Update, Wednesday December 10.
Yesterday mom had a battery of tests: a "TEE" (trans-esophogal echo: picture of heart taken through esophogus), ultrasound, MRI, and back x-ray. She went in because her back was hurting too bad to get out of bed. Now we've discovered that in addition to her pneumonia, she has an infection in her blood and heart. So my amateur prognosis posted above may have been overly-optimistic.
Thanks for your prayers.
Update, Friday December 12.
A letter from my sister:
Great news about Mom!
I spoke with her doctor at length this morning. Mom's prognosis for a full recovery is excellent.
Her nasty case of pneumonia snuck into her heart through the leaky valve (that we already knew she had) and caused endocarditis -- an inflammation of the heart caused by the infection. But, the antibiotics are working and her doctor says, "She's really doing very well."
Mom will have to remain on IV antibiotics for about three weeks. The hospital will install an IV port to make the daily IV infusions easier, without having to stick her with needles in her skinny little arms. Her care will be monitored by a home health care nurse and she'll also be tended to by visits from an in-home physical therapist to help her regain her strength. Kevin will be be on round-the-clock caregiver duty, which he did so admirably well in the past while he nursed Dad through cancer. He's already quite familiar with IV ports and popping pills into patients. I will be looking after Mom frequently, too, and relieved to be only making a trip to Powersite rather than clear to St. John's everyday. Peter and Darlene are wonderful Meals-On-Wheels providers, bless them. Mom will be in many good hands.
In any case, her doctor expects Mom to be released from the hospital by the end of this week -- in plenty of time for the family to gather for decking her halls -- and she'll have a brand new piano to play while she recuperates.
As my Dad used to say, "She's one tough cookie and still a pretty good-looking broad, too."
Thanks to all for the Get Well Wishes and prayers. Keep 'em coming; she's got a ways to go yet before she's "over the river and through the woods."