We are in St. Louis and have Ethan admitted to St. Louis Children's Hospital. With our limited experience in the several hours since we've been here, I can say that the care is an order of magnitude better than in Phoenix. In fact, it's dumbfounding that the care is actually so much better.
We checked in at 11:30am this morning, and by 12:15pm we were in a Care Conference with Dr. Keating ("House") and his team which included doctors, nurses, and speech therapists as well as specialists in multiple disciplines. From that meeting, they have a clear plan for the next several days which includes a neurologist visit.
When the GI specialist heard how many calories he was receiving into his intestines, he immediately attributed his constant diarrhea to that. Needless to say, his formula has been changed that is going into his intestine, and the TPN into his central line will likely be adjusted tomorrow. We'll see how that goes, but interesting that they have some changes to make right off the bat.
But wait, there's more!!! As I sit here typing, they have him eating Graham Crackers and baby food -- the first time anything has gone into his mouth in three months!!! Keep in mind, we have been here under 5 hours. How his stomach handles the food is still to be determined, but the fact that he's eating actually brings tears to my eyes as I type this.
The level of focus, cross-specialty communication, and care for Ethan is literally "off-the-charts". At this point, we can only imagine that our prayers are being answered in a very specific way, and that we have come to this hospital by the hand of God. But God ordinarily works through ordinary means, and the relationship my brother-in-law has with the hospital president has certainly made a difference. We were greeted as we stepped out of the van to get into admissions, and the nurses and speech therapist said that when Dr. Keating talks, people move! And people are moving, and Dr. Keating is a very pleasant person as well.
The risk of writing these updates in somewhat of a journal form is that you get the ups-and-downs of our journey as they happen. So today is a great day, and we hope that this continues. I am overwhelmed with emotion right now, and we hope and pray to keep the good momentum going. I never thought seeing my son eat food would choke me up.
On another note, my sister and brother-in-law who live in St. Louis have taken on the babysitting project of our other three children. The boys went swimming, caught lightening bugs (my sister pays 5 cents per bug!), and went for ice cream last night. Today they visited the zoo and got snow cones, and they have plenty more activities lined up. Needless to say, they are not going to want to come home!
Thank you everyone in all ways big and small -- we just couldn't do it without everything we have been blessed with. It has also been a huge blessing that my work has allowed me to get Ethan to the hospital and my boys settled in St. Louis, and that through the generosity of a family in our church, we were able to all travel over here together. WOW!
That's the news for now. . . .