Thursday, September 9, 2010

How to turn a 15 minute check up into a 5 hour trip to the hospital

Well, today was another "interesting" day. I went in to the cancer center for my weekly spot check to make sure my lungs are doing ok with the reduction in prednisone. Everything was good and then I HAD to open my big mouth and mention that my arm was still pretty sore when swimming. So, the nurse practitioner suggested I get an ultra sound of my arm just to rule out a blood clot.

So, over to Foothills hospital (just across the parking lot) to get both arms looked at. This turned out to be a pretty long process because they had a new machine and used me as the guinea pig for some training. The overall process took about 2 hours and everything was pretty chatty until the end when I asked the big question:

"So, how does everything look?" And when they get real quiet, you know it's time to start getting worried. "You know the drill, you have to talk to your doctor." Uh-oh, I think. Not good. So then they leave the room to show the pictures (95 of them!) to the radiologist. And then they come back and say "You need to go back and talk to your doctor." And if you have ANY imagination you are now thinking "I am FUCKED." They've just spent two hours looking at EXACTLY the spot where I had my tumors and now they're telling me I have to go back to my doctor. SHIT. Well, it was a pretty surreal trip across the parking lot. I'm thinking, "what kind of bad ass, end-of-existence cancer do I  have that it comes back after only 2 weeks of not getting chemo? And what's next?"

So I get back to the cancer center, get in the exam room with the NP and the first words out of her mouth are "we need to wait for the doctor to come in." Which is not translated as "we have such great news we just have to have the doctor give it to you". Rather, it's translated as "some bad shit is about to come your way and I'm not cleared to deliver that shit to your doorstep."

So the doctor comes in and tells me I have blood clots in each of my arms. And I'm SO RELIEVED that it's only blood clots that I'm about ready to throw some combination of man-hug/ head butt on him. You got me this dialed up for blood clots? Which I know can be serious but are way less threatening than what I had imagined.

Some people don't treat blood clots in your upper body as they tend to resolve themselves and tend not to break free and travel to nasty places like your heart or brain. But  my doctor has decided to treat these bad boys so I'm going to get 7 doses of heparin. These are delivered in a shot which I give myself. I quickly decided that I would put my predisone tummy tire to work and have it be the recipient of the heparin love. I gave myself my first shot this afternoon and it was pretty easy. A bit of burning going in but not terrible. Hopefully 7 doses and the clots go away and we write off another speed bump on the journey!

So that's the way you turn a 15 minute visit into an all-day ordeal, including a hospital visit, 2 doctor's office visit, self injection and a pharmacy visit.

But, lest you think that this has rocked my world, I did get a bike ride in today to boot! myGarmin post is here. Not a long ride but a good stress reliever after a day that didn't quite go the way I expected.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! Keep us updated on the status of the blood clots. Looks like a nice bike ride.