As Laura mentioned in her last post, she got shingles. In brief, she got extremely sick on Saturday, and Sunday morning around 3am, we broke down and took her to the emergency room. She was having horrible neausia/vomiting, was in so much pain she could barely walk, and her breathing was… about the worst I’ve seen it outside of the two times she had pneumonia.
She has had a number of CT scans and xrays, and none of them were showing any signs of infection or… anything in her lungs (although she did have inflamation in her lungs) But, on top of everything else, she was showing a lot of signs of pneumonia. Yesterday afternoon, they had her in the intensive care unit, but she wasn’t doing too bad. She was eating on her own, and her oxygen saturation levels were dropping quickly, but as long as she was breathing through the oxygen mask, she was ok.
Last night I got a call from her nurse who was saying she was in bad shape. I never quite figured out what that meant, but this morning when I talked to Laura on the phone, she wasn’t in too bad of shape, but said her breathing had progressively gotten worse. I couldn’t really hear her through the phone because of all the beeping machines in the background.
I went into the hospital around 2:30 today, and walked into her room and they had her on a breathing tube and a respirator.
She has been through a lot. I mean, she is in really bad shape. Despite all that she has been through this past year, this is definitely the worst I have seen her. The respirator was definitely doing the job and her oxygen saturation levels are great, but she was obviously completely aggitated with being tied down to the bed and terribly uncomfortable, wanting the tube out in a major way. With the tube, she isn’t able to talk, and she was visibly frustrated by this.
I suspect, as the doctors obviously do as well, that she has a pneumonia that has been brought on by the shingles, which makes this a viral pneumonia. This is a bad thing to have because it isnt treatable with antibiotics. I’m not really sure what they are planning on doing right now, but when I left earlier they were taking her to a CT scan.
To be frank, I am extremely worried this time around. Her lungs have been through hell, and her immune system has nothing in it to fight this off with. Plus, her blood platelet count is extremely low, which makes it difficult for the hospital to do biopsies, put lines in, etc. She has a lot of spirit, so hopefully that will help pull her through. Plus, the hospital she is in seems to be great, and she generally has at least one nurse in her room all of the time. From what I can tell, she has one nurse assigned exclusively to her who isn’t caring for anyone else. They are taking good care of her, and are paying strict attention to detail.
I will be going back down there in the morning. I’ll try to post an update to let you know what is going on. If you have specific questions, etc, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org