We thank God for a successful minor surgery yesterday for Ruthie of having a feeding tube inserted into her stomach. The surgery was quick and fairly easy and over within 45 minutes or so. She has had some pain and exhaustion after the surgery but seems to be recovering well.
She needed to have the feeding tube to her stomach placed because she still is not able to swallow at all and, unfortunately, the doctors and nurses aren’t able to tell her when that will start again. The swelling has gone down significantly in her neck but there still is quite a bit. In addition to this, her muscles in her neck will need to be retrained as how to swallow. They are saying that it can be weeks or even months.
The nasal feeding tube that she has been using (as you can see in the picture) is not a good long term solution as it is uncomfortable, does not help with the neck swelling, and would make it difficult for Ruthie to go out. If she were able to start swallowing in a week, then she would just keep it it in but since they don’t know when she will be able to swallow again, it’s better to go with the stomach feeding tube.
The complication of not swallowing has caused additional tests and time in the hospital and so her release has been delayed. She is now hoping to get out by Friday or Saturday. Because of this and because one of the primary reasons for coming back from Ecuador was to help with Ruthie’s transition home from the hospital, we have moved our return trip back four more days until June 2nd. This way we will have enough time to help with the transition.
We just want to thank you all so very, very much for your prayers!!! Ruthie has mentioned just about once every day that it has been the prayers from everyone (and God’s response to the those prayers of course!) that has been getting her through all of this. She has had some discouraging days but she has been very strong and resilient through this whole process.