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A Montana Address Again

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Three months ago, Shawn and I drove to Rochester, Minnesota planning to stay for a week, maybe two.  If you have been following my blog, you know how those plans went awry.   With lots of good medical care, hard work and time for healing, I’m finally strong enough to leave the hospital.   Due to my pressure sores, transportation has been the sticking point for my release.  The social workers here persistently sought a solution.  Yesterday I learned that my full medical flight would be funded through one of Mayo Clinic’s programs.   I fly out tomorrow! I’m not going home just yet but am traveling to an acute care center in Billings, Montana, a two-hour drive from home.  The focus of my stay there will be wound care and physical therapy.   I’ll be letting you know my new Montana address soon! As always, thank you for your prayers, support and love. — Lisa

Answered Prayer at Mayo Clinic

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I have been doing dialysis over a month for acute kidney failure. Each day labs have been reviewed and checked for progress and each day my kidneys were still not functioning. During the last week, the labs indicated my kidneys were showing signs of waking up. Thursday’s dialysis was postponed followed by Friday’s and Saturday’s.  On Sunday, right after viewing church on line, the kidney doctor came in and announced my kidneys had improved enough I no longer needed dialysis. All at once, I smiled, clapped my hands, and my eyes filled with tears of profound gratitude.  I was overwhelmed by the positive impact it would have on my plans to come home.  However, I still have a big obstacle yet to overcome in healing my severe pressure wounds. This and physical therapy will be my main focus as I look toward discharge.   Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. They’re working! Love, Lisa

The Long Road Ahead; When hope seems out of sight

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I wanted to give a short update on the progress I've made and the long road ahead to recovery.  My heart rate has improved as well as some critical lab numbers. I’m off of all IV medicine, too.  I go to dialysis three times a week because my kidneys still aren't functioning. This is the biggest barrier to going home as I need to have the strength to sit in the chair for four hours. This is difficult because I have severe pressure sores on my bottom. I'll require several months of inpatient rehab and we are unsure where that will be.  Sometimes I feel hopeless but I'm determined to find bits of beauty and slices of joy amidst the pain. Some days are better than others so I have to remember to be kind to myself and trust that God is writing my story.

Mayo Update: One Day at a Time

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I’ve graduated out of the ICU (again!).  I’m now in a slow holding pattern of waiting for my kidneys to heal and start functioning and also work with physical therapists to regain some of my strength.   This last part, physical therapy, is exactly that.  It is very physical, taxing my energy to the limit, and is sometimes painful.  But I push myself to follow the therapist’s instructions as I know whatever gains I make will assure a better future.   My day consists of many visits by medical professionals.  They come in one at a time, in pairs or in groups.  There always seems to be a line at my door.   Your cards, flowers, and facebook comments lift my spirits each day.  Many times, it has been your support that I have needed to keep me going.  Thank you! Love, Lisa

Update on Lisa - Guest Post from Kara Nelson, Lisa’s Sister

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  An Update From Kara:  Lisa is in the Mayo Clinic ICU still, but improving. Over a month ago, she came here for a feeding tube placement. And, after overcoming major complications with internal bleeding and kidney issues, she was all set to go home when about a week ago, she came down with a sepsis blood infection and her body went into septic shock. She was extremely fatigued, her kidneys stopped functioning, she had hypotension (low blood pressure), and a lot of fluid retention. Lisa was very sick, and to be honest, we didn’t know if she was going to make it. Doctors treated Lisa with many life-saving medications (up to eight IV bags hung at one time), several rounds of paracentesis (removing fluid from her abdomen), blood transfusions, and dialysis. The sepsis infection is now gone, her numbers are stable, her fluid retention is much better, her eyes are brighter, her voice has returned, and she’s been able to sit up once or twice a day. Currently, she is still on dialysis full tim

Week Four at Mayo Clinic

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I've been at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota since February 15th. More than three quarters of the time has been spent in the ICU and the hospital. How am I doing? Honestly, it’s been a rough roller coaster. Although my body is SLOWLY healing, my mental health needs support.  I stand in the shadow of anxiety, loneliness, fatigue, frustration, and sadness.  Then gratitude, peace, strength, and optimism shine through the clouds. Eariler this week, I had my first and second panic attack in a series of lucid dreams. Mild hallucinations and imagined voices set in, too. It was scary. It was confusing. Some of what I imagined was kinda funny! When I talked to my doctors, they told me that I likely had a mild case of delirium caused by the disorienation, loud noises, and changing faces of a hospital. They told me my nightmares were typical and reassured me that I was safe. They gave suggestions for relief. Keep your mind occupied with puzzles, word searches, or other hobbies. Move aroun

More Mayo News

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 Hey friends, After a rough week of being very sick in the ICU, I finally graduated yesterday to a regular hospital room! I still have several days of recovery ahead of me but I’m grateful for the positive progress. I appreciate your love and support. It sustains me and gives me comfort.  I will write more later. Love, Lisa