and deciding to allow it, the chief kidney specialist was called in and after his study of Garretts case and current evaluation, decided that it was not neccesary today, but could be at a future date. Maybe tomorrow, next week, but not today.
Then at 8PM tonight, Garretts pulse suddenly jumped from 120 to 200 and his BP started dropping. A facebook prayer request blitz happened at that time, thanks to a friend I was talking with when the doctor came to inform us of the crisis. A couple of shots os some kind of medication, and then a jolt from the paddles put him back in stride and 30 minutes after it happened he was back to his normal settings.

So now you are all up to date, and know why the earlier post wasn't more informative. Another days ride on the Garrett Coaster. We know there are more of these kinds of days ahead, and simply ask God for wisdom, strength for the journey, and the peace that passes all understanding. Good night everybody. (or good morning!)
I do read all comments and messages, but with so many, I can't respond to every one, but please know my appreciation and love for all of you can't be put in words!


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