When the bicycle accident happened, his immune system was compromised (through the loss of blood and bone on the road) and spread thin--now having to fight on three fronts: 1)hematoma the size of half a Texas cantaloupe on his left hip, 2)two broken bones and a jagged wound just above his left wrist, and 3)the melanoma, wherever it was.
And, unfortunately, Woody didn't take his pain medicine. After he got home from the hospital he got online and googled "diet broken bones" and found a great site that gave him a list of things to eat: spinach, no-fat yogurt, etc. The article was entitled: "Research on Foods that Help Heal Broken Bones" summarized by Rosemary Fisher. It stated:
"Aspirin And Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Can Retard Bone Healing: When you break or tear a muscle and are on pain medication, you may want to stop taking the pain medication as soon as possible so you do not delay healing. A study in May 1995 issue of The Journal of Orthopedic Trauma shows damaged cells in a fracture release large aounts of chemicals called prostaglandins. These chemicals cause the pain and are blocked by the pain medication. However prostaglandins are also very important in the first stage of tissue repair. So decreasing the use as soon as possible is helpful to the healing process.
"Furthermore a study in the October 1995 issue of the Journal of Rheumatology found that continued use of anti-inflammatory drugs over several months can increase the rate of cartilaginous breakdown in joints of people who have osteoarthritis. The drugs mentioned in the studies include Aspirin, Anaprox, Lodine, Meclomin, Motrin, Naprosin, Pensile, Relafen, Toreador, Tolectin, Indocin and Ibuprofen."
One result from not taking his pain medicine was that he didn't sleep well. And some say that the key to maintaining a strong immune system is getting a good night's sleep.
There has been a major difference in the amount of sleep he's been getting since Dr. Sosman prescribed pain medicine for him on Dec. 26th and he's been taking it. Before he started taking the pain killers he'd typically toss and turn all night and get an hour or two of sleep. Now he's getting 6 or 7 almost every night. Hopefully with the removal of the number one source of the pain (tumor) he'll be sleeping even better.
So one of our major concerns is his immune system and getting a good night's sleep every night. If you want to pray for something specific, pray that he gets a good night's sleep.
And, indeed, when the Interleukin treatments start, it's ultimately the immune system, God's mechanism for healing, that will need to win the battles and win the war. So pray for his immune system to win the battles and ultimately the war. And, may God get all the credit and glory!
Woody's had another good day. He walked to the library this morning. I can definitely see his strength returning. And, he's going to need every ounce of his strength for the Interleukin treatments.