Cleft Lip and Palate News

Updates on Kenny’s health: August-September 2014

This page has now been archived and is not being updated. It is still available as a record of the acute updates in the six week period following 11 August 2014.

Update 27: Wednesday 17 September, 19:00

Each day has been getting a little bit easier and there are still a number of highs and lows, but as we approach the 6 week mark, we also are getting closer to approaching normality. Kenny has now been back at Uni for almost 2 weeks and back at work for almost 3 weeks. He will be returning to his flat this weekend also. He will also travel to Auckland this weekend for work commitments now that he has been given the all clear to travel within New Zealand. The puree diet continues and will do so for some time yet. As there is less to report on each day, this updates page will be archived today. Further updates will be available as seperate blog posts on this website, but the more acute updates that this page served to deliver are no longer needed. This page will remain as an archive but will no longer be updated.

Update 26: Thursday 11 September, 16:00

One month on today. Kenny returned to University on Monday and has been taking each day at a time. Although it is tiring, he is managing half day mornings okay. He had a follow up appointment today to evaluate progress and change bands/wires etc. Things seem to be progressing well apart from a skin condition which will be managed accordingly.

Update 25: Sunday 7 September, 11:00

Well here we are almost four weeks post-op. There has been little change since Friday. Consequently, the following decisions have been made. 1) To return to uni tomorrow on a ‘try and see’ basis – i.e. Kenny will start back tomorrow but will continually evaluate to ensure that he is able to do so without hindering recovery and 2) to not return to his flat until at least Monday 15 September. This is not a decision taken easily, but we believe it’s best to take things one thing at a time, and combining returning to uni with complete responsibility for his own modified diet and other household tasks at a time when he still requires 10-12 hours sleep per night seems like it could be a bit much at this stage, so we are taking a conservative approach so as to keep recovery time to a minimum.

Update 24: Friday 5 September, 18:00

The relapses of Monday-Wednesday came to a peak on Wednesday night producing a lot of pain and increased swelling and discomfort. This may have been a case of starting to do too much, too soon, particularly when it is still early days in the grand scheme of things. Rest on Thursday appears to have helped somewhat. Kenny is still very tired and needs a lot of sleep. An evaluation of his fitness to return to his flat and uni will take place on Sunday morning.

Update 23: Wednesday 3 September, 10:00

There has been a bit of relapse over the last couple of days in terms of there being quite a lot of pain, particularly at night. We are keeping an eye on the situation – it could potentially just be the result of more sensation starting to return, or due to increased activity including talking when going to work etc. At this stage Kenny will return to his flat no earlier than Sunday 7 September. The plan is still (at this stage) to return to university on Monday 8 September but this could not happen on current pain and fatigue levels so this will be re-evaluated again on Friday.

Update 22: Monday 1 September, 18:00

Little change in terms of swelling and discomfort over the last couple of days. Kenny reports a feeling of increased tension but this could be being caused as sensation slowly begins to return. Kenny returned to work at both Cleft New Zealand and The TalkLink Trust today and was very pleased to be back. Returning to work duties is a big step forward in his recovery. For visitors wishing to see Kenny, please be advised that Soleares Ave re-opened today and so people can come straight up there without having having to take detours.

Update 21: Saturday 30 August, 11:00

Little change over the last couple of days. Swelling and discomfort remain about the same. Kenny is managing to complete small amounts of university work, although concentration is limited to about an hour or so. Although still eating a puree diet with a teaspoon, Kenny is getting faster at this and managing to eat larger meals as time goes on. It is anticipated that he will return to work on light duties on Monday, which will be 3 weeks since the operation, and he is looking forward to returning to work.

