09 June 2008

Update on my wife

Thanks to your prayers, my wife Remedios "Medy" Cruz is now no longer critical. Although she is still in ICU in Makati Medical Center, she is stable and improving. There is still a bile leak that needs to be plugged, but the complications and infections that threatened her liver, kidneys, lungs, and pancreas have been managed by various specialists. There no longer seems to be danger of death. My two daughters (Emily and Luna) have held up very well. Her siblings have helped a lot by their presence (they came from California and Davao). So have the friends that have waved to her through the glass window of the ICU room.

As for me, I have learned a lot in the past three weeks about medicine, but a lot more about family, friends, and God. I am convinced more than ever that heaven listens, particularly if not only two or three but dozens (perhaps hundreds, if we count the multiplier effect of the Internet, SMS, and prayer groups) of friends come together in His name. I went very quickly through the classic stages of shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and testing, and have now accepted that whatever happens is God's will. And I know that everything God does is good for us.

Thank you, dear friends.

FOR THOSE THAT CAME IN LATE (earlier posting to egroups):

My wife, Remedios "Medy" Cruz, underwent a routine laparoscopic cholecystectomy at Makati Medical Center on May 19, Sunday, to remove her gall bladder. Undetected by the earlier ultrasound, the gall bladder turned out to be embedded in her liver, but the surgeon was able to dig it out. A bile leak developed and a drain was placed on her. She was placed under observation in a private room, where we stayed without much incident until May 29, Thursday. The bile leak suddenly increased in volume (it was supposed to have decreased and disappeared). She underwent an ERCP (a diagnostic procedure), and it was discovered that her bile duct had been cut. On May 30, Friday, she went through a jejunostomy roux-en-y, a technically very difficult operation, which went for nine hours, not including pre-op and recovery, to reconnect the duct. On May 31, Saturday, she had acute renal failure, which was solved within two hours by a team of nephrologists. She, however, developed a fever, which up to right now, still persists, indicating an infection. The usual tests have been done, and so far, it appears that at least one infection comes from the bile. She is being bombarded with all kinds of antibiotics. At the moment, there is no pneumonia, which is commonly contracted by patients staying long in a hospital; in fact, fear of contamination initially led the doctors from sending her to the ICU. Now, they have had no choice but to put her in ICU. Paradoxically, when she was in a hospital room, she could not be visited for fear of infection. Now that she is in ICU, she can be seen through a glass window from a visitors' lounge, though only family members are allowed to enter the ICU room, one at a time. Visiting hours are 10 am to 7pm for those in the Metro Manila area. The doctors (there are so many of them I have lost count) have told us that we might lose her if she develops sepsis (if the infection goes to the blood). It is also not even certain yet if the second operation was successful. The worst possible thing now, next to sepsis, is that she has to undergo a third operation.

It will help a lot if friends storm heaven with prayers. My two daughters (Emily, the one living in Silicon Valley; Luna, the game developer who lives with us) are holding up very well, much better than me, I have to admit. You might want to pray for us, too, especially me. I have never panicked this much before. Thank you. And thank you to all those that been helping, particularly on Thursday night, when we had to find A+ blood, which the hospital did not have in stock, for the operation the next day.