Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. I'm still discouraged, and physically, not feeling quite as good as yesterday, but spiritually, I am much better. So thanks for all your support - the Lord truly uses it to lift me up and get my eyes where they need to be. This afternoon and evening, I've been feeling like I did right before they found the abscess, which makes me nervous. Running some tests tonight to rule out other possible causes of infection and hopefully see what's going on. We're still discussing changing antibiotics or doing more scans, but these are things we'd truly prefer to NOT do. Please pray that the infection will clear up and that I can continue to progress in an upward direction...
Dr. A's sub came by and we chatted for awhile. He's sorry for all that I've been going through. He said that on the one hand, the way my stomach feels now may be the new reality: I have IBD, and there simply isn't a good understanding of how these diseases work, and the treatments just aren't so great. On the other hand, he told me about a patient who had a very tough time following surgery, like me. Infections and stuff lingered and she felt terrible, despite all the right treatments. Then one day, without changing her treatment or anything, she simply started improving and gradually got better. So that may happen to me. But we are all disappointed with how little things are changing with me and how long everything is taking. I mean, it's very good that I'm not getting dramatically worse, but it's frustrating that I'm not getting much better.
I really need to get off TPN, but first I have to prove that I can get in enough nutrition by mouth - the protein is especially important. The doctors want me to order any kind of food that I want, and the dietitians are visiting me a bunch and bugging me to drink nasty protein supplements. I was able to eat some soup and bread today (the soup had noodles, so that's progress!). I also tried this stuff called ProStat - 15 grams of protein in just a few ounces of goo. It tasted... nasty. I got in a fair amount, but it made my stomach really unhappy. It looks like I'm probably going to have to drink Ensure/Boost for a while to get in the nutrition I need. My stomach just doesn't seem to be ready to handle food. I've lived solely off of nutritional drinks like that before for a few weeks at a time to help recover from bad flare-ups, so I think I could do it again... we'll see... I'm still hoping that maybe all my stomach issues are just from this infection that won't die. Hopefully we can clear the infection, and then my stomach will be healthy and happy and I can eat without pain and get fat. ;)
Yesterday night, the tornado passed pretty close to the hospital! Storm sirens were going off and everything! First, they made us close our blinds (not sure what good that does, though!) and keep our doors open. Then, they called a "Code Black" (bad weather code), and all the patients had to be moved out into the hallways! Fortunately, this only lasted for about half an hour. Nothing like a little excitement to liven up the hospital! ;)