Copied from Caring Bridge
On March 14th Theresa and I received a call from dad that mom was not well and to come over ASAP. When we arrived we found that she was vomiting blood and we called 911. She was taken to Fairview Wyoming via ambulance and after a handful of tests they found she had two bleeding ulcers. She had surgery Tuesday the 15th to repair these and was sent home Wednesday the 16th.
On Saturday the 19th when I was out to visit with her she started not feeling well and a short time later had a small seizure and passed out. We called 911 again and she was brought to Fairview Wyoming again. They were able to go in via a scope to check her stomach out and found she had been bleeding again and were concerned with an area that they might not be able to handle. They decided to transfer her to the University of MN on Minneapolis Sunday night.
She had another surgery Monday the 21st and they repaired one of the clips from the 1st surgery that had failed. They continued monitoring her and moved her out of ICU Wednesday the 23rd. She continued to be tired, but the hope was to discharge her that coming Saturday.
On Friday March 25th dad received a call from the hospital that mom was bleeding again and it was worse than before. They were going in to scope and look again to see what they could find. Not long after the hospital called and requested the family to get to the hospital as there was a hole in her stomach that was bleeding into her abdomen. They prepared us saying that this was life threatening and that they were not sure if they would be able to save her or not. We were all able to make it to the hospital and see her prior to her being taken in for surgery and we waited over 3 hours to get the call from the surgeon he was able to save her!
Her stomach had become necrotic and had blown a hole in her stomach so he was forced to remove most of her stomach and make a small pouch similar to what they do with a bariatric surgery. There would be some lifestyle changes, but she would eventually live a normal life. He explained what was yet to come as she was to unstable to finish reconnecting her intestines to her new stomach, they left her stomach open and let us know there were more surgeries ahead.
We left that day knowing she was still in critical condition, but the worst was hopefully over.
On Sunday March 27th mom had another surgery where they had to go back in and do a "clean up" procedure to clean the abdomen to avoid infection as they were not able to even complete that on Friday. The doctors hoped that they they would also be able to do the reconnection of her stomach and intestines at that time. But all the dots unfortunately did not line up. Her tissues were still very swollen and they also decided to call in a few specialists to give her the best long term outcome with this reconstruction needed. This included an oncologist who works with reconstruction after stomach removals due to cancer and a heart specialist as they would be working near her heart.
On The 29th she went in for the reconnection surgery. Not long into the procedure dad received a call that all of the dots were still not inline. That she was too malnourished and that the tissues were not viable enough and that the connection may fail if they did it now. They placed a feeding tube into her small intestine and we were advised once her body is strong enough and tissues are ready in 6-12 months they would go back in and reconnect the stomach pouch to her intestines.
We were then advised she would need another surgery to insert a spit fistula as she would need something so she can still swallow etc... they would wait a few days for her body to strengthen and go back again.
Over the next 24-48 hours the Doctors became concerned she was still not waking up from her sedation and they begin doing many tests to look into why. This included a handful of blood tests, a lung biopsy, CT's and MRI's. The CT & MRI disclosed that she had had two small strokes. That these should have minimal long term complications but would know more when she woke up. That potentially she was just taking a long time to come out of the amount of sedatives she had been given.
Mom was supposed to then have the spit fistula surgery on Friday April 1st. After many hours of it being delayed it was canceled.
On Sunday April 3rd we were given the wonderful news mom finally woke up! You could tell she was frustrated she could not communicate with the ventilator down her throat, but we talked to her and did the best we could to let her know she was okay and that she had been through a lot!
On Monday April 4th after another day of delays in her surgery time she was able to get the spit fistula surgery done late that evening and we were thankful she could be done with procedures and heal!
On Tuesday morning when dad and I arrived to her room we were surprised to find mom getting her hair washed and the ventilator removed! Her throat was sore and scratchy, but she was able to talk to us. Dad explained to mom what had all happened and that she had a long road ahead of her, but that they would do this together.
Over the last 5 days the doctors have been working on getting her water retention down and she also started physical therapy to gain her strength back. She managed to sit on the side of the bed for a minute and stand for about 30 second twice yesterday. We will continue to update this site on occasion to pass along moms progress.