A little over a week ago my uncle and his wife brought her to the emergency room because she had slurred speech and was very weak. The ER docs diagnosed it as dehydration, hydrated her up and sent her home. My step-mother stayed with her over night and she awoke to find that my grandmother's condition had deteriorated so much that they had to take her back to the hospital by ambulance. She arrived with a temperature of 103. Grandma was disorientated and extremely weak. Suspecting a heart attack, Oaklawn Hosptial shipped her to Bronson Hospital where they have an established cardiac care center.
Long story short(ish) the doctors at Bronson first diagnosed her problem as extensive heart disease and began treating her with nytroglicerin, potassium, blood thinners, and the like. Her condition improved. However, she still had this pesky fever that would not go away. After many blood cultures and a down-the-throat ultrasound they found that she had a staph infection in her heart. The staph bacteria had grown like vegetation around her heart valves, gumming up the works. She had no heart attack, heart disease, or anything! Good news, I suppose. The bad news is she has to go to a nursing home for 6 weeks of physical therapy, occupational therapy and IV antibiotics. After that she has to go back to Bronson for a valve tune-up. The bacteria in her heart has likely damaged her heart valves and they will need to be prepared or replaced. Oink!
Grandma is perking up and getting grouchy, which is a good sign. Oh, and the staph infection? The most likely scenario is that it entered her bloodstream during dental work.