Barbara Nowak Bobbi Nowak

First post: Jul 31, 2019 Latest post: Aug 4, 2021
            Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.   
             Last week Bobbi went to the emergency room feeling very sick to her stomach, and was checked into the University of Wisconsin hospital with a severe gastrointestinal infection. A few days later other complications developed and damaged her kidneys. She likely had a stroke, too, but it does not appear on an MRI image. We became even more concerned when she couldn't recall words or speak clearly.  Now she cannot speak and is not responsive at all ("nod your head if you can hear me").  She is now getting intensive care and multiple life support measures at the UW TLC (Trauma Life Center), one of the intensive care units. 
        Yesterday her son Seth, daughter Rhea, and Rhea's husband Tim met with Bobbi's lead doctor and care team including nurses, social worker, and others.  They reported that Bobbi's condition was getting worse and her prognosis was poor.  Her body is challenged in many ways right now, and even though she has been healthy, exercising, active in the community, and living independently, the combination of stresses on her right now would be a lot for anyone. 
          We don't know if she can recover, and if she does, how much and for how long.  The medical team has been amazing, and part of that has been being honest with us that Bobbi's condition is poor.  If she is able to survive the impacts of the infection, regain some kidney function, and otherwise rebound,  it is unlikely that she will have anything close to her previous capacities and quality of life, even with aggressive care. Family and friends, please be aware that Bobbi's wishes are only for life support measures to be continued if they are to be temporary and her doctor can reasonably assume that at some point she will improve enough to live without them. 
       The next day, or possibly days, we are watching and waiting. Some more tests and exams will be done tomorrow. She had been getting dialysis to remove toxins building up in her blood, but was not able to get it done today because her blood pressure was too low. The team has to balance the treatment options that they have available, because there are risks and benefits that interact with each of them. 
         She has let us know before any of this happened that she wants to be cared for with kindness and cheerfulness, not sadness.  If you are a member of one of her faith communities past or present, please know and share with other members of the congregation that she is sick, and asks that you pray for her. 
         She can't really take visitors in general right now in the ICU, it is just not practical because the situation is so precarious. Not to mention crowded with equipment and the medical team.  Please visit her in your heart, mind, spirit, energy, and with your love. She can feel it, and loves you back. 
        I will post more as soon as I can.  

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