Another change of course...
Kathleen the nurse practitioner phoned bright and early this morning. Yesterday she sent away the fluid draining from Tyson's JP for testing again. If you can recall from an earlier post, there are three levels that are tested when they send the fluid away. Triglycerides, chylomicrons, and lymphocytes. If any one level is higher than the hospital protocol's set limit, they will treat as chyle. Last time they tested, the triglycerides were very high, but not higher than their limit. (Limit was 1.1, Tyson's level was 0.99) This time the triglyceride count was very good (0.39 because he's on the minimal-fat diet) but his lymphocytes were very high, higher than the hospital's limit. This means that there has likely been some sort of damage to Tyson's lymphatic system during surgery. The chylomicrons were still negative, but since there have now been two levels way too high, they are now considering this a chylothorax and will be following the proper hospital procedures to treat the chylothorax. If we hadn't followed their "recommendation" last week to have Tyson on the minimal fat diet, we would now be "ordered" to start following it anyway. So we are one week ahead of the ball game in bringing down his counts. (Unfortunately, he has to remain on the minimal fat diet for 6 weeks AFTER the tube has been removed!) Also, because it is now being treated as chyle, they are going to follow that protocol, meaning we are starting Tyson on steroids TODAY. Kathleen is calling in the prescription this morning to a local pharmacy here, and Tyson will be starting it as soon as we can. The steroids aim to strengthen and heal the lymphatic vessels that have been damaged and as a result are too porous, that is why they're leaking. I am praying that one week on steroids is enough to bring the fluid draining down, and that we won't have to go through the whole TPN in the hospital. Please pray along with me, that we can avoid another lengthy hospital stay.