Currently my mom is in one of the local hospitals in ICU. After experiencing several moments of extreme dizziness and headaches in the previous week, we were finally able to convince her to go to the emergency room. While in the ED, they ran blood tests & performed at CT scan of her brain. The scan showed swelling on the right side of her brain.
She actually will turn 60 tomorrow, she's spent decades smoking 2+ packs a day of cigarettes, rarely drinks, does no illicit drugs. She is morbidly obese. Other than the dizziness and headaches, the only other recent illness has been what is some type of fungal infection on her foot and a similar infection on her lower abdomen, groin, and thigh. It's pretty much where there are creases in the skin. She's been treating that with OTC Lotramin ointments. She's been on Coumadin for many months after a repeat of DVT in her lower extremities. She was also put on medication for high cholesterol within the past year. Add to these two medications the fact that she's been on Lasix for years for severe edema from mid-thigh down to her feet & prescription potassium to offset the Lasix. Add to these prescription medications the Omazeprole (w/out magnesium) she takes daily for severe heart burn, Tylenol daily for hip & back pain, and Claritin for sinus issues.
To be rather blunt about things, she'll see a doctor when something becomes either so annoying or painful to where it effects her daily activities. However, she does not follow all of their advice. She's been told on basically ever visit to a doctor to lose weight & stop smoking. Neither of which she's willing to do. She also has had issues with what was described to her as hardening of the lower lobes of her lungs due to asbestos exposure. After being chastised by her Pulmonologist every visit, she just stopped going to him, refusing to go back.
Back to the current situation. At the emergency department, they had no neurologist on call. However, they sent her CT scan over to hospital who did have one. After reviewing her scans, he requested she be transferred to the hospital he's at, which they did, & promptly admitted her into their ICU. They've done the standard battery of tests, including an MRI this afternoon. The doctors advised us that the results from the MRI are inconclusive. They now want to perform another CT scan, this time with contrast, of her lungs. Due to the fact that she's had an allergic reaction to the contrast in the past & they're adamant it needs to be performed, so they're putting her on 8 - 12 hours of antihistamine & medications to protect her stomach prior to performing this particular scan. It's currently scheduled for 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.
Thus far, in what I've been able to research, I've found very little that would link brain swelling to her pulmonary system. I've found instances of the reverse (brain infection causing pulmonary problems). But right now, they're not telling us anything else. We're in a "hurry up & wait" situation. Especially with the fact that I'm not able to be with her much at the hospital, I'd like an idea of what this could possibly be.
Just a thought here...you say she's been having sinus issues. Sinus infections can get very nasty...and the infection can spread.
Almost every time my sinuses act up, the infection spreads to my lungs.
I recently had all of my upper teeth pulled because of my sinuses...they sit very low in my gums and the pain to the teeth was excruciating. Every tooth had received a root canal over the years...that's when they discovered that it was due to the sinuses.
After I had my teeth pulled the infections increased. I now have major hearing loss due to infection. My head hurts all the time etc.
Just mentioning this as I read elsewhere on line that one in ten thousand people that suffer from sinus issues have problems with the infection spreading and doing worse damage.
One fella had every test in the books performed on him before they figured out that he was dieing because of his sinuses.
Not saying that this is your mom's problem, but it is something that you could mention to the doctors.
When my hubby almost died last spring they were able to save him because I told his nurse that his breathing problems started around the same time that my snow mold allergies started acting up...they then tested for allergies. Before that information that I had passed on they were at a loss as to why he had quit breathing.
Turns out we share the same allergy...but his can kill him as we have found out.
Sometimes mentioning the "stupidest things" can be the smartest thing.
Keep that in mind...offer up ANY info you can...if she got bit by a spider mention that...if she recently pet a strange cat mention that...you just never know.
I wish your mom a speedy recovery, and wish you a less stressful night.
Thanks for the input. Trust me, I'm current in the exact same position you were in. I'm just in a hold pattern while I have no insurance coverage. Since the hospital has very strict rules regarding ICU visitors, I'm mainly staying at home with my kids. But I've hammered into everyone's brains that every little thing, regardless of how insignificant it may appear, needs to be mentioned. What worries me most is that they're going to release her because they can't figure out what's causing it. So far, they can't even break it down to being caused by animal, vegetable or mineral! The fact that she's a cornucopia of issues doesn't help. Thanks again for idea!
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