Janets continuing battle.

Posted on March 7, 2011 by Andrew 1 Comment

I recieved the following a few minutes ago from Mike Adkins.
The Author is Heather Adkins I believe.

Dear Family and Friends,

Here is a summary of what we know so far!

Mum arrived on Monday Feb 21st. Her dad had passed away on the Saturday morning before and we had the wake on Tuesday and the funeral on Wednesday. Mum was feeling pretty rotten through all those things and had been suffering with a cough and a low grade fever. Wednesday night I took her to the emergency room and the doctor said that her lungs were clear (x-ray showed clear lungs) and that she just had a bad influenza. He asked that she return on the following Monday if her fevers hadn’t subsided. She tried to rest through the rest of the week but then on Saturday morning she woke up and said that she was feeling better. She wasn’t running a fever any more and I really thought that she was on the mend. Not 20 minutes later she called to me from the bathroom in a panic because she couldn’t breathe. I made a decision to call 911 upon the advice of my uncles who had shown up coincidentally to take my grandmother to breakfast. The ambulance arrived and the EMT’s immediately put her on oxygen and that seemed to help her. They took her to the emergency room where the real drama began. After a fairly thorough questioning by the ER doctor, I noticed that the pace of the nurses had picked up considerably. I was in the ER with my mother by myself when the nurse finally said, “If it is what we think it is, we need to move quickly.” Of course, I asked, “What do you think it is?” The nurse then suggested that it was a Pulmonary Embolism which had both mum and I in tears. However, it was within the hour that the x-ray came and blood work came back with the diagnosis of pneumonia. That was just the beginning of a long list of changing diagnosis. It was a very yoyo effect emotionally and mentally. Mum seemed to get worse the longer we were there. By Sunday morning they had increased her oxygen twice and I had spoken with 3 different doctors and had been given at least 3 different diagnosis. They were concerned at how drastic the difference was between the Wednesday chest x-ray and the Saturday chest x-ray. Whatever “IT” was, it was growing fast. They started her on 3 broad spectrum anti-biotics and still I watched her breathing get worse and she was too weak to even lift her own drink of water. I was feeding her and helping her to drink. I talked to her general care doctor and she told me that they feared things would get much worse before they would get better. I asked specifically if my Dad should be coming from Africa. She said, “It wouldn’t be unreasonable.” Even so, I told Dad what the doctor had said and he said that he would discuss it some people he trusted and pray about it. I had a function that I had to go to so I left mum at the hospital and went to my function, not happily. Mum had insisted I go. While I was there, the doctor called and said, “You asked me earlier if you should have your dad come from Kenya and I told you it wouldn’t be unreasonable. Now that I have seen a CT scan of you mom’s chest, I would say that you should have as many of your family members come as soon as possible. We believe there is a small clot but even more importantly we don’t know what this infection is and I fear that she is going to get much worse before she gets better.” It was very hard to hear. Thankfully, I had asked my cousin to sit with me at this function and when this call came in, she was able to have my mum’s extended family meet us at the hospital and get all the details from the doctor. She confirmed what she had said on the phone to me and so all of the family was contacted. My brother, Bryan, and his wife, Angie, arrived 5 hours later and everyone began taking shifts. At that point, I had been up for nearly 48 hours and was living on a peanut butter sandwich and little rice and chicken. I was ordered home to sleep and so I went with another cousin who helped me stay calm enough to fall asleep. I learned of all the travel plans the following day. My dad, Aaron, Tim, Jen, Emma and Ben were to arrive on Monday night and my sister, Michelle, was to arrive on Monday evening. In the meantime, my mum had not improved and they had done a Bronchoscopy on her. The doctor did encourage me that she had come through the scope better than they had expected. She was still breathing on her own, though they had increased the oxygen again and she had grown weaker. They had added other anti-virals and meds to her IV. I couldn’t tell you what they all were but they were trying to cover all their bases for every kind of infection possible. Her blood-sugar levels were also an issue at this point so they were giving her insulin to keep them under control. Once my dad arrived, she seemed to settle a little and we began to see some changes after the first 48 hours on anti-biotics. It has been a long confusing process as specialists have looked at the results to her test and have been working through the maze of possibilities. At one point, they thought that it was all a complication of H1N1 as a swab had come back positive for that flu. Apparently now they feel that she HAD that 6-8 weeks ago when she was sick in January with the flu. This major infection that has taken over both of her lungs, potentially is a complication of that but it is still uncertain. They did another Bronchoscopy the day before yesterday and they took a small piece from her lungs in order to test it. We are still awaiting a number of test result (cultures they have been trying to grow, biopsy etc) and as of right now, we have no idea what caused the “double pneumonia” or infection in both lungs.The Dr feels that the infection put her auto-immune system into overdrive in order to combat the infection and that is what caused the rapid progression of deterioration in her lungs. We know that whatever “IT” is, is responding to prednisone.

Thankfully she has been making steady progress. They took her off oxygen yesterday and have removed all the meds except from prednisone (a steroid) and the insulin. In fact, the doctor was going to release her today except that the prednisone is playing with her blood-sugar levels and they are astronomically high. He wants to control those before he sends her home. She is still incredibly weak, especially if you know my mum, but everyday we see a little progress. In the mean time, we are trying to figure out a schedule for the kids and will be working to keep up on their school work from this end. It has been an exhausting process but we are so grateful for all the prayer and support and are watching her slowly come back to us.

Continue to pray for the family as we make decisions on when Aaron and Michelle should return to Sudan and Alabama, respectively; the kids’ schooling and routines; rest for all of us; continued healing for mum and then real rest when she does come out of the hospital; we are also still fresh from losing my grandpa and so my grandma could use prayer as well.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and God Bless
MIke for us all

One Comment

  1. kelly
    8 years ago

    thanks for the update. we’re continue to pray for you guys, Janet’s health and grieving over the loss your sweet father and grandfather. We’re praying for dear Marie as well, and all the MacDougall clan.On behalf of the LeBlancs.



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