Monday, November 20, 2006

Nancy's Doing Better

I called her at the hospital today. She picked up her own phone, and I'd thought I had to ask for her room number, so we got a little confused at first. We'd never spoken before so we didn't recognize each other's voices. But when I said *k from ksquest* - is this Nancy? - we got it straightened out.

She says she's not in a lot of pain, except when they press on the clots. I said oh I HATE that because then when they know where it hurts? The first thing they do is press it again!

The embolism came from yet another blood clot in her leg. The thing you want to do is NOT have clots travel into your lungs or heart and kill you. So that's a problem. She said if they operate and try to remove them, it just causes more clots. Not good. Instead, they're treating her with heparin. It's an anti-coagulant - aka *blood thinner* - and it's supposed to make the clots stay where they are. Not grow any more, and keep new ones from forming. What it can't do is dissolve existing clots.

I ran one of my favorite *invention* ideas by her - I think lots of what ails us could be fixed with little tiny vacuum cleaners, so why not just suck out that clot with a little tiny crevice tool? - but she seemed to have her doubts.

Her husband 'Pup has the same problem, except his is from deep vein thrombosis. He's much better since losing a lot of weight. At least, between the two of them, they know about dealing with this condition, right?

Nancy was cheerful and spicy and explained that at first they thought it was gall bladder issues. So the doctor ordering the gall bladder tests patted her on the head and said, Now! we're going to inject you with a dye, except it's not really a dye, it's a radioactive thing (as in, But don't you worry your pretty little red head about it!). Arghhh!

I said, Oh, so you're still alive and kickin', good. She said, Well, not kicking just now, with the leg thing. Biting instead. And I told her: Yeah, and you're at the perfect height! (mutual gleeful snorts!)

I didn't like to hear her breathing. She has asthma and she said she was getting two respiratory treatments a day. But I could hear her wheezing and coughing loud and clear. Didn't like that. Asthma and an embolism all at once. So as much as I wanted to keep talking her ears off, I felt like she might want to stop talking and just catch her breath again.

Communicating via internet is great when you can't breathe so well. And indeed, Nancy's cell phone takes email with no extra charges. So feel free to bombard her with all the emails you please! She's at

Her wheelchair is still tied up in paperwork snafus. GRRRR. Maybe this will kick it loose.

She says she may be coming home soon, tomorrow or the next day. It depends on how her treatment goes. And said: God does answer our prayers. But sometimes the answer is *no.*

I gave her firm instructions to get better and come home.

Let's hope that this time, the answer is *Yes.*


Nancy said...

I've been trying to call her but it's always busy! I posted a link to your post on her blog so people can keep in touch with her progress.

livey42 said...

Oops I was still logged in as Nancy! LOL

Desert Cat said...

I read a few years ago about these strainers they could put in the arteries leading to your heart. They were made from "memory wire" that could be straightened out and easily inserted in an artery. Once in place they would revert to their shape as a clot strainer.

I don't know how that's worked out as a regular therapy now though.

k said...

You know, the only thing I ever learned about was stents. The stent is that little tube that would more or less hold the vessel open, and simultaneously press any existing clotting material against the wall of the vessel.

And even stents tend to get clotting problems down the road.

So I'd wonder how they would clean out a strainer. I love the idea, but wouldn't it just clog up? Was it made with some sort of coating that melts clots?