Lynne’s Journey

The following is a compilation of all of Facebook updates during Lynne’s recent medical crisis written by Lynne’s daughters: Jennifer, Jacquelyn, and Jessica.

Friday, August 3, 2018 at 11:18am

Written by Jacquelyn

Prayers please. My mom is back in the hospital. This time for severe constipation, caused by a combination of the cancerous tumor pressing on her spine is disrupting the bowel signals to her brain, constipation is a side effect of the oxy for her severe pain, and she is dehydrated.

I had to come home to pump and eat lunch. When I left at 10:30am, she was in severe pain. My mom has lived with pain her most of her life so she has a very high pain tolerance. If she is feeling a 10 on the pain scale, it would be astronomical for most of the rest of us. Unfortunately, the nursing staff was waiting on orders to be able to administer pain medication. I have never seen Mom is so much pain before.

Update (8/7): The pain was actually caused by a blocked and severely distended colon. CT scan on Saturday revealed that her colon had perforated and she was rushed into emergency surgery. A portion of her colon had died and had to be removed. The surgery was halted due to concerns regarding her heart so a wound vac was put into place and she spent the night ventilated and sedated in ICU. Sunday after getting her heart stabilized, she was taken back into surgery where 95% of her remaining colon was cleared, her abdomen was thoroughly flushed, and a colostomy bag was put in. She is currently in ICU under sedation and ventilated.

Friday, August 3, 2018 at 2:14pm

Written by Jacquelyn

Perhaps one of the hardest things to endure is watching a loved one in pain and being unable to do anything to take that pain away.

Saturday, August 4, 2018, at 7:46am

Written by Jacquelyn

Mom has been move from the General Surgery area to a different area. She has a low white blood cell count.

I’m going to go visit once I finish pumping for the baby. I should know more then.

At 9:54am

Doctors are concerned about Mom’s colon and surgery was mentioned, but it would be very risky so we are still hoping it won’t be necessary. They administered a strong pain medication. It makes her hallucinate but she is not experiencing pain.

We are mentally and emotionally preparing ourselves for whatever the next few hours and days bring.

At 1:13pm

The surgeon has ordered another CT scan just to check on Mom’s colon. He has some concerns but wants to see what the imaging shows before making a recommendation. But it seems more likely that surgery is the only option.

At 3:49pm

Surgeon just came back with CT results. There is a perforation in Mom’s colon. She’ll be prepped for emergency surgery. It is bad but it is hard to tell how bad it is without going in. But surgery is the only option at this point or she’ll die from sepsis.

Please keep Lynne in your prayers… And her surgery team.

At 4:28pm

Claiming His promises! “I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help.'” Isaiah 41:13

Mom's Bible and the book Bible Promises for your Every need
This is Mom’s Bible.

At 5:26pm

Mom (Lynne) is in Pre-Op. She’ll be taken into surgery any minute. If all goes well, it will be a 2-3 hour surgery. She is in the Lord’s hands.

At 7:16pm

Mom is out of surgery. They only did half of the surgery (removed a portion of her colon that had died) but the surgeon was concerned about her vitals so they stopped. She is currently “moderately stable”.

She’ll be in ICU overnight (intubated: sedated and on a ventilator) then back in surgery tomorrow if everything is ok to proceed.

At 9:32pm

Written by Jennifer

For those of you who haven’t been following my sister’s posts:

Mom has been in the hospital for the past couple of days for belly pain and other issues. She had a CT yesterday that showed some significantly dilated bowel. So they started with conservative treatments and non-surgical options. Last night/early this morning she was moved to a cardiac floor because her heart rate jumped up pretty high and they wanted to monitor her more closely.

Today her belly pain was decreasing but her belly was getting distended and more tender to the touch. So she got a repeat CT scan that showed a perforation or hole in her bowel where it was dilated the most. She went in for emergency surgery this evening.

When she was in surgery, there was a lot of damage that showed that this process has been going on for a while. She started to not tolerate the surgery very well so the surgeons placed a wound vac and will attempt to complete the surgery tomorrow when she is stronger. She is staying the night in ICU on a ventilator to build up for tomorrow. She has an excellent team working on making her comfortable and build up strength to continue with what needs to be done to extend her quality of life.

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts. It has meant the world to me and my family to know that so many people care about Mom.

Sunday, August 5, 2018, at 11:37am

Written by Jessica

I want to send a big thank you to everyone who has been praying for my mom. As many of you know first hand, this is a difficult road in which words cannot adequately describe the journey. Thank you, Jacqui and Jen, for summarizing each day’s events much nicer than I ever could.

At 2:11pm

Written by Jacquelyn

Mom is being prepped to return to surgery. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers in the next few hours.

She has one of the best medical teams and we are so grateful for the doctors, nurses, and everyone.

At 5:22pm

They are bringing Mom back from the OR. We’ll know more soon.

Update: Mom is back in the room. Still sedated and on a ventilator. She is doing well but will be in ICU for a few days or a week… Depends on how she responds. The surgeon warned us: “Things can get bad fast but things get better slowly.” The next 24-36 hours are crucial.

