I was recovering nicely, even spectacularly from my mastectomy. I was already showering, reaching my head with the affected arm, walking slowly several times a day. However, the sharp and sometimes horrific pain in my calf worried me, so I went to the doctor. She told me we could not rule out blood clots without an ultrasound. She was virtually certain it was not a blood clot.They could get me to a nearby radiologist to do the ultrasound within the hour if I wanted to be cautious and be sure it was not a clot. It was already nearing dinner time by now.
Amy told me I should get the ultrasound. She knew I would worry if I didn't, and worry kills. So off we went to the ultrasound, both certain it was not blood clots, but agreeing it was prudent to be sure.
Guess what? I have three superficial clots in my calf. This is better news than deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but still not good news. Amy and I stared at each other, our mouths hanging open. Unfortunately, all my surgeons and doc were gone for the day, and the radiologist didn't want to let me leave till we had a plan. The danger of clots is they can move. If they take up residence in the heart, lungs, or brain, I can kiss my prospects of seeing grandchildren one day goodbye.
Now, superficial clots don't cause quite the same panic as DVT, but the cautions and treatment are the same. Blood thinners and close watching for at least 3-6 months. The radiologist finally reached my doc, who finally reached my surgeon-on-call, and all agreed I needed to bring Amy and take a fun trip to the ER. Amy's ten day visit has thus far included one hospital, one primary care office, one emergency room, and one Radiologist office. She is getting the full pampered visitor tours!
Hubby Arvo, Amy, and I packed an overnight bag, knowing that lately we should be prepared for the worst. As soon as I told the ER triage I was "breathless, and had chest pain and diagnosed clots" they rushed me past the 3-4 hour full waiting room. Now I was honest that all those symptoms could very well be that I had a mastectomy 3 days ago. They agreed, but they are also symptoms of pulmonary embolism.
I warned every one who came within 20 meters of my chest that the right breast had just had a most unpleasant week and NO ONE was to touch it. No one did. The did an EKG, O2 levels, and all the vitals, and rushed me to a CAT scan. That was fun. They flooded my IV with iodine, and then the machine takes a bunch of pictures. The iodine causes the patient to feel a sudden hot flash all over the body and then the sensation of peeing all over themselves. They assured me I would not, but that it did feel that way. They were right.
Every test came back normal. So the ER doctor told me I needed to fill a prescription for xeralto blood thinner and see my doc again in a day or two for follow up. Xeralto is the latest/greatest blood thinner. The doc suggested I consider staying overnight so they could do more heart testing. I declined.
"There are risks if you go home," he said.
"There are always risks if I go home," I told him.
Honestly, living is risky business. It's dying that would be easy. Fortunately, I know who is and should be in control of that. The Bible is clear -- God gives life to whom He will, and takes it as well. It is not our job to determine when our life begins or ends. Our job is to live each day allotted to us glorifying Him, and drawing others to His kingdom.
The doc gave me a coupon for a free month of Xeralto. When the pharmacist handed it to me, he said, "You just saved $749."
Again, our collective jaws dropped to the floor.
"Next month, and all the months I will be on this will cost me $749?"
"Well you will be only once a day, so it drops to $400."
The doc and I will be discussing lower cost alternatives today.