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Jan 22, 2018 Latest post:
May 1, 2018
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.
This is a complex story involving multiple organs and many specialists.
Brief previous history
2005 – rear-ended by truck – whiplash
2008 – broke ankle – trimalleolar fracture with pins and plates to repair
2009 – broke same ankle
2015 – pituitary adenoma – incidental finding from neck MRI
2015 – breast cancer – chemotherapy, lumpectomy, radiation treatments
The chemotherapy was very harsh causing damage to intestines and bladder.
During radiation therapy she developed a frozen shoulder which she worked past on her own.
2017 – November – Jean began getting migraines. Some would last for days and very little seemed to relieve the pain. This have continued throughout this whole episode – still no relief.
12/10/17 – Stroke in the right pons (back part of the brain)
Following is sort of the texting chain trying to keep everyone up to date prior to starting this site. I apologize for anyone I left out, it was just who I had contacts for on my cell phone. (Parenthetical comments were added later.)
Just so you all know, I called 911 yesterday because I thought Jean might be having a stroke. Her speech was slurred, left side of mouth was drooping and trouble swallowing. However by the time we were admitted the symptoms were better. Tests were negative so they think it was pressure in the brain from the pituitary. Also found out she does not have an auto-immune which was another possibility the neurologist was testing for. Maybe some mild pneumonia and a sinus infection so treating with antibiotics and pain relief. Staying in hospital most likely again tonight. At Mercy, rm 5319
Still in hospital. Just met with neurologist and MRI shows a mild stroke. They want to do more tests on brain and heart today. She also has another UTI. They did a CT scan of chest last night and that looks okay.
Also, pituitary is not the problem.
Looks like we will be here another couple days.
They are saying she need to go to a sort of rehab place to build her strength up before she comes home. Multiple tests today and the day nurse was not great. She really likes her night nurse so hopefully a good night.
Hi all, trying one big list so feel free to pass along. Jean had a bad day pain-wise today. Also found out she has an aneurysm on the right side of the brain. They are testing tomorrow and will decide on a plan from there. We might still get out tomorrow as long as results are good. From here she will go to a skilled nursing facility to build her strength. Hopefully she would be home for Christmas. So be praying, she is nervous because they will be using the dye which she is allergic to for the imaging study. Thanks all for checking on her.
Apparently there was a lack of communication so they did not start the pretreatment to prevent the dye allergy. That means we won't have the scan done until tomorrow at the earliest. Also her sodium was low so they wouldn't release her anyway. Another day of waiting around.
(also plans changed from the rehab center because she had a good session with the PT therapist. They upgraded her condition so now she does not qualify for the rehab center. Instead we have chosen to go home and have Home Health Services visit at our house. Our superb Hospitalist, Dr. Baig, agreed with our decision based on his dealings with us as a couple.)
We are home! CT scan showed a small aneurysm, so no treatment, just watch for now.
So bottom line, she has one more new pain med I addition to the other 2 new ones she got two weeks ago. We are going to have home health a couple times per week to build her up and I will be staying home most of the time till new year.
We played Christmas music and drove around the neighborhood looking at lights on the way home. PT starts tomorrow about noon.
Jean had a good day today. Busy unpacking and getting the house back after a week in jail er... Hospital. Steph came over and cleaned out the fridge. Only one item from 2016. PT was great, sort of the assessment phase today. We need to install some pull-up rails in a couple places, got a new shower chair, etc to make things easier. Tomorrow we will have PT and OT.
One bad news - she has a mouth infection (thrush) which started in hospital. PT diagnosed so we called dr and got medicine. Within 10 minutes the pharmacy called that a prescription was ready for Jean.
Pain got to about 5/10 but that was the worst, so better overall.
Jean update: good day overall, went to the opthalmologist today. No pressure on optic nerves and all other parameters indicate no influence from pituitary. Bad news, we were there for 2 hrs 45 mins. But she still had energy to get her hair fixed and did some shopping at the outlet mall. Had 2 migraines today but we were able to control them pretty well.
We are in the ER again. Went for mammogram and talked to doctor about UTI pain and back pains. They think back pains were probably kidneys so told us we should get to hospital. Waiting room is packed so no idea how long this will take. Nurse thought she would need i.v. antibiotics. I'll keep you posted, nothing you can do now besides pray. (Good News – Mammogram was negative –so 2 Years Cancer Free!)
Checked in 12/26 about 4pm - at 9:45 pm we finally saw the doctor. Possibly hemorrhagic cystitis (bleeding of the bladder wall)
We are in the hospital. Finally got to a room at 3:30 am 12/27. Not much sleep for either of us, but Jean is sleeping now. Have not seen hospitalist yet, so all we know is there was blood in the urine and they changed the antibiotic. Hope to see urologist and g.i. doctors at some point.
(NOTE: Never go to the ER the day after Christmas. No one wants to be there on Christmas Day, so they all show up the day after. We found out later this was possibly the worst day ever for St. John’s ER)
The urologist wants a CT scan of abdomen with contrast, so they will pretreat tonight so she won't have a reaction. Got a new i.v. line also, they had to use ultrasound to find a vein. (This was the most painful thing I have ever seen her go through other than maybe childbirth – they were trying to find a vein about an inch below the skin and it was brutal. Cool technology though especially for a science geek)
Today they put in a PIC line, which is a deeper I.v. line so they could inject the dye for the CT today. (That was actually less painful than the hunt for a vein yesterday)Test went well and we just heard from the urologist that everything looked normal, so no kidney problem-bladder infection only and new antibiotic is working. Maybe home tomorrow. Jean wants to keep PIC line in, but not sure if that is possible or not. Pain moderate today, but still needed pain meds.
Looks like we are spending another night. Jean had some cognitive issues today, so I think they want to do a bit more evaluation. She had some pain but got by without extra meds. Her short term memory lapses some, and she gets confused especially when first waking up. She also wants to be best friends with everyone that walks in the room (which is NOT a new thing).
Note from Marti: “That’s our Jean! A heart as big as all outdoors! One of the many reasons she is beloved by all of us. Sending prayers and love❤️😘”
We are getting out today! Yay, maybe get some sleep. Jean is doing pretty well, couple more days on antibiotics. Of course there are a bunch of follow up visits, but one step at a time.
Good to hear! Get some much needed rest! Stay warm! Burr! Lu guys.