Friday, July 03, 2009

From bad to worse

Hi everyone:

One of the cardiologists evaluated Patty this morning and determined that she's likely experiencing a degree of heart failure. Her feet and legs are somewhat swollen, her breathing is more labored, her lungs continue to have some fluid in them (which is making her sound raspy and causing her to cough from time to time) and her urine output has been low. She has also been feeling weaker and more shaky than was the case for much of yesterday.

If I understand correctly, she's gone from too "dry" to too "wet", but has done so without the benefit of eliminating some of those liquids. To address this, the cardiologist ordered a dose of Lasix, which caused Patty to pee more in one hour than she did all of yesterday (I believe racehorses are often mentioned in this context). She's still swollen, but this is probably a step in the right direction. As expected, she will be staying in the ICU at least for today and, were I a betting man, I suspect she will be here tomorrow as well.

In spite of her day being substandard, she has had some sunnier moments. She's been sitting up, albeit not in great comfort. She has eaten a little, but with little enjoyment of the food. All in all, I think she's pretty miserable, although she's been very calm and cooperative in spite of the various indignities.

An echocardiogram was performed on Patty this morning. The test had been previously scheduled, so it wasn't something new that arose because of Patty's symptoms. However, the cardiologist thought it might provide some information useful in plotting next steps. So, if we get any answers, we'll make sure you get them, too.

We miss Neil. He makes Patty feel an extra dose of security, I think, and he has an uncanny knack for keeping me sane and focused when I'm having my more freaked-out moments (even when he's somewhat freaked out himself.) And as much as we rely on Kathleen and love her presence, we're relieved not to have seen her so far today, only because we know she'll wear herself out before she'll stop trying to help. Still, she's missed as well.

More soon...


P.S. Several times while we've been here, I've seen spouses, children and grandchildren all battling sadness associated with ailing loved ones, all of whom have something wrong with their hearts. Some are old, and some are strikingly young (even in comparison to Patty). It's all so sad.

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