They cleaned out 95% of her remaining colon, put in a colostomy bag, and closed her up. She is a bit anemic but that is to be expected with her type of injury and surgery. They are monitoring her very closely.

Monday, August 6, 2018, at 8:05pm

I spent the day in ICU with Mom, Dad, and Jessi join us for the afternoon. Jenni had to work, but fortunately, she works at the same hospital so she was able to pop in before her shift and also in the afternoon.

Mid-morning they did a trial to see if Mom (Lynne) could breathe on her own so she could be taken off the ventilator. While her lungs did well, her heart did not like it so they put her back on the ventilator. They eased up on her sedatives but, again, her heart did not like it so they put her back under. The doctors want to give her body, especially her heart, more rest after such a huge ordeal. They are letting her body dictate her recovery.

That said, there are so many things to be grateful for. She is alive, resting and not in pain. That is… huge. Mom’s nurse today was amazing and kept us well informed. All things considered, Mom is doing well. I’m not medically trained so I don’t know all the correct terms. Her numbers/levels (blood, white blood cells, kidney function, etc.) are doing well for someone who went through what she did.

Mom is not out of the woods and she has a long road of recovery ahead of her. But we want to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words.

Isaiah 41:13 says For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'

Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at 12:28pm

My apologies to family and friends following my updates on Mom (Lynne). I will be unable to update you much today. I did get a text from Dad.

Mom is doing ok. They are slowly decreasing sedation to see how she responds. She is biting down on the tube (ventilator), which I’m sure she hates but is important.

I’ll try to share any updates I get and I will be going to the hospital after work. I just didn’t want to leave you hanging and wondering why there is a lack of updates for a few hours. Thank you for the words of encouragement and prayers.

At 8:35pm

Jessi texted me two hours ago with a summary of the afternoon. They are slowly decreasing Mom’s sedation.

“Mom has moments where she opens her eyes but then she falls back sleep. She is breathing more on her own so the respiratory therapist is hoping to remove the breathing tube maybe tomorrow and replace with the feeding tube.”

Yesterday the hospital nutritionist was able to find a type of feeding tube formula that accommodates all of Mom’s allergies, but the one catch is that the hospital does not keep it in stock. The doctors gave the ok for it to be used but Dad has to order it and pay for it himself. He can then bring it to the hospital when it arrives.

I spoke with Dad today. He was able to contact the company who makes it when they opened this morning and get a shipment sent. Hopefully, it will arrive in time for when the doctors are ready to move Mom over to the feeding tube. It is super expensive to overnight it, but there is no price tag on making sure Mom gets the nutrients she needs in a way that won’t cause more problems.

I was going to go visit Mom this evening but I had to wait until after shift change when ICU is closed to visitors. I accidentally fell asleep while playing with Benji and Zachi on the living room floor. I am still determined to swing by the hospital for a quick visit tonight, but I just might be too tired…

Update 2: I was going to go visit for a few minutes just because I live so close to the hospital. I was pulling out of our neighborhood and noticed a big storm rolling in. Lots of wind and lightning so I decided better to be safe than sorry. I turned around and came home.

Jenni says that the staff on duty tonight in ICU are great and they’ll keep a close eye on Mom for us so we all can get some rest. I am so glad Mom is where she is. The medical team has been amazing.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 9:22am

Mom (Lynne) is resting. She is still sedated though it is not quite as heavily sedated as before. She was/is under the watchful care of the amazing ICU night shift and day shift teams. They are taking such great care of Mom, though sometimes it can be tough love… what might be best for the patient is not always the easy thing, and her medical team knows when to push and when not to.

They also put up with us (the family) with such kindness and patience. All our questions, our emotions, our presence in the room, our sleep deprivation, and sometimes our fears and anxieties that we may unintentionally direct towards them simply because they are there in our moment of weakness and frustration. They are amazing.

As I mentioned yesterday, the respiratory team is gradually weaning Mom off of the ventilator. She seems to be tolerating the weaning process and has made some progress overnight so the hope is that she will be off of it sometime later today or tonight. Then they will be able to switch her over to a feed tube for some much-needed nourishment. One step at a time, though.

At 3:25pm

Mom was awake when I walked into her room this afternoon. The nurse had just put a new IV in her arm. I talked with her a bit and she seemed to hear and understand me. She would nod her head when I asked her questions and turned to look at me.

They did to a test earlier and it looks like she’ll have to keep the ventilator tube in until tomorrow. She is at about 30% oxygen via the tube now and is tolerating the weaning nicely.

The surgeon came by for a quick check, and he is pleased with her progress. He said good things happen slowly, but it looks like all of her organs and bodily systems are waking up nicely. After such a major surgery, that is always a concern.

I sang Mom a few songs. Dad had to go home to wait for the delivery of the feeding tube formula. He had overnighted it from Ohio. It arrived! And so he is on his way back to the hospital.

Thursday, August 9, 2018, at 6:50pm

Just visited Mom. She had the ventilator tube removed about 3:10 this afternoon. She is awake and can talk briefly in whispers.

I cried tears of joy to see my mom smile at me again and to hear her talk… Even if it was the quietest whisper ever.

She is doing well and taking it slowly. The edema is gradually decreasing. She can move her arms slowly now.

Today is a good day. Praise the Lord!