We are creating this site to keep friends and family aware of Joyce's progress during her hospitalization. I will update the site at least daily to keep you informed.
On Sunday, December 30th Joyce had a reaction to one of her blood pressure medications. She had swelling in her lips and throat and could not breathe. 911 was called and she was rushed to Einstein Montgomery Hospital. It was determined that it was necessary to intubate her to allow her to breathe and get oxygen. She was then admitted to the ICU. Joyce had a very specific type of allergic reaction called an Angioedema (AE) where there is significant swelling and a shifting of fluid into the throat. Unfortunately this type of reaction is very severe and can take days for the swelling to subside. She is currently getting steroids to help the swelling come down. The medication that caused this reaction is called an Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB) which is a very common and effective medication for reducing blood pressure. There is only a 0.4% chance of having this reaction with this type of medication, which is very low, and unfortunately was experienced by Joyce.
On December 31st Joyce was alert and communicating via writing and gestures. They performed a test to see if air was passing through the airway and there was none. The doctors were making sure she was comfortable and giving her pain medications and sedatives as the swelling is quite painful and having the tube down her throat is uncomfortable. We were told that every patient reacts differently to the steroids and it's hard to determine at what point the tube could come out. In addition the physicians need to drain any excess fluid from her lungs to prevent the onset of pneumonia and that procedure can be uncomfortable as well.
On January 1st the air test was performed again to see if air was passing through her airway and although there was some it was more like a light trickle and not enough to remove the tube. So another day of practicing patience and keeping Joyce comfortable to allow the swelling to subside. The doctors are also administering tube feedings and giving her medications through a tube in her throat to her stomach.
On January 2nd they determined that more air was passing through her air way and we were hopeful the tube could be removed. The physicians wanted to get a CT scan to look at the swelling to make sure it had come down enough to remove the tube. After consulting with Respiratory specialists they felt the swelling was still too much to remove the tube. She does have significant swelling from the Angioedema, but also the intubation was difficult and there was some trauma from inserting the tube initially that also produced swelling so that is leading to the length of time for the swelling to subside. They are continuing to make Joyce comfortable and we continue to be patient and allow the medications to work and her body to heal.
We are so grateful for everyone's thoughts and prayers and keep them coming. We are asking that Joyce not receive any visitors right now so that she can rest and relax and heal as quickly as possible. We thank everyone for the love and support and I will keep you all updated as we get information. much love, Trisha Kelly (Eddie's wife)