On Sunday we took Kol for his treatment, and then were lazy for the rest of the day. It was just what we needed. We saw more evidence of improvement in Kol's health; more subtle signs that he is doing better. He hasn't needed as much morphine in the last 2 days. He finally had a bowel movement - the first in a week (I know - he'll probably be mortified that I'm talking about this) which was a big relief. In more ways than one. :-) He had 2 more today. Morphine causes constipation, which can in turn greatly increase pain levels, and increase the need for morphine. Morphine also makes people groggy, and reduces interest in eating. We don't want Kol to need more morphine.
I was also concerned that Kol wasn't eating much. He just had no appetite, and seemed weak. Morphine works better (is absorbed better, and it's effects last longer) on a full stomach, so we were giving him green smoothies every time he got morphine, but it wasn't enough to sustain him. For Christmas we bought ourselves a new juicer that will juice spinach, kale, and wheatgrass in addition to apples, carrots, etc. It was finally delivered the day we left, so we brought it with us. Saturday evening I found an organic grocery store and was able to get veggies and wheatgrass, so I've been giving Kol a few ounces of green juice every couple of hours all day yesterday and today. He doesn't like the juice, and is getting more vocal about not liking it every time I give it to him (which I think is a good thing) but I know that he's at least getting concentrated, good quality nutrients into his body. The nutrients from green juice are very bio-availabe, and easily absorbed by the body, so he doesn't need to use his limited energy to digest his food. It also works as a natural, gentle laxative. In a day, Kol had the juice from an entire bag of spinach, 5 or 6 carrots, a whole head of broccoli, a big bunch of kale, a bit of wheatgrass, 1/2 of a beet, some Brussels sprouts and 1/2 of a cucumber. I also added some ground up seeds to his juice once today. I'm still not sure he's getting enough calories yet, but I do think that'll come.
Today Kol got another PICC line inserted. We went to a local children's hospital to have that done by an expert. I was really impressed with the staff there - I expected some hassle, or lecture about using alternative, unproven treatments, but they were actually very supportive. I think some off that might also be from the way the system is set up - as long as you're willing to pay, they'll do whatever you want. The person who put the line in really knew her stuff, although it still took her 4 tries. Kol's veins are just so small and fragile that it's tough to get a line in. He's really starting to look a bit bruised. It took 5 tries to get an IV in him in Saskatoon last week, 2 more tries here on Friday to get an IV, and now 4 pokes to get the PICC in. This should be the end of it, though. Before the PICC insertion, Kol sat up, watching TV, with his eyes open for close to an hour, in bright lights. When we got his IV at the same place on Friday, he sat very still the entire time with his hand shielding his closed eyes. By the end of the PICC line insertion, though, he was in a lot of pain and needed a morphine boost. He was not happy at all with the procedure. I can't blame him.
The improvement we're seeing could just be because the blood from the broken vessel is finally being cleared away, and re-absorbed, or it could be more. One thing DMSO is known for is it's anti-inflammatory properties. It can be sprayed on a swollen ankle, and you could literally watch the swelling go down within minutes. Administered internally, it reduces any inflammation in the body. If it does nothing else, it is at least helping to reduce the pain Kol has been having.
Thank-you again - from the bottom of our hearts - for all of your support, positive comments, e-mails, phone calls, and most of all for your prayers. God is doing great things and I'm really excited to see what comes out of all of this. Our attitudes are improving, and we're not quite as tired as we were but we're still feeling the distance. We'll be here at least 19 or 20 more days, and I'm sure we'll have more good days, and more bad days. I'm more confident that we'll make it through now.