Carole’s Story

Site created on April 7, 2018

Back in December Carole was having severe stomach pain.  It was determined that she had diverticulitis and an emergency surgery was performed. During the surgery they removed a section of her colon and performed a colostomy. She was hospitalized for 11 days and would have to keep the colostomy for 3-6 months post-op. She recovered very well from this procedure and was back to her normal activity in no time.  It didn't even stop her from riding horses.

She went back in March 26th for a reversal of the colostomy.  All indications were that the reversal went well, however over the course of the next three days things took a turn. On Friday she was taken in for emergency surgery to determine the source of her pain. During surgery they discovered a perforation of the small intestine. This had been going on for so long that her body was in septic shock. She also aspirated during surgery increasing her risk of aspiration pneumonia. She was placed in ICU on a ventilator with heavy sedation and aggressive treatment for sepsis. Over the course of the next 3 days she expelled a large amount of fluid which is a good indication of healthy kidneys. Her organs seem to be functioning adequately. Keeping her blood pressure elevated has continued to be an issue. As of today she is still sedated on the ventilator. She is also dealing with a good amount of fluid build up on her lungs. The doctors have been able to decrease her oxygen percentage over the past week but are having to enstill a high amount of pressure into her lungs due to the fluid build up.  

Today a CT scan was performed to ensure there was no internal bleeding or anymore ruptures of the intestine. They gave her contrast in hopes that they could see how her bowel is functioning, but her body could not tolerate the dye and it was unable to pass through her gut. This is not abnormal considering the trauma her gut has experienced, but it is not ideal. At this point we have no indicators that her gut is or is not functioning properly. Only time will tell.

Although she has made progress over the past week she is still in critical condition and the road to recovery will be long and hard.

We appreciate everyone's prayers and concerns and will try our best to update this page regularly. 

Newest Update

Journal entry by McKenzie Towe

Carole appears to have turned a corner in her recovery process! She is now starting her fourth week in hospital - thankfully with no setbacks. Her NG tube from her nose as well as her abdominal drainage tube have been removed and there haven’t been any complications with that. Her pain management is progressing nicely. She is able to walk around halls and has been making great strides in gaining back strength. She had a scan yesterday which will be used as standard when she is an outpatient and to evaluate going home at some point. She is now on a “full liquid” diet and things are passing into the colostomy bag. This is a great sign that her GI tract is starting to function normally!
She is beginning to look like her usual self and is working hard to keep her spirits up!
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