Sorry for the light posting around here, but we’ve had more upheaval in the medical field. My mother-in-law went into the hospital early last week with a veritable u-pick of symptoms and possible diagnoses that finally settled on kidney infection. She started treatment but wasn’t getting better as quickly as expected, and then Thursday morning she had what the doctors in her small-town hospital thought was a heart attack. Lacking the facilities to treat her there, they sent her off to Big City Tennessee Hospital, where she was promptly placed in — no, not ICU — a room in the outpatient surgery area, the only one available at the time. Dear Husband, my SIL, and Oldest Daughter all scooted up to see her, only to find that it was almost impossible to shoehorn even one extra person into the room. She’s in a regular one now.
The BCTH docs didn’t think she’d had a heart attack after all, but they ordered a bunch of tests, which turned out to be a very good thing. After various scans and, I’d be willing to bet, enough blood draws to feed a vampire for months, it was determined that she has a stone blocking the exit to one of her kidneys, hence the infection and, possibly, the breathing problems and other symptoms that led to suspicion of a heart attack.
She also has cardiomyopathy. This is not a happy diagnosis, but it beats the hell out of the undiagnosed variety. She had a cardiac catheterization this morning, which showed no blockage, so my limited knowledge (and Google searches) lead me to think there will be lots of medication and monitoring in her future. I haven’t heard the doc’s report yet.
The kidney infection is clearing up, but she will need a couple of procedures to break up the stone — including an exciting visit with a lithotripter. Back in a previous life, I wrote several Certificate of Need applications for lithotripters, and the name still makes me laugh. It sounds like a fake high-tech device on Star Trek. Having seen someone suffer through passing a stone, however, I’ll take the funny-name machine any day.
So, now we know something, even if it isn’t the best news.