Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Trials of Aging

My mother-in-law, Elaine Jenkins, hasn't been feeling well for quite awhile. Wynn's sisters would take her to the doctor and mostly be told that since she was in her 80's it was mostly because she was getting older. Then they found out that, where most people, like me, need to avoid salt, Elaine needs to take a salt pill! That helped a little. Then a couple of week ago, Dean (my father-in-law) told them they needed to take Elaine to the doctor because she just hadn't been feeling well at all and was getting worse. The day they took her, she said she didn't know why she had to go to the doctor because she was feeling pretty good that day.

The doctor checked her out and ran some tests, then he scheduled for her to go to a bunch of specialists last Tuesday, March 17th, her birthday! Here is an email from Wynn's sister Maridene sent Wednesday March 18th. It can explain what they found out that day much better than I could.

I didn't know if Sirena called or emailed either of you about mom's doctor appointments yesterday so I wanted to update you on the latest.We took mom to doctors all day yesterday and this is what we found out:
First of all, she is getting a pacemaker on Tuesday. Her heart rate was as low as 36 bpm during part of her test. She will stay in the hospital overnight but it doesn't seem like a big deal. She will be awake during the procedure.
Next, they are sending us to a dermatologist to remove cancer cells from her neck where she had a 'fingernail' growing out of it. Only 10 percent are cancerous and she was one of the lucky ones.
She has polymyalgia rheumatica which is a muscle disease. It is treated with prednisone which has a number of side affects. She will have to be on it for about a year and a half. They will do blood work often to keep an eye on everything that is going on. I am just glad they found out what has been causing her so much pain for so long. I wonder how long she has really had it.
The kidney specialist gave us a paper that says she has 'chronic kidney disease, stage 1V' (severe). He said her kidneys are only functioning at 25 percent. She is having an ultra-sound on Friday and also blood work.We will try to keep you informed on what is happening.
We will try to keep you informed on everything that we find out. She seems to be doing much better since they started her on the medication.I am just glad they found out what has been causing her so much pain for so long. I just wonder how long she has had it. I wish Trudy could be so lucky.

So Elaine gets a pacemaker today. We pray for all to go well.


Lexie Jane said...

hope she can start feeling better!! love you grandma J!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope she feels better soon. Love Mom