Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The WORST year ever!

So many things to talk about...it's been a long time since I posted anything on here!

This really has been the worst year ever. Since my last post I spent eight days in the hospital, had three separate surgeries and lost my Grandfather! Let's start from the beginning shall we....

After being released from the hospital in September, I was put on a daily regimen of Coumadin and Lovenox injections to thin my blood to a therapeutic level. I never reached that level.....it was decided by my vascular surgeon and interventional radiologist that I should have the clot lased (removed) via a catheter through the back of my calf (veinoplasty). This was done and they placed four stents in the illiac vein and a temporary filter in my vena cava to prevent rouge clots from entering my heart or lungs. I thought we were done, with the exception of having the filter removed in December (which is scheduled for the 27th), I was wrong.....During a follow-up appointment with my vascular surgeon I mentioned that I still had an ultrasound scheduled for the next day (it had been scheduled by the hematologist while I was in the hospital the first time) and I didn't know if I needed to keep the appointment. My Dr said to keep it since he was "curious" what it would show, but didn't anticipate any changes. This time, he was wrong! After the ultrasound, the tech asked me to wait while she talked to the Radiologist....never a good sign....after about twenty minutes she came back out and told us that the clot had grown and to expect a call from my VS. I immediately freaked out, so Brian decided to take me to the coast for some much needed R&R while we waited for the Dr to call, we had only made it to downtown Corvallis when my VS called and said that he had never wanted me to leave the hospital and to return immediately! I had a complete meltdown....not again!! Hadn't we been through enough?!? I ran home, grabbed my bag and headed for the hospital. This was the beginning of an eight day ordeal that included two more veinoplasty procedures, the first one was unsuccessful so they hooked me up to TPA (heavy-duty clot busting drugs) for two days and then repeated the veinoplasty, and a full blown surgery where my VS cut open my groin and then cut the vein open and placed a patch made of bovine pericardium to help hold my damaged vein open. He seemed very optomistic, as did my IR! Both said the clot was gone, flow was good and that other than some residual pain and swelling I was on the mend. I could barley walk and even had to use a cane for a couple weeks after leaving the hospital. The swelling and pain was almost unbearable! But, day by day it got better and I thought maybe we were in the clear. My hematologist put me back on the Lovenox injections twice a day and ordered an ultrasound per my request. Well, guess what, the clot is back! Same location as before. As if I expected good news... optimism and I are no longer friends! My hemo decided to send me up to OHSU for a second opinion. We went up on a Monday afternoon, and after five hours the Dr's there told me the exact same thing as my Dr here...there is nothing more that can be done at this time. Only if the vein completely occludes again....how do we know if that happens? Well, we don't, not really...now it's a waiting game and constant monitoring. I still have to have the filter removed next month, a procedure that I hear is very unpleasant to say the least, but that will be a story for a later blog. I am being put back on Coumadin tomorrow and that scares me, the last time I was on Coumadin (after the first veinoplaty) the clot grew from being one to two inches long and isolated to my groin to completely occluding the vein from groin to knee! I have been having pain the last few days, and that scares me too! I do not want to go through this again, I do not want to end up back in the hospital!

Thanks for listening to my rantings again guys....XOXOXOXOXO