Oct 30, 2017 Latest post:
Nov 18, 2020
This Caring Bridge is being started for all those that Mary Ann loves as well as all those that love her!
2020 - When this site was started about 3 years ago it didn't seem possible that Mary Ann would recover from her fall or live independently as well as she has, certainly her doctor has been surprised. While her body has continued to create challenges she makes every effort to pursue the positive side of things and stay engaged with family and friends.
Recently, family and close friends have seen changes that appeared to be caused by an increase in her pain associated with all her deteriorating joints. In the past week it became clear that something else was going on and that "something" was a decline in heart function. While in normal times this change in heart function would have put anyone into the hospital, her girls decided to navigate this from her home.
This week after an essential doctor visit, Mary Ann came home prescribed oxygen full time. At The doctors office it was discovered her oxygen level was at 75 (should be over 95) which was accounting for her tremendous weakness. Of course her shortness of breath was alarming due to the possibility of COVID but she had no other symptoms and once she stopped any exertion she was able to breathe somewhat normally. It took a few tests but the bottom line is the diminished heart function is the core problem.
What to do and next steps. That is a very good question. The family does not have all the answers yet. As you all know Mary Ann has a tremendous fan base and while this update is just a change in her overall health, and not an accident or illness. The family would like those who want to track with Mary Ann's journey to stay informed independent of Mary Ann or her girls reaching out to each of you.
At this time the doctor seems to think he can reduce or eliminate her oxygen use through medication. How independently Mary Ann will be able to function is a work in process, at this time her family is providing or arranging 24/7 care.
Feel free to reach out to Mary Ann, her energy level is extremely low due to decreased hear and lung function. However her attitude is good despite all she is navigating. She will get all greetings read to her from this site. The family will post regular updates of our journey. Mary Ann has a nice front porch with chairs. Visitors are welcome provided a mask is worn and a specific time is scheduled.
Thanks so much for traveling with us. All prayers are welcome.
2017 - Although Mary Ann has navigated many physical challenges, last Tuesday Oct. 24, she fell and broke her right upper arm. This injury will result in changing her level of independence. As many of you know, her right arm is her dominant side and required for most every task. The fracture was a compound one and the break occurred at the base of the prosthetic device used in the shoulder replacement she had some years ago. Surgery was done at Mayo that Tuesday evening to realign the bones. No internal fixation was done because there was not enough bone to use for the fixation. Therefore, she is in a brace that goes around her upper arm to give external structure as well as being in a sling. The challenge is to keep the bones from moving so that the body can heal and the shoulder replacement again becomes stable. The surgeon informed us that it will be a minimum of 6 weeks before we know if the bone is healing and strong enough to handle activities of daily living. If the bone doesn't heal there will need to be another intervention but lets pray that bridge doesn't have to be crossed. There are so many things to be thankful for - one of which is that she was visiting friends in Rochester, MN when the accident occurred, so she had the surgery at Mayo Clinic by a trauma surgeon that specializes in shoulders!
Mary Ann has not been in much pain at all through out this ordeal thankfully. She is in good spirits. Additionally she seems to be an encouragement to all of her caretakers. She is currently in a rehab facility for a minimum of 2 weeks from all we can gather. We are working on home care plans.
The family will attempt to post updates at least 2 times per week. Feel free to write notes of encouragement or messages to MaryAnn.