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Team Potvin

Gladstone, MI


In the 27 years of Rod and Robyn's marriage, through all of the good times, there have been stressful times as well. In light of his current health journey, let's briefly chat through his medical history to get you up to speed. Rod has had a total of five back surgeries, both knees replaced, lung surgery for a severe infection, a hiatal hernia repair and a mesh screen repair of another hernia... Despite his complicated medical history, even though he was considered disabled, he prided himself in getting back into the workforce which he did as a Phlebotomist. His current acute health situation started back in April, 2021, when on Easter Sunday he was admitted into the local ER with severe abdominal pain. He was found to be in atrial fibrillation (afib) and also was found to have an intestinal blockage. Rodney spent five days in OSF during that admission. (And had his 1st NG tube, which is now up to 10.) On Monday, April 19th, he saw a Cardiologist at Bellin in Green Bay to have his heart shocked back into rhythm. On Friday, April 23rd he returned to Bellin for recurrence of his severe abdominal pain. The following day, Saturday, he had 13 inches of his small intestines removed. Having no improvement after that surgery, the doctors discovered additional blockages in his intestines. June 15th was his second intestinal surgery to remove his entire colon. He spent 13 days in the hospital at Bellin during that admission. It's been determined that the blockages came from all of his previous surgeries that led to scar tissue formation and caused twisting and subsequent blockages in his intestines. He was home for 1 week and on July 6th he was back at Bellin for another 13 days due to his body being unable to hold nutrition and fluids, causing dehydration, kidney failure and his electrolytes became out of whack. On July 27th, he was was admitted to Bellin again for 8 days due to the same dehydration symptoms. Between these hospital stays, he was admitted to the local ER several times for IV fluids. On August 10th he was admitted to Froedert for additional testing to determine where the complications are coming from. The doctors at Froedert have determined Rod has "short gut syndrome." His body isn't absorbing nutrition. For Rod to sustain life, he will have to have IV nutrition (TPN) through a central IV line. The future of Rod being able to eat is uncertain at this time. They are fairly certain he will not be able to get all of his nutrition from his food. There is a current discussion that Rod may be referred to Mayo Clinic pending some test results. Stay tuned for updates on that. Rod has currently been out of work since April and is planning to return to work when his body will allow him to. That is certainly a passion of his! Updated by Robyn Potvin 9/4/21 Rod came home on Monday Aug 30. It’s been a long few days. The GI doctors decided to not have TPN at home. Which in my mind wasn’t the best idea. By Wednesday he was weak again and his BP was 84/48. Our family doctor is keeping a good eye on him. He’s trying to eat and drink what he can to keep his strength up. But still having issues with the stomach and “dumping”. He has learned what foods make it worse, and found out he is unable to handle much sugar. He is still on a low fiber, high protein soft food diet. We go back to Milwaukee Sept 21. Thanks for all the prayers and kindness! Love, Rodney and Robyn Update 9/8 Updated by Robym Potvin So here we are again…took two steps forward and now ten backwards. Had a dr visit today and he needs to get IV fluids, but they can’t get an IV started. He’s dehydrated again and BP is low! We have to be at the hospital for 7 tomorrow for IV fluids and talk of putting another pic line in on Saturday I am more than frustrated with this whole situation! We just want to get off this roller coaster ride! Hold your family tight, tell them you love and thank God for your health! 💕 Update 3 Updated by Robyn Potvin Still on the roller coaster ride as I call it… Today he had IV fluids and his blood drawn. We go back tomorrow for more IV fluids. His electrolytes are out of whack again. Sunday he will have blood cultures done and Tuesday pic line put in again. I think this will be his fourth one. Might not be much more to update until we see the doctor next week Much love Robyn Picc line and medical update 9/14/21 Updated by Robyn Potvin Today he had his 4th picc line put in. The picc line will make it easier for receiving IV fluids. Because he’s so dehydrated they were having a hard time getting his IV’s started. Over the weekend the pendulum has swung the other way. He started to get distended and having bad stomach pains. This is how our roller coaster ride has been. He tries to eat to build up strength, then he forms another ileus, which causes him to distend. Update 9/22 We had a follow up appointment in Milwaukee yesterday. We are being referred out to Mayo. Dr.’s in Milwaukee are baffled to why his body is reacting the way it is. The dr in Milwaukee said Mayo can do a lot more extensive testing, if they can’t they will know where to send us next. Since he got out of the hospital he has lost an additional 11 pounds. We are now going back to the TPN, which is something I’ve said he’s needed all along. He is still getting IV fluids and his electrolytes are still out of whack, as I like to say. Today is a rough day for him. He’s bloated and in a lot of pain. Thank you for all the prayers! We have a long road ahead of us! Much love, Rodney and Robyn 9/23. OSF update Today Rod needed up in our local ER. He had such stomach pain, and distended that he couldn’t even swallow his medicines without gagging. He ended up having to have his 11th NG tube put in. Actually 12th NG put in, they had to remove the first one as the tubing kinked. He is dehydrated again and low blood pressure. We are still sitting here, waiting to see what the game plan is. Robyn 9/27 Update This weekend was an eventful one. As most of you know we ended up in the ER Thursday night. We also ended up there Sunday evening too. His blood pressure has been very low along with his stomach being distended. Both trips to the ER they put in an NG tube to drain his stomach, they took out 5 liters of fluid both days. He is still going into the hospital 3 times a week for IV fluids. We found out today that TPN will be starting this week. Hopefully by Wednesday. TPN is IV nutrition since his body can absorb nutrition right now. We have an appointment to go to Mayo December 20. We are going to be a pain in their side and call them a few times a week to try to get in sooner. To be transparent, Rod keeps telling me that his body is slowly killing me. This is tough thing to hear from the person who love Thank you to everyone who has called, texted, prayed and donated. We are far from out of the woods and will have a long road ahead of us. Much love 💕 Robyn and Rodney Update 10/3 Sorry I haven’t updated in a few days. This past week has been an emotional week. After waiting to all the pieces to align up PTN was to start on Wednesday Sept 29, except that it didn’t. We ended back in the ER. He was so distended that they couldn’t get the NG tube in due to his hiatal hernia wrap. A surgeon had to be called in, where they had to do an emergency endoscopy to guide the NG tube in. His Creatine level (kidneys)!was at. 5.4, so he ended up getting transferred to Marquette. Where on Friday we spent celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary. He’s doing better. Kidneys are back to normal. His potassium and magnesium levels have been low. He’s on a continual potassium IV drip. Hopes was he was coming home today Sunday Oct 3, but he’s not. His potassium level dropped and the doctors don’t want him to go home to end back up there. Love to all Robyn Update 10/5 We got the call yesterday and we go to Mayo, October 12. Thank you for all the prayers.

Special Notes

Rodney has to be on a soft foods with low fiber diet. The family is requesting that no meals or food be provided at this time due to the severe food restrictions. Instead they request restaurant and grocery store gift cards in lieu of food. If anyone wants to visit with Rodney, please contact Robyn as his condition can differ from day to day. Robyn is happy to be his social calendar concierge ;)

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