Dayle’s health

I (Ed) last wrote when we were in San Francisco on our way home. We arrived safely back in Grants Pass on Wednesday July 29. Dayle saw her doctor the next day. By that time she was feeling much better, but she still had a slight fever. He said to wait and see what happened.

But on the following Monday they returned including diarrhea, nausea and a bit of a fever. So the doctor ordered a battery of blood, stool and urine tests even though the ones done in Ghana (at the best lab in the country) showed no intestinal or urinary infection. It really was a battery of tests. It seemed like I spent most of the next two days driving samples to the lab.

Dayle's fun hospital sock

Dayle’s fun hospital sock

The results of those tests showed two serious infections  – a digestive tract infection of C-Diff and a urinary tract infection of a multiple-drug resistant strain of e-coli in her urine.  This strain is found only in Africa and is susceptible to only one antibiotic which can only be administered in a hospital and which is dangerous. So she was hospitalized in Grants Pass from Wednesday Aug 19 through Sunday Aug 21. She did not tolerate the full course of the antibiotic, but it looks like it was enough to kill the bug in her bladder. She took the  treatment for C-Diff at home.

As Dayle brought a rare infection from Africa, she has had the attention of public health officials. We implemented a whole range of sanitation measures had home – gloves, touch-less soap dispenser, paper towels rather than a cloth hand towel in the bathroom, and we are boosting the profits of the Clorox company. We also stayed home, not wanting to because modern-day Typhoid Marys.

Previous to being hospitalized, a visit to a cardiologist in Medford resulted in a different diagnosis than we received in Ghana – – stress-induced cardiomyopathy. That’s a fancy way for saying that the severe illness stressed out Dayle’s heart. A stress test and heart ultrasound were ordered to confirm that diagnosis. If confirmed, the treatment is simple convalescence. The tests had to be postponed due to Dayle being in the hospital, but they will be done this week.

On Tuesday the 25th, the doctor declared Dayle free of all infections. However, follow-up tests will be done in three months and Dayle will have to watch for signs that the C-Diff is recurring. About 20% of all cases do recur.

Eleanor and Max

Eleanor and Max

On that same day, Dayle’s mother fell at home and broke both ankles. She was hospitalized for a few days and it now in rehab for up to three months.

Ed has plans to return to Ghana for two months on September 14 while Dayle stays in Grants Pass. Then Ed will return to Grants Pass around Thanksgiving.

On August 25, Dayle’s mother fell at home and broke both her ankles. As you can imagine, we have been occupied with visits and other matters for the last few days, especially as Dayle’s father finds it difficult to cope without his wife in the house. Both Dayle’s father and her mother are showing more and more signs of memory loss and occasional mental confusion.

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Dayle’s hospitalizations

On Monday and Tuesday July 6 and 7, Dayle had a headache and on Tuesday a fever. She had supper Tuesday night and we went to bed as usual. I woke up in the night because she was vomiting. On Wednesday, I woke up at the usual time but Dayle was sleeping peacefully. So I let her sleep, but I didn’t go to work because I wanted to see how she was when she woke.

I was sitting in the living room about 9 AM when my phone rang. It was Dayle calling me from the bedroom. So I went into the bedroom. She said that she was burning up with fever and so weak she couldn’t get out of bed. She was also very thirsty. Then I saw a trail of bloody diarrhea from her side of the bed to the bathroom. In addition, her bedclothes and the bedding were soaked with the same.

I told her we were going to the hospital immediately. I found her clothes to wear, threw a few of her things into a small bag, and got our plastic stool. I then moved her to the car having her sit on the stool every few steps.

It took about 30 minutes to drive to the hospital through traffic. The took her into emergency, immediately and a doctor saw her within 5 minutes. In 10 minutes they had IVs hung and we’re rapidly re-hydrating her. Antibiotics, and other medications quickly followed.

By early afternoon she had improved a lot. She was sitting up and talking. Her fever was coming down and other symptoms improving. I thought she was on the road to a quick recovery. That was not to be the case.

