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Spry nonagenarian that she is, Mom Suey Weh nonetheless woke up feeling very out of sorts Monday, March 1, 2021. Ivor and Laura took her to the ER that afternoon, where eventually, tests uncovered a very high white blood cell count and elevated liver enzymes. She was admitted to Montgomery General, and further diagnosis determined she had multiple issues taxing her strength: a urinary tract infection, sepsis (bacterial infection in the bloodstream), and extremely inflamed bile ducts showing stricture (blockage).
Similar circumstances had precipitated a previous ER visit and hospital stay last August, but now, the greater complexity in the septicemia combined with Suey Weh’s increasing frailty made things dicier. COVID regulations also precluded our presence, complicating our ability to advocate for her and to stay informed. Long story short, by Friday afternoon, a medical team stood by, ready to perform an ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) procedure to determine the cause of blockage in the ducts, waiting only for approval from Kaiser Permanente, since Montgomery General was not in network.
The approval failed to materialize on Friday, but Saturday provided several positive developments. As we understand it, upon further reflection, the attending doctor considered that that if Suey Weh were to need any additional procedures as well as post-procedure recovery, she would be better served at an in-network facility, so he requested her transfer to Holy Cross and thankfully, a bed became available that Sunday. Meanwhile, her WBC and liver enzyme markers had significantly improved, lessening the necessity (changing the risk/reward profile) of conducting the ERCP at this time. The new attending gastroenterologists at Holy Cross suggested waiting until she was stronger.
After being bedridden and fighting infection for well over a week, and clearly in need of physical rehabilitation to regain strength and mobility, Suey Weh was discharged to Wilson Healthcare Center in Asbury Village, Gaithersburg, MD this past Wednesday, March 10. We are so grateful that there was an opening at this Skilled Nursing Facility – the same one that George attended when regaining his strength from his first hospital emergency visit. The only downside is that Wilson’s strict COVID regulations necessitate a 14-day quarantine during which Suey Weh cannot leave her room, nor can we visit her AT ALL. So we are counting down the days until she will be allowed company and praying for the most complete recovery possible. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts. We will post updates as we have them.