Sorry for the lack of updates and for the last post. The whole family has been tired from everything and I accidentally queued up my last post before this one. In any case, CJ is much better and was discharged last Wednesday and went back to school today. Praise the Lord!
This is the fluid that was drained from CJ’s right lung after the first day which also includes the softener that was injected into the chest tube to help break up the pus called empyema.
If you look really closely you can see some really thick pus in there.
This is how much fluid was drained after the third day.
After much debate because CJ was still experiencing high fevers after the second day of drainage, he was put on around the clock tylenol which helped suppress, but obviously didn’t heal the fevers. Finally on Saturday CJ turned the corner as he only had a slight fever over night within a 24 hour period while regaining a little of his strength and appetite. It was then that we were able to get him out of bed and walking around to help expand his lungs. From then on out CJ’s health continued to improve as he was eating and walking a lot more. He was also back to his old self as he was saying no a lot and watching a ton of movies
The doctors were satisfied with the drainage and his chest tube was pulled Sunday afternoon. Although x-rays still showed some residual, there wasn’t anything else the chest tube could have done and further drainage would have to be done via surgery. CJ stayed on antibiotics and continued to do well as he was discharged on Wednesday.
Before he left the hospital, CJ had a picc line inserted in the inside of his right elbow so that he could still receive seven more days of IV antibiotic medication, every eight hours. For the most part, CJ has been excellent with all the needles and medications. I definitely would have freaked out to have a tube inserted into my chest and then a half foot picc line leading into my heart. Right now he’s been great at home and one wouldn’t be able to figure out that he’s still part machine.
This entire experience has been nuts, but we’re so thankful that CJ’s aggressive pneumonia is mostly gone and we’re all home together again. Grace was beyond amazing, staying by CJ’s side the whole time and sleeping for eight nights on a hospital couch. She was emotionally and physically exhausted as there wasn’t much rest for Grace because the nursing staff and four medical teams, medical, surgery, pulmonary, and infectious disease were constantly checking up on him, but her love for our son propelled her to advocate and fight for our son’s well-being, literally.
There was a point after the chest tube was inserted into CJ when his high fevers still persisted every five hours and Grace questioned the doctors about what they were doing to get rid of the fevers which were making CJ extremely miserable. She yelled at the surgery team because they initially weren’t concerned about the pneumonia and fevers and just cared about the drainage. Things got intense and so the four medical teams gathered together with Grace so that everyone could be on the same page with CJ’s plan of treatment. As part of our patient rights, Grace had the chief of pediatric surgery fired off of CJ’s case and chose a better doctor who was already on the team and was more invested in CJ’s condition.
God has bestowed Grace with much wisdom and intuition as a medical professional and mother, and I’m so thankful that He gave her the perseverance and faith to endure everything and love our son. And we’re so thankful for our family and friends who helped us take care of EJ, visit CJ at the hospital with gifts, and interceded to God on our behalf for CJ’s life. The love and support was overwhelming. And CJ received so much as if it was his birthday all over again.
In the end, we praise the Lord for healing CJ and providing us what we needed to get through everything. We’re reminded that prayer is essential for living a life that is dependent upon God’s grace and that Christ is sufficient when we’re weak.
This is an excellent video about what CJ had from his pneumonia, pleural effusion.
And this is a souvenir x-ray of CJ’s chest from the afternoon before we brought him to the hospital. You can clearly see the cloudiness in the right lung which signified that there was pus.