Chris, who just celebrated her 69th Birthday last week, has been hospitalized since the morning of 7/28. Her loving partner, Larry, found her on the couch, unresponsive, with very weak vital signs. The root cause of her illness could be internal bleeding that caused a significant loss of blood. Her heart function had severely degraded by the time she was transported by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
She has been on a breathing tube since her admission, and the staff have worked to keep her alive and stable while they determine the best treatment plan to get her back to safety. She has been awake and alert at times, primarily struggling to communicate and learning of her medical predicament. Her immediate family have been with her throughout her time at the hospital, keeping her company and advocating for her needs.
She presently has a temporary pacemaker, and she's scheduled to receive a permanent pacemaker today (7/30). They will follow this with an endoscopic procedure to find and resolve the internal bleeding problem, and finally remove her breathing tube.
Chris has steadily improved since the removal of the ventilator. There have been some setbacks along the way, but she's trending in the right direction, and we're thinking she'll likely be home by 8/7. She has pneumonia right now, which they're treating with antibiotics, and she's got extra fluid. Doctors are using medications and a little bit of dietary restriction to help get it back into order.
There's still no clear "smoking gun" that indicates how this all started, and to some degree it's only an academic concern to find out. What matters now is that they manage the (fairly numerous) conditions she (still) has. I'm not going to go into granular detail of her medical history, but suffice it to say that she will need some ongoing medication and other interventions in the near future. But for now, they're just trying to get the pneumonia and excess fluid out of her system and get her ready to go home.