Update 20: Thursday 28 August, 14:00

Things appear to have been progressing well over the last two days despite earlier setbacks. Kenny had a hospital appointment today to change bands etc. and to evaluate healing etc. The jaws are still very tender and so whilst bands were able to be changed, the decision was made not to change wires for another couple of weeks. Kenny is spending a bit more time outdoors, going for walks etc. and is reporting that this is making him feel better. Swelling and discomfort are still present but he has managed to reduce pain relief which is good. Still early days in the grand scheme of things, but keeping fingers crossed that things continue to progress positively. Kenny released a blog post on Tuesday regarding the recovery which is available here. Kenny is anticipating returning to work part time at both Cleft New Zealand and The TalkLink Trust on light duties on Monday 1 September as initially planned. Kenny was originally anticipated to return home to his flat on this date, but he’s decided to delay this by at least 5 days to Saturday 6 September and will re-evaluate this closer to the time. At this stage he is still planning to return to University on Monday 8 September as planned, but again, will re-evaluate this and confirm closer to the time.

Update 19: Tuesday 26 August, 11:00

Day 16 today. Unfortunately, Kenny has had a couple of setbacks in the last couple of days and we now just have to keep fingers and toes crossed that the palate repair part of the operation has held at the nasal end as unfortunately there is evidence that it may have opened up. Naturally, Kenny is feeling a bit down about this but thoroughly enjoys it when friends come to visit – even if he does seem tired, you do definitely cheer him up!

Update 18: Sunday 24 August, 11:00

Day 14 today and doing okay today, still a fair deal of discomfort and also tension on the top jaw as everything starts to approximate into its new position. Visitors are welcome by appointment. At this point, updates will move to once every two days as there is less change from day to day than in the initial days. You can also follow Kenny on Twitter @kennyardouin.

Update 17: Saturday 23 August, 16:00

Kenny is doing okay today and was able to have an outing to the cinema with friends today, his first outing since his hospital admission, so this was good to see. He is still in quite a bit of pain and discomfort, particularly with the analgesic medication dosage decreasing, but aside from that he seems to be doing well. Visitors welcome again tomorrow by appointment.

Update 16: Friday 22 August, 13:00

Kenny is feeling a bit better gastrointestinally following a change of medication. There is still a lot of swelling, discomfort and some pain in the face and speech does still remain a challenge. Visitors are again welcome by appointment.

Update 15: Thursday 21 August, 15:00

Kenny had a hospital appointment earlier today to assess where everything is at. It’s still early days and therefore too early to evaluate certain things but on the whole things are looking good. There is still a fair amount of swelling which will hopefully come down soon. The decision was made to keep the existing elastication in place for at least another week at this stage just to make sure that the jaws continue to be guided into their new positions. A change of medication has also been discussed in light of the side effects experienced over the last day or so. As a precaution, visitors are asked to stay away for the rest of today, but at this stage they will be welcome by appointment tomorrow.

Update 14: Thursday 21 August, 10:00

Unfortunately, for the last 24 hours or so, Kenny has been suffering from a lot of gastrointestinal pain most likely a side effect of certain medications. This is making him quite ill at the moment. Therefore visitors are asked to stay away until at least 4pm this afternoon. A further update will be released this afternoon following the hospital appointment. Thank you for your understanding.

Update 13: Wednesday 20 August, 16:00

Much the same as yesterday today, although Kenny has requested visitors do not visit today as he has an upset stomach (most likely a side effect of certain medications). Aside from that, he is doing fine and is managing a little more by way of pureed food each day. He still finds it hard to concentrate for any length of time and fatigues easily but is doing small amounts of university study at the moment. A third follow up appointment is scheduled for tomorrow and should give an indication of how everything is progressing orthodontically following the surgery.

Update 12: Tuesday 19 August, 15:00

Continuing to take things just one day at a time. Kenny had the second follow up appointment today and although it must be stressed that it is still early days, things appear to be progressing the way that they should. There continues to be a lot of swelling and discomfort, but this swelling is gradually decreasing over time. At this stage the diet remains a largely puree one with some scope for pasta, rice and baked beans, but nothing yet which requires chewing is allowed. The jaws remain elasticated together at this stage and this will be re-evaluated on Thursday. Kenny’s speech is gradually improving, but is still not yet intelligible enough for talking on the phone, therefore text message or email are still preferred modes of contact. As previously mentioned, visitors are always welcome by appointment, but please do be aware of the vast portions of the day that are taken up with eating and subsequent oral cares.

