Saturday, June 7, 2008

More info on the Shelly front

I have had quite a few people ask me to tell them more about Shelly- so here it goes! She's been sick for quite some time and has had many health problems. One week after Jaran and I got married, she had to go into surgery to have a double mastectomy. That's right- both breasts were removed for fear some pre-cancerous cells would morph into full-blown cancer. She got reconstructive surgery while she was in there, and later one of the implants got infected. After that got taken care of, she started getting all sorts of crazy problems. They have said she has everything from Lupus to AIDS to Wilson's disease. She has been diagnosed with fibromialgia- which is basically a chronic wide-spread pain. She also has a thing called Chogrins, which prevents her from forming saliva and tears and makes your skin very dry. Without the saliva, you have very bad tooth problems, and she has had to have some pulled and other major work. This latest thing started around January(I think, maybe earlier) and began with her malabsorption problem. This is where she wasn't able to digest the nutrients or vitamins that she ate or took in pill form. Slowly, but surely, she started losing all of the things that she needed for all of her organs to work properly. She had been hospitalized three or four times for problems stemming from too low potassium levels, which cause her heart to start going haywire. She had to have some blood transfusions to get the proper things back into her blood. They sent her home on some liquid medications, but she ended up back in the hospital. This particular stay started out with the potassium thing again. Then her Albumin(?) levels, which help your lungs function, got dangerously low. They also put her on a feeding tube, as she was pretty much starving to death. After this problem, they discovered that she had what is called a pulmonary embolism, which is a clot in the lung. This is a very dangerous thing, and if not taken care of, the clot can move to your heart or brain and kill you. So they put her on blood thinners. She was continuously going downhill after this, and they had to intibate her(put her on a breathing machine). While they were putting the tube into the lung, they tore a small hole in her lung. This forced them to have to stop the blood thinners to get rid of the clot, and put a chest tube in her right side. While being intibated, they had to keep her heavily sedated so that she wouldn't try and pull things out. She also had to have a central line put in, which is basically a direct line into the carotid artery. They also had a PICC line in her right arm- which is a line that goes up a vein in the arm clear into her central system. She entered the hospital around 128 lbs and fluctuated from that to 189 lbs. She was retaining water horribly and tried to take care of it with Lasix, which helps shed water. When they did this, however, her blood pressure would drop, so they tried to do it as little as possible. They finally decided that she needed another chest tube on the left side and to take the tube out of the lung and to a tracheotomy, which is where they cut into the esophagus and it keeps the airway open to help you breathe, but allows you to not have a tube down your throat. Once they did this, they were able to wake her up. She was doing very well, starting to be able to sit up, and even walk around. Then she suddenly took a turn for the worse, and when they did a CT they found another clot, but bigger this time. So they had to put her back on sedation and blood thinners and it has set her back a bit. The Dr.'s are optimistic about things, and tell us that she is improving again. This is 18 days on life support. Once she gets well enough to get off of the machines and meds, her and my dad will be going to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio to have a bunch of tests done to try and figure out what to do about her malabsorption. So that is it in a nutshell. I am sure that I have forgotten things, and for SURE have spelled a mess of terms wrong, but you get the gist of it, right? So you see how much they need your prayers, and they are appreciated by us all! Take care everyone!


~K.R.I.S.T.I.N~ said...

Shan...oh my goodness...I will definitely keep keeping them in my prayers, and i'll pray my heart out..what a strong woman she is though to go through all of this anyway...i don't think i could do it, i think i'm done if i get the flu! I am sorry all of this has happened, i couldnt' imagine..i hope you're dad is holding up ok..I dunno how he could be though...that is awful, i guess me with a lot of people never knew how severe she was..then, WOW..i can't thing after another..well..i'll keep them and your family in my heart goes out to you and your family...I know our prayers are answered.

Shana said...

I am so sorry to hear about your step mother. I don't think I know her, but I know how badly loosing a loved one can be, so I will definately keep her in my prayers.
Take Care Shan.

PS You know what I just noticed? We have the same nickname...Shan