Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Getting with the Flow

Two Cuties: Natalie and Jane

As I pushed Natalie in her stroller up the walkway at Kaiser South, a sweet old fellow was working on getting out of his car in a handicapped parking space near the door.  He was tall and dark, with a spritz of black freckles across his cheeks.  I gave him a smile, and he returned it with a deep sing-songy "How you doin'?"

"All right," I said with a shrug, in that chipper not-so-great-but-what'cha-gonna-do? tone.  "How are you?"
"All right." he echoed, his words a bit more tired sounding than mine, but with all the cheer.
"I mean, were both here, right?" I joked.  He looked up at the hospital as I pointed to it and laughed knowingly.
"Right." he conceded.


After my procedure Tuesday for removal of my 4th blood clot in 8 months, I wasn't feeling great.  My leg, which usually feels "less" of everything after one of these clot-busting procedures -less fatigue, less pain, less tightness, less tingling - was feeling more.  And then some.  A strange new symptom had been added to the list.  I was having waves of  "the chills" that would stretch from hip to toe and raise almost painfully intense goosebumps on my leg.  What's more, my foot was chilly; according to Ethan's reptile thermometer, 13 degrees colder than my other foot.  And I was having pain where no pain had been before, in my pelvis.

I gave it a few days to see if it was just adjustments from the swelling, new stents, and tools from the procedure.  I could be brave in the daylight, and many times throughout the day I felt only very mild symptoms.  But each night as I lay in bed, the symptoms seemed more pronounced, and in the dark it was hart not to imagine that a clot was forming; to picture it in there, filling specific veins whose locations and names I now know all too well.  Popliteal, femoral, saphenous.  Though I tried to shut it out, my mind conjured the image of a clot growing and finally breaking off and hitting my lungs.  For several nights, I held little Natalie close and smelled her sweet, precious perfume, and prayed for sleep to come.

Monday I emailed Dr. F. a little 'heads up' and within 30 minutes was scheduled for an ultrasound with our angel Jane.  As it was last minute, I went alone with little Natalie.  Jane took us back, and her familiar face was a comfort.  After a pleasant chat we settled in for the scan, and this time, things were very different.  For the first time since the stents were placed, true blood flow could be captured by the ultrasound.  The vein was lit up with profuse flow, and Jane very happily showed me these new and surprising images.  Prior to my collaterals being blocked off by the new stents, there had been too much flow diverted through the alternative routes to force a vigorous flow through the femoral vein, but now that full flow was routed back along its normal course, there was no mistaking it.  The vein was clear.  Jane, Tara (one of my other favorite techs) and I celebrated, passing the baby around and enjoying the way a room feels that is filled with happy news.

Later that day I got a text from Dr. F. affirming what we had seen.  There was no need to guess if the stents may still be blocked, or to do an angiogram just to be on the safe side.  No drugs, no needles, no contrast dye, and no hole in my leg.  Hooray for stents that work!

Yesterday on the way to see the hematologist we ran into Dr. F. in the hallway.  He told us he had talked at length to my new doctor and given him a complete history.  More importantly, he said he trusted Dr. W. and really liked him, and thought we would, too.  We felt like we were being put into good hands.

Dr. W. met with us and though he had already spoken to Dr. F. and read my extensive and complicated file, he asked us to tell him all that we have been through.  It was a very nice way to start off.  He ordered some tests to look for cancer and other problems.  He believes that the reason I clot so well while on blood thinners may be a rare clotting disorder.  Most of the clotting disorders that are known today have only been discovered in the last 15 years.  He said that this disorder may not have been defined yet.  I guess well find out.  I gave blood, and now we wait.

Next up: CAT scan. TBA

Post Edit: I guess it would help to mention here that the reason I am feeling increased pain and sensitivity is due to the increased flow.  My tissues just aren't used to the intensity of it, and everything is coming back online as a result.  Eventually I should get used to the flow and it will come to feel "normal" again.


Jackie said...

Wow! I'm praying for ya! Hope they figure it all out! Soon :). Love ya tons you dolphin communications professional! You're doing great being so tough xoxo

Jackie said...

Wow! I'm praying for ya! Hope they figure it all out! Soon :). Love ya tons you dolphin communications professional! You're doing great being so tough xoxo