Monday, September 10, 2012

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Let us start by saying that today has definitely been better than yesterday, although we still have a long way to go.  We have been getting very nervous because Will is not eating anything and his intestines are, um...not moving.  Other than a few french fries Thursday night, Will is now on his 8th day without eating anything.  Every time we've tried to get him to eat he just pushes the food away.  We've been trying to sneak very small pieces of food into his mouth, such as a single Cheerio.  We have tried soft foods, crunchy foods, snack foods, favorite foods, smoothies and shakes, all to no avail.  Any time we have been successful in getting something in his mouth, he either spits it right back out, or if he chews it, he vomits almost immediately.  The neurosurgery team came in this morning and were followed by the hospital's dietician.  We were told that if Will doesn't eat by Tuesday (tomorrow) morning, they will need to put in a feeding tube.

Looking stylish but a bit too skinny
We knew had to get him off of the strong narcotic pain medicine if we stood any chance of getting him to eat.  This morning after talking to the neurosurgery team we decided to take a leap of faith and replace his Hycet (like Vicodin for kids) with plain old Tylenol at his scheduled pain medication time.  We also had the dietician send an order for him to have an Ensure protein shake, as he has been getting these at home as we tried to plump him up in preparation for this surgery and likes them.  There were some rough moments as the Tylenol was obviously not as strong as the previous painkiller, but we made it through.  Shockingly, Will is only 3 1/2 days out from major two stage brain surgery, and he is now only getting Tylenol and Motrin for pain.  Try to imagine an adult doing that.  We have said it before but will say it again, Will's strength is absolutely amazing.

By this evening, Will finished two of the protein shakes, and has really perked up to the point that he actually smiled a few tiny little smiles.  We went and got Will his favorite food - french fries from Wendy's in the hospital, and he was able to eat two bites before giving up and spitting out a third.  We are starting to wonder if some of the swelling in his brain is impacting his ability to chew on the right side, which would likely subside in a few days if that is the case.  We're not going to push it at this point.  Thankfully he was able to eat something, and we are hoping the protein shakes will be enough to avoid a feeding tube.

Will has pulled the gauze wrap off of his head so many times that even the nurses are getting sick of rewrapping it, and each time we do it is torture to him because we have to hold his head to do it.  We had a tense moment today when the tape from his gauze caught on the internal drain tube which is still inside his skull and it almost got yanked.  After Will's last surgery, we purchased a skull cap to be able to put on him when we went out in public to avoid the inevitable stares and uncomfortable questions from curious onlookers.  We showed it to the neurosurgery team, and they agreed to let him wear that instead of his head wrap.  He is a lot more comfortable, and now when he pulls it off, we can just slip it back on.  Plus, he looks a bit stylish now too.

It is looking like we might be here a day or two longer than initially anticipated to make sure that he can eat and drink on his own.  Our neurologist suggested that once Will stabilizes they might discharge us from the hospital and then we could just remain in Detroit at a hotel for a day or two rather than going home.  That way, we can get Will into a more comfortable environment while at the same time be sure he will tolerate the drive home and know that we won't have to try to rush back if something goes wrong.


  1. His strength is amazing! I'm glad you got him to drink those shakes! Hopefully you will get to head home soon! Thoughts and prayers for you all every day!

  2. Praying for you guys now... For more strength each day and more smiles from Will.

    Love Kacie

  3. Sue Patterson SwigerSeptember 11, 2012 at 9:50 PM

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  4. I've seen a lot of big hunky sports guys wearing Under Armour (looks like Will is too!). He's tougher than all of them combined! - The Ondrlas