Update 11: Monday 18 August, 13:00

Little change from yesterday, although Kenny did have a somewhat better sleep last night. Still working through a number of side effects which will also be discussed tomorrow at the second follow up appointment, so hopefully nothing to worry about at this stage. A lot of the day is taken up with attempting to gain sufficient calorie intake, so whilst visitors remain welcome, please do contact Kenny to arrange an appropriate time as Kenny feels uncomfortable with visitors around mealtimes at this stage. A more comprehensive update will be released tomorrow once a bit more information is known.

Update 10: Sunday 17 August, 11:00

The nights remain long with largely broken sleep, however the sunny weather this weekend has definitely helped, enabling Kenny to spend short periods of time outside in the sun. Although recovery is slow (as expected), things appear on track. Kenny is experiencing a number of unpleasant side effects from the surgery/medication/modified diet/bedrest etc. which we are working through at the moment, but which are making him quite fatigued and uncomfortable at the moment. Therefore, whilst Kenny does greatly appreciate having visitors, it is hard for him to remain focussed for more than about an hour at the current time so please be aware of this and do not take it personally if he appears exhausted after a relatively short period of time.

Update 9: Saturday 16 August, 12:00

Kenny again had a better night’s sleep last night being at home rather than in the hospital. He also had the first of many follow up appointments at the hospital this morning to ensure that everything is progressing the way that it should. He had a better day yesterday too, managing more pureed food in an effort not to lose too much weight, but as you can imagine with having jaws banded together, eating is a very difficult activity. A reminder that Kenny can still not talk on the phone and so written modes of communication are best if wanting to contact Kenny directly. Alternatively, visitors are welcome by appointment.

Update 8: Friday 15 August, 11:30

Kenny slept better last night being at home. He is still rather swollen and in a fair amount of pain and discomfort, however would welcome visitors by appointment. Mealtimes are best avoided as these are a long and frustrating ordeal, and first thing in the morning is best avoided too due to the length of time it takes Kenny to get organised in the morning. Mid-morning –> lunchtime, mid afternoon –> dinner time are the best times to visit. A number of you have attempted to telephone Kenny either directly or via the landline. Please understand that it is not possible for him to talk on the telephone at the moment due to swelling, discomfort and a lack of sensation etc. Messages however can be relayed or you can get hold of him via text message instead. Again, please be patient with this, as post-surgically, Kenny has some vision issues which make it difficult for him to concentrate on reading for a period of time. Thanks for your understanding.

Update 7: Thursday 14 August, 17:00

Despite another sleepless night overnight last night, Kenny’s health is improving and he was discharged to home this afternoon. There is still a long road to recovery ahead, however this is a big step forward and a relief.

Update 6: Wednesday 13 August, 20:00

The decision has been made to keep Kenny in Christchurch Hospital for a further night at this stage. Food and fluid intake was better towards the end of the day today, but Kenny will remain in overnight as a precaution at this stage. Thank you all for your continued support – all messages will be relayed to Kenny at the earliest opportunity.

Update 5: Wednesday 13 August, 15:00

Unfortunately a rather sleepless night last night due to some post-surgical bleeding and other pain and discomfort. Although initial plans were to have Kenny discharge today, as the day goes on, this is looking less likely as his health remains very weak today with him managing only minimal time out of bed and minimal food intake. Kenny and Kenny’s family wish to extend their sincere thanks to everyone who has either visited the hospital and sent their support during this difficult time.

Update 4: Tuesday 12 August, 23:00

Eating puréed food today. Off all the drips. Got a bit of a bloody nose, but hopefully that’s nothing to worry about. Will see what the surgeon’s got to say tomorrow.

Update 3: Monday 11 August, 20:00

After 5 hours of surgery Kenny very groggy and sore, but all gone well according to the surgeon.

Update 2: Monday 11 August, 08:00

Gone to theatre…

Update 1: Sunday 10 August, 21:00

Kenny’s hospital admission is scheduled for 07:30 Monday 11 August 2014. Check this webpage for regular updates on Kenny’s status.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.