Things are at a standstill, which is not good cause she’s swimming upstream. There are three separate, but related, issues she is dealing with
- Pneumonia: The lung infection, caused by staph infection, is running in circles. We get better for a couple of days and then get a setback. For the last two days her right chest tube has been showing heavy air leakage, this basically means she is having more infections ‘pop’ on the surface of her lungs and leaking air into the chest cavity, which is removed by the chest tube. Yesterday they tried to replace (remove and put a new tube in a new location) the left chest tube as the existing one was put in a non-sterile emergency environment, when the CRP was being done, and that could result in a new infection. The procedure ran into complications as she ended up having a clot in her airway and they had to do a emergency bronchoscopy to remove the clot. Her CO2 levels were at dangerous levels while they figured how to remove the clot which was blocking the ventilators job. We got dangerously close to losing her again yesterday. She is currently medically partially paralyzed and fully sedated as the ventilator is at high settings.
- Mitral valve endocarditis: The small blob of bacterial vegetation on one of her heart’s valve, caused by staph infection, is a potentially major issue. The best case scenario is that along with the infection the vegetation also disappears and we don’t have to worry about it. The other possibility is that the infection is gone but the vegetation is still there and that could affect the heart’s rhythm and that will mean an open heart surgery to replace that valve. She is not going to be candidate for a high risk surgery like that anytime soon and we don’t know what damage the damaged valve can cause and when.
- Arterial blood clots: Some of her fingers, part of her left hand, and all her toes are blackening and losing sensation. CT scans have shown many clots in her arteries. The right external iliac, left common femoral and left posterior tibial arteries, all of which support the legs, show sever clots and complete occlusion. The SMA (superior mesenteric artery), which supports her lower intestines, pancreas and colon, is partially clotted. This is perhaps the most serious problem she now has as there are no active medications or procedures that is currently planned to handle it. The doctors cannot do a procedure or give blood thinners as her platelets are low an she’ll bleed with any blood thinner. Nobody knows how long the platelets will take to climb up and the longer we wait the more damage to her limbs and chance of another infection. The longer we wait the higher the chances of her getting an infection from this dead tissue. Another new infection will be an extremely difficult position to overcome.
The doctors have advised us that the longer we wait for platelets to recover, the closer we’ll get to a situation where we’ll have to make a choice between severe amputations, multiple major surgeries, and badly affecting her quality of life, versus keeping her comfortable as long as possible.