Update: Hilde Comes Home
Hilde came home from the hospital yesterday, five days after the events described in the previous post.
The final diagnosis was a systemic infection. She's off the IV antibiotics she was getting in the hospital, but will be continuing on pills for a while at home.
Things are getting back to normal, or as close as they ever get to normal around here.
One thought that occurred to me: If I hadn't switched to working nights a few months ago, Hilde might have died. If it had been a normal Wednesday when I was working days, I would have given Hilde her morning meds, etc, tucked her back in bed, and gone to work. Instead of my coming back from errands three hours later and calling an ambulance, she probably wouldn't have been checked on by Tabbi, her caregiver, until early afternoon. (Hilde usually sleeps until about two o'clock.) Considering how quickly and viciously that infection went on the rampage, by two o'clock Hilde might have been beyond critical, or already dead. Sometimes even seemingly small changes have big unexpected consequences (the "butterfly effect"); in this case, that change in schedule had a positive consequence, a very BIG positive consequence.
"Thanks", also, to all the friends, family, co-workers, etc, for their concern and best wishes.