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Well this whole thing started Jan. 4, 2018 with Pam having back surgery at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. She had started having difficulties with that about a year before that but it had gotten better, but then got worse again. The surgery was a success as far as the back goes, but then the difficulties began. Her 1 day hospital stay turned into 5 days with complications with her bowels and bladder not starting up on their own - which they finally did. So she was discharged on Monday, January 8. Unfortunately that is when things started to go downhill.
While she was in the hospital she had started accumulating fluids in her system, and that continued to get worse. By Wednesday she was having difficulty breathing and called to have her post-op checkup moved up. Thursday she was admitted to Hutchinson Hospital directly from her checkup because she was having so much trouble breathing and was not able to keep her oxygen levels up. She was put on oxygen overnight, but on Friday she was still having difficulties so they trialed a BiPAP treatment to see if that would help, but it wasn’t enough. So Friday afternoon Pam agreed to allow them to intubate her and put her on a ventilator to help her breath. She was kept sedated for comfort and to let her lungs rest as it was determined that she had severe pneumonia.
Saturday Jeff, Barb and other family members were at the hospital and talked with the doctor monitoring her condition. The decision was made to move her back to Abbott for more specialized care as the hospital in Hutchinson was much smaller and did not have ICU doctors on-site. So Saturday evening Pam was transported via ambulance to Abbott Northwestern and admitted to the ICU.
After being evaluated by the doctors at Abbott it was determined that she had severe pneumonia, probable ARDS, and was very sick. It was definitely the right decision to move her.
Fast forward to today…
We are now on day 12 of intubation and ventilator support. The lungs have not made much – if any – improvement. She has been kept sedated for most of this time, with a few days where she was able to open her eyes and respond to some simple questions. It has been a battle trying to balance fluids, keep electrolytes in balance, keep the kidneys functioning, and keep her oxygen levels and blood pressure up. They are tweaking the ventilator settings and medications continuously to find that fine balance. We continue to celebrate the small wins, and try not to read too much into the setbacks that happen.
This has been a very difficult almost-2-weeks, and we appreciate all the well wishes and prayers that have been sent to all of us. Please keep Pam in your thoughts and prayers as she has a very long road ahead.
I will try to keep this updated, but please be patient.