Last evening Jody had the embolization procedure to plug the bleeding in his lungs. The picture below is of him before he left to have it done (and of him laughing at me taking yet another picture).
This procedure involved entering the lungs via the femoral artery in the groin, locating the bleeding in the bronchial arteries by injecting dye, and finally injecting the clotting material. Jody’s bronchial arteries were abnormally enlarged from his CF, so the procedure took quite a bit longer than was expected. The radiologist explained that in most cases they only need to use three vials of micro beads (the clotting substance), but in Jody’s case they used 11, and decided to stop at that for risk of injecting too much and having it travel to an unwanted area. The radiologist also said that this was the most he had ever used on a patient (to which Jody and I did a high-five – hey, you gotta keep things lite, right?). Fortunately, the procedure was a success, that’s the good news.
The bad news is that because of how aggressively they treated the area, and because of how much treatment it required, intense pain is to be expected over the next 24-48 hrs as those vessels die off, and it has already begun. Currently Jody is being treated with oxygen to minimize how hard he has to work to breathe, and oral narcotics for the pain. The doctors have also offered a PCA (IV pain medication that Jody can release himself by pushing a trigger) if he feels the oral meds are not effective enough. The plan for now is to monitor him through the weekend and watch and wait for this pain to subside. Please pray that he can rest comfortable, and for the pain to be minimal. Additionally, pray that lying in bed, not coughing, and the fact that he is off his nebulizer medications does not cause him to develop a lung infection. They are treating him with IV antibiotics to prevent this but I know that Jody’s lungs can’t afford another infection so this is a concern of mine.
On a positive note, we have been very happy with the care he has received thus far, and are thankful to be here at Johns Hopkins.