Mom Health Update

Jon Jimison 10:59pm Oct 4

Here’s the latest with Grandma. As many of you know, Grandma has been having pain and weakness in her right shoulder for several years. About 3 years ago, she saw Dr. Tanner, an Orthopedist in Tulsa, and had an MRI of her shoulder. The MRI showed a severe rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff helps raise the arm above your head as well as rotation of the arm. Her tear had pulled away from the bone and had degenerated. When muscles aren’t used for a period of time, they become very weak and will eventually turn into fat. Grandma’s rotator cuff was beginning to do this.

Rotator cuff tears do not heal on their own and usually require surgery to repair them. Because of the degeneratoin of Grandma’s shoulder, Dr. Tanner felt her best option would be a reverse total shoulder replacement surgery. This type of surgery is indicated for patients who do not have a repairable rotator cuff. Basically, the ball of the humerus, arm bone, is cut off and turned into a socket. The glenoid, socket of the shoulder, is converted into a ball. This changes the mechanics of the shoulder to allow the patient more range of motion in their shoulder. Grandma did not want to have surgery at that time. Dr. Tanner referred her to Physical Therapy. She did a round of PT to help strengthen other muscles around her shoulder to compensate for the rotator cuff tear, which did help some.

Because of her bad right shoulder, Grandma has been using her left arm more. This has begun to take a toll on her. About 2 weeks ago, Grandma saw Dr. Holden, her primary care doctor, to evaluate her shoulders. He sent her for an MRI on both shoulders and referred her to an Orthopedist. Due to the fact that she has seen Dr. Tanner in the past for this issue, she saw him yesterday to review the MRIs. Her right shoulder has gotten worse. Her left shoulder showed a rotator cuff tear. Again, Grandma does not want to have surgery. Dr. Tanner decided to inject a steroid into both of her shoulders to help with her pain and again referred her to PT. Hopefully, she will start PT within the next week.

As for her back, she received a third steroid injection earlier this year. This seems to have helped her. She still has some leg pain and has to use a heating pad and take Tylenol, but she is getting around a little easier. Let’s continue to pray for Grandma and her recovery.

Jon Jimison 11:16am May 22

I just spoke with Cecil who is staying with Grandma in the hospital. All of her lab work has been negative for any heart problems. She is pretty tired and complains of her leg pain, but other than that, she is doing okay. She will stay another night in the hospital. Tomorrow, Dr. Holden (primary care doctor) will see her and give us more of a game plan for Grandma.

Jon Jimison 2:39pm May 21

Grandma Update

Grandma is currently in Ponca City ER with complaints of chest pains. She has had some lab work done, which does not show a heart attack. The plan is for her to be admitted for observation and undergo more lab work to rule out any other issues with her heart. As you know, she was recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) and is on medication for this. She saw Dr. Roye (cardiologist) this past week and he agrees with her current treatment. Right now, I am just waiting for more information about her labwork. We do not have any plans to transfer her to Tulsa just yet.

Earlier this past week, she also saw Dr. Webb (Neurologist). He did another test on her cognitive test to check on Dementia. She did really well, she scored a 29 out of 30. He does not think she has Dementia at this time. Dr. Webb did have concerns about Depression due to her back pain, illnesses, etc. that she is dealing with. He decided to place her on Paxil to see if this helps.

I will keep you updated on her stay in the hospital!

Jon Jimison 8:52pm May 14

I just want to apologize to everyone for not keeping you informed about Grandma and her health. I will try to be better about sending updates to you as I get information about Grandma. My goal is to disseminate information to you so that other family members aren’t hearing second hand information. Hopefully, this will help decrease information that is lost in translation. If you have any questions or comments about Grandma and her health, please direct them to me. I will then post it to the family group page so we can all be informed.

As many of you know, Grandma has been dealing with low back pain that radiates to her right leg for several months now. She has had an MRI which showed some bulging of 2 disks in her back as well as degenerative changes in her back (arthritis). The arthritis is pretty severe and is putting pressure on the nerve that runs down her right leg. Over the past couple of months, Grandma has seen an Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Craven. Under his recommendation, she had 2 epidural steroid injections in her back and underwent Physical Therapy. The steroid is a strong anti-inflammatory medication used to decrease the pressure on the nerve and to help relieve her back pain. These injections are not meant to be a cure for her problem, they are intended to help her cope with this easier. I feel they were helping. She was feeling better overall and was becoming more active with helping her neighbors and driving them on errands. I think she may have overdone it, and now she is back to square one with her back pain. Dr. Craven has suggested back surgery which would include a fusion of the 2-3 bones in her back that are pinching on the nerve. At this point in time, Grandma does not want to have surgery because she is planning on going on a cruise with Steve and Melony in early June and is overall nervous about surgery. Right now, we are trying conservative treatments with her. She is taking non-narcotic pain medication, using a heating pad, and supposed to be doing exercises for her back as well as generally taking it easy.

On to issue number 2. Marilyn took Grandma to Ponca City ER last week because she was having some chest discomfort. While in the ER, she had an EKG done (a test on the heart). It was showing Atrial Fibrillation, which is an irregular heart beat. She was prescribed a new medication for this and was instructed to follow up with her primary care doctor, Dr. Holden. He did an EKG in the office and did not show Atrial Fibrillation. He made some changes in her medication and ordered an Ultrasound on her heart which was done on Thursday. We are currently waiting on the test results. In the meantime, Michael has been trying to get an appointment with her cardiologist, Dr. Roye.

Issue number 3. Grandma has become more and more confused over the past year. Dr. Holden had ordered an Ultrasound on the carotid arteries in her neck. These arteries are the major blood supply to the brain. He felt she may have had a few Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA’s or mini-strokes). Her forgetfulness and confusion have become worse over the last 3 months. Dr. Holden referred her to a neurologist, but about 2 months ago, Grandma was admitted to Ponca City hospital because she passed out at home. Luckily, Bob and Elise were there with her and called an ambulance. While in the hospital, she was found to be hyponatremic (low sodium in her body) and dehydrated. She stayed in the hospital for a few days and was released home. She was doing much better after that; she seemed more aware of things and not as confused or forgetful. She finally saw a neurologist in Tulsa, Dr. Webb, and had some testing done during this time. He did not diagnose her with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. He did note that she does have some cognitive impairment which could be attributed to her age, 83. He has not recommended any medication as of yet. Grandma does go back to see him next week. He will re-evaluate her at that time. Over the past week, Grandma has been feeling more tired, more confused, and has had some incontinence. Dr. Holden ordered some labs on her which did not show much. He has ordered a few more labs to look into other causes, such as an infection in her intestines. We are waiting for any further testing or diagnoses.

Now, given the fact that Grandma has been very confused lately, I am asking again that all questions or comments about her health and treatments be directed to me. Marilyn and I have been in contact with her doctors and are trying to follow their treatment plan. We all care about Grandma and want to help her, but there have been too many “cooks in the kitchen”. Grandma is getting advice from many different people, many of whom do not know her full medical history, the medications she currently takes, the treatments she has all ready tried, etc. This has become very confusing to Grandma. Marilyn and I are trying to address this issue with Grandma and her neighbors and friends.

Marilyn has been doing a great job in coordinating Grandma’s doctor visits and relaying information back to me. I want to thank her as well as everyone else who has been helping out taking Grandma to her doctors, staying with her, and checking up on her. Please keep Grandma and her doctors in your prayers so we can get her back on the road to good health.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to email me or call me at (918) 810-8143.

Thanks,

Jon

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