Over the next two days (Thursday and Friday (the 9th and 10th) she would improve slowly then slide back a bit. But on Saturday she was much improved. They were going to send her home on Sunday if that held.

Dayle (well her feet) in the ambulance with me trailing in our car

Dayle (well her feet) in the ambulance with me trailing in our car

Then early on Sunday morning the 12th she had a cardiac event – very rapid and irregular heart beat. Unfortunately, Dayle called me over and over but I slept through the calls. When they woke me about 7, I rushed to the hospital. There I learned that they suspected a mild heart attack. Her heartbeat was back to normal. That hospital did not have a coronary unit, so they had arranged ambulance transfer to the Cardiothoracic (that’s the correct spelling here) unit at the big government teaching hospital. I trailed the ambulance across town.

She was fine the rest of the day. They diagnosed an embolism and gave her anticoagulants to bust it up. Need tests could not be done because Dayle had to be on oxygen, she had to be moved for the tests and they had no portable oxygen.

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Dayle with the ever-present coconut with a straw. Coconut water is an excellent re-hydration drink.

I took a room at a nearby guest house because the hospital is a 60 to 90 minute drive across town to our place. Then about 7:30 she had another episode. It lasted about 30 minutes. Then she was fine the rest of that day.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday the 14th and 15th she had more episodes. They started her on a new medication that seemed to control it. That worked on Tuesday then not on Wednesday so they upped the dose. That did the trick. But her tummy troubles were still not completely solved. They added other antibiotics for that.

Her heart stayed stable. The cardiologist changed the diagnosis to a problem with the electrical impulses that keep the heart beating right. They didn’t have the diagnostic equipment to do the study, so Dayle would have to go back to the US for that, but that could wait until 1-2 weeks after her discharge. They did an ultrasound and found a normal heart but one chamber was not closing down as much as it should. That hinted at a blockage, but they didn’t have the equipment to do an angiography.

Dayle at home re-hydrating on coconut water

Dayle at home re-hydrating on coconut water

Dayle was discharged on Saturday evening. She was to get blood tests and see the cardiologist on Tuesday. The tests showed a continuing infection and an EKG during the follow-up visit with the cardiologist increased the likelihood that there is a blockage. The cardiologist said Dayle should travel to the US the following Monday or Tuesday to get an angiogram. She also changed Dayle’s meds.

By that time many flights were full and the remaining seats were expensive.

Then Dayle’s fever came back and the diarrhea started again. We were advised that she should travel anyway keeping the fever in check with Tylenol and Advil, with something else for the diarrhea.

We had all kinds of dead ends buying tickets – no seats available, not being able to pay online for flights originating in Ghana, and expensive available seats. But we found better prices, but still expensive with Emirates through Dubai.

Dayle did fine on the 7 hour flight to Dubai. We landed there at 5:25 AM on July 28. It was already 97 degrees before the sun rose. I was expecting an airport almost deserted, shops closed, a few officials and a handful of passengers. Instead, it was bustling with activity. All the MANY shops were open. The concourses were so full of people that I had to carefully watch where I was walking. There were lines at security, not long lines, but lines nonetheless.

I remarked to a passenger about how busy the airport was. He said that it is the busiest from midnight till 3 AM! Dubai, it turns out, is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world.

The 15 hour flight to San Francisco on the huge A380 went fine. No heart symptoms and the fever and tummy troubles stayed manageable. I am writing this from San Francisco where we overnighted. Dayle ate supper at a nearby IHOP and breakfast there again this morning. We are scheduled to fly to Medford about noon.

Stay posted for more news, or see my updates about this saga several times a week on www.facebook.com/heartlanguage.

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Updates on Dayle

If you are looking for updates on Dayle’s health, you can find them almost daily at www.facebook.com/heartlanguage. That Facebook page is public – you can see it without being on Facebook.

