mythicalgirl: (not doing shit)
My brother-in-law is still a very sick man but he is slowly improving.  A week ago today I arrived in NC just in time to hang out with my Sissy and her mother-in-law while J- went into surgery.  They cleaned the infections out of his hip, put him on a ventilator, and wheeled him off to surgical ICU. 

Which is where he has been ever since.  While everyone was hoping he'd be off the ventilator and in post ICU by now that isn't the case.  He's had a few minor problems, mostly with his liver and kidney's.  The liver went into shock and his billirubin levels went up to 22.  His kidneys also went into shock so the toxins started to build up in his blood.  They installed a chest port into his heart and have begun daily dialysis, from which we are now starting to see improvements.  As my sister said in her update "he produced a wee bit more wee" last night.  His billirubin level is down to 16.6.  And his white blood cell count has dropped below 15000 after a brief spike yesterday (along with everything else Mr Man has developed a urinary tract infection). 

The ventilator is something of a concern as they don't like to keep mouth vents in longer than 9 days as the risk of permanent damage to the vocal cords goes up.  He's had the thing 7 days now so they either need to take him off of it soon or do a tracheotomy and install the vent that way.  Not a huge issue as the hole will heal.  And he needs the help breathing - there is so much staph infection throughout his body that he is considered septic.  He's a big guy and the infection & surgery have left him very weak so he needs all the help he can get, even with something the rest of us take for granted like breathing. 

I left to come home Sunday afternoon around 3.  With him in ICU and my Sissy handling everything there really wasn't much for me to do other than moral support.  I needed to be back at work Tuesday anyway so I left a little early to allow me to split up the drive instead of do it all in one day.  I've been getting updates via phone, text and email.  Mom and Dad left Monday but only got a few hours away before they came back.  The whole billirubin levels and dialysis thing kind of threw Sis for a loop Monday afternoon.  I would have come back to NC but I was already home.  A few hours later all had been explained and Sis was calmed down.  The 'rents stayed through yesterday morning though, not leaving until we started seeing some improvement from the dialysis.  They should be home (Texas) today or tomorrow. 

And now I think everyone is worn out.  Sissy is taking a little more time for herself (I think today includes a couple of visits to J- at the hospital, a nap, and a concert in the town square with one of her friends to decompress).  Mom & Dad should be home soon.  I have a ton of weeding and yard work to do but rain is in the forecast so I might have to sit around the house instead (Oh.  Darn).  Sis plans to go back to work part time next week as she strives to find her new "normal" routine.  J- will be in the hospital in SICU, PICU and then acute care rehab for some time.  Even after they get him well he'll have to get his strength back, build up atrophied muscle, and learn to walk with his temporary hip.  Long road ahead, that's for sure. 

Thanks to everyone who has been sending positive energy and prayers to Sissy and her hubby.  Keep em coming!


Jun. 2nd, 2010 04:23 pm
mythicalgirl: (ladybug)
I went with the ladybug icon today as it makes me smile. 

I am very tired today.  The antibiotics seem to be helping but after 5 days on them I would think I'd feel better than this. 

I didn't sleep well last night.  Worry and frustration kept me up for a while.  As some of you may remember my brother-in-law (henceforth to be known as J- ) needs a hip replacement due to avascular necrosis in the joint.  Basically blood flow got cut off and everything in the joint died.  Mom called last night to tell me J-was in the hospital.  He fell again despite now having a walker instead of crutches.  Sissy got him back inside with the help of a neighbor and rented a wheelchair and all seemed well.  The hip replacement still weeks away on 6/22 but they had things to do like blood work and classes. 

Then he started talking to her like she was someone else.  When she asked him about it he didn't remember the conversation even though it had just been a couple minutes ago.  Freaked Sissy way out so she took him back to emergency where they started running all sorts of tests.  He is malnourished because he hasn't been eating right or much at all what with the hip pain and all the drugs.  He hasn't been sleeping well either.  His potassium levels were whacked which was causing what we in this family call "the windies".  A term my Grammy coined when she saw little kids swinging back and forth on the refrigerator door one time when her levels got low.  They also found fluid around the heart and diagnosed congestive heart failure.  And there is an infection in the hip joint where all the bone & tissue necrotized. 

Basically he's a mess.  The hip replacement is obviously postponed until everything else is under control.  The eco-cardiogram came back good - his heart is strong.  This morning they were thinking the fluid might be from his liver, which is not producing enough protein.  This could be related to the malnourishment or the infection - or could be something else entirely.  We're waiting for a liver specialist to see him to find out.  But the heart is strong and that is the first good news in a couple of days.  Now they need to get him stabilized with nutrients, etc.  Get him to eat!  And there will likely be surgery to clean the infection out of the joint although I don't know when yet. 

The worry is because, well, it's my Sissy and J-.  I'm worried for his health and I'm worried for my Sissy having to go through all this.  I'm frustrated because I can't do anything except send positive thoughts.  I'm there with them in spirit but not in the flesh as I'm in Indiana and they are in North Carolina.  Not that I could do anything if I were there - that is up to the doctors, and Sissy & J- have lots of friends there plus his family should be there by now as they were driving down from Indy - but I still feel like I should be doing something and there is really nothing I can do, hence the frustration. 

As for now, I'm going to home, get the latest update and try to relax for a while.  Send positive thoughts (or prayers if you lean that way) to my Sissy and her hubby down North Carolina way, would you? 


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September 2013

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