Matthew and Morelle Now and Then

For the wedding, I made a slideshow of pictures of Matthew and Morelle from childhood to the present. Not many people got to see it, so I’m posting it here. Enjoy.

You can also download a PDF version of the slideshow to keep. It also shows larger on your screen than the one below.

 

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Indianapolis

We added a lot of other things to our trip to the US for Matthew and Morelle’s wedding. The last was a stop in Indianapolis. It was over the weekend of the 500. But, we did not go to that event. Maybe next time. Instead we spoke at Crossroads church and made a lot of great new friends. A big thank you to David and Sherry Scott for their wonderful hospitality and to all the wonderful folk at Crossroads for welcoming us so warmly.

Here are some photos. To see the caption of a photo, hover the mouse over the photo. Click on any photo to enlarge it and start a slideshow. If you are looking at this in an email, click here to see it in a browser where the photos will show better.

Duesenberg museum

On Saturday May 23rd we stopped at the Cord, Auburn, Deusenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana. With less than 130 vehicles, I thought that we would make a quick stop and be on our way to Indianapolis where we were expected by supper time. But, not only is there another automotive museum on the same property, the displays and information we detailed and fascinating. We should have planned to spend the whole day.

When Ed was in high school, one of his dad’s customers bought a Cord to restore it. Ever since, he has been fascinated with that very first front wheel drive automobile manufactured in the US. Also, in the early 1900s, there were well over 100 automobile manufacturers in the state of Indiana. Besides, the Deusenberg model J was way ahead of its time, getting almost 270 horsepower out of the engine when other luxury and sporting cars were struggling to get 150 and many ordinary cars had only 60 or 80.

In any case, it was a very enjoyable three hours which went far to fast.

Here are some photos. To see the caption of a photo, hover the mouse over the photo. Click on any photo to enlarge it and start a slideshow. If you are looking at this in an email, click here to see it in a browser where the photos will show better.

Visiting Kaufman cousins

 

Ursula and DayleAfter leaving Mark and Lacy’s in Chicago on Wednesday morning, we drove to Al and Bonnie’s place making some stops to see friends along the way. That included a stop in Elkhart to see a Ghanaian lady we had worked with. She was a finance officer for the Ghanaian organization we are loaned to. She won the green card lottery and settles in Elkhart where she is working and saving to go back to University. We also stopped and got about 30 pounds of free printed materials to take back to Ghana from a friend of Ed’s cousin Ann, Treva.

The woods at Al and Bonnie's place

The woods at Al and Bonnie’s place

We had a lovely three nights and two days with Al and Bonnie (Bonnie is Ed’s cousin on his mother’s side). Their place is a real retreat and we took every advantage of it. Ed walked in the woods while we both got caught up on sleep after the busy wedding week.

Wildflowers were proliferating and the woods were a luscious green with new leaves. Ed couldn’t resist walking around taking photos.

Bonnie and Roger

Bonnie and Roger

The title of this post is inaccurate. Many of the family we met with are the children of Mary (Ed’s mother’s sister) and Vernon Kaufman, their children and their grandchildren. But there were others including aunt Clara Dintaman and Suzie Dintaman Garber along with her husband, Erwin, and some of their children and grandchildren. Bonnie and Al hosted a family get together on Friday evening.

Cheryle Kaufman came over early which gave us the wonderful opportunity to look at photos of her husband (Ed’s cousin) Ron’s funeral. Ron was terminal last time we saw him, but we missed the funeral. So she went over photos with us. That was nice as living in Africa causes us to miss many family events.

Cheryle also brought an eight-grade yearbook of Ron’s which had all his brothers and sisters in it. That was a trip down memory lane that attracted everyone’s attention.

A big thank you to Al and Bonnie and to all the cousins who came to the Friday night get together. We were so glad to see all of you.

Here are some photos. To see the caption of a photo, hover the mouse over the photo. Click on any photo to enlarge it and start a slideshow. If you are looking at this in an email, click here to see it in a browser where the photos will show better.