Friday, January 16

If You Really Want To Know........

I have had so many questions, from my personal Facebook friends, about my health over the last two weeks. From my faithful readers, I've been receiving e-mails wondering whether or not I had fallen into the blogging abyss. I've thought about how best to handle this situation. There's only so much you can post on Facebook before someone yells, "TMI!" However, this blog is MY space. I can write what I want, how I want and when I want, one of the benefits of blogging. Those of you that would rather not read about my 'bloody' mess, then look away now. This is the only disclaimer you are going to get. Don't look for perfect grammar in this post, maybe not even correct spelling. I'm going to try and relay this to you quickly; and with as few words as possible.

Here goes.......


You can see the tension in my face and almost feel that hot flash. Argh!

It all began in my 42nd year. I started going through menopause. It took a few years to convince my doctor that something just wasn't quite right. **Let me stress to you, man or woman, if you KNOW in your mind there's something wrong with your health, you MUST insist the doctors check into it, instead of taking them at their word. My mistake. After 4 years of not sleeping, sweating, weight gain and general craziness, I went back to the doctor and told him I wasn't leaving until he ran some tests. After the tests results came in, the doctor's office called to let me know I had NO estrogen in my body. Really? See, I knew I wasn't crazy. At the age of 46, I was taken off of birth control pills and started taking a very small amount of estrogen daily. My life changed and for the better! I was sleeping again, no more unexpected sweats; I was generally back to normal. Well, my normal. 


Having a great time but feeling yucky at the Blog Elevated Convention.

Fast forward 3 years. Something happened I thought I was finished with; I started my period. At the time, I was attending the Blog Elevated Convention in Galveston. It was the beginning of September 2014. My first thought was a very sarcastic 'great'! But what are you going to do? After a week, there was no end in sight - and if you KNOW me, you know I will endure medical issues for a long time before I head to the doctor. 

I bled everyday for a solid 3 months. Finally I admitted to myself that it was not going to stop on it's own. I know. My mistake. By the time I reached the docs last month, my blood pressure was low, my heart rate was high and I was just trying not to pass out. At that time my OB/GYN took me off of estrogen and put me on high powered birth control pills. We were trying to stop this excessive bleeding. I started taking 4 BC pills everyday. I was pumped full of hormones, but it worked, I stopped bleeding. Woo-Hoo! We, the doc and I, decided I just needed to go ahead and have a hysterectomy, female troubles run in my family. E is not a happy camper about this. We set up a few appointments for different tests to be run so that we could go ahead with surgery after the new year.

Two weeks ago today, I woke up with a slight back ache. By Sunday it was really bad. That night I couldn't sleep from the pain I was having. As I was laying in the bed I thought, "Okay.....all right, I know what this is. I've got a kidney stone." I just happened to have an appointment set for the next morning, on Monday, with my OB/GYN. I was tired from not sleeping and didn't want to go, but Mr.P insisted. When Dr.H walked into the room he asked me how I was doing and I told him, "Not great, I'm passing a kidney stone." After he ran a few pre-op tests he asked if I wanted him to check my urine for a kidney infection. Okay, sure, I'm here, why not. I waited for the results and it was negative, but he found blood in my urine. Which is a sign of kidney stones, confirming my earlier suspicions. 


I know, it hurts me to look at it as well!

Mr.P was with me last Monday and encouraged me to try and get in to see the urologist. Thankfully they squeezed me in and sent me for x-rays. The x-ray came back showing no kidney stones. I foolishly posted this x-ray on Facebook for my mother. That comes with a story......

In the 6th grade I came home with a note from the school nurse saying that I could possibly have scoliosis and I needed to follow-up with a doctor. We did not. I really never had trouble with back pain until after E was born. There are times when my pain is off the charts. For the most part, a good nights rest will put me to rights. This x-ray was the first time I had ever seen my spine. It was unsettling for sure. I wanted my Mother to see it but for some reason she couldn't pull it up on her phone, ergo the picture on Facebook. I received many questions about my back, thinking this was the medical problem I was dealing with....but it was not. However, I definitely need to seek out a back specialist in the near future. 

As I was leaving the urologist's office, the nurse asked if I wanted to go for a CT scan, it was late in the day but she thought they could still fit me in. So I went. I had the scan run and after a very long day of doctors and tests, I went home and just crashed. It had been a stressful day.


Yeah, I don't see it either. But praise God for the good doctors that can!

The next morning, last Tuesday, the urologist called me around 8 am and said he thought I had a deep renal vein thrombosis and he needed me to come back to Baylor and have a more extensive CT scan run. I threw on some clothes, ran a brush through my hair and with out any make-up, I was there by 9:30. Thank God Mr.P went with me. After the scan, we ran over to Twisted Root for a quick burger. As they were calling our name, the doc's office buzzed my phone. The nurse informed me NOT to head home but to immediately return to the hospital and check in. I indeed had a blood clot in the renal vein of my left kidney. I told the Mister to throw the food in a bag, we needed to go!

Standing on the corner of Commerce and Good Latimer, I broke down. I hate that I was such a baby.

Tuesday just went quickly downhill after that. When the doctor uses words like 'rare, uncertain, abnormal, complicated, dangerous and death' it's most definitely disturbing. As I was waiting for a room, I called my OB/GYN, crying, to tell him what was going on. I was scared and I didn't know these 'hospitalists' at Baylor. He promised he would come and see me. Of course I called my mom and dad, still crying, to let them know I was being admitted to the hospital. They were ready to hop in the car and make the 3 hour drive to Baylor. I pleaded with them not to come to Dallas. I wasn't in a room yet and I still wasn't sure what was going on. When I left the house that morning, with no make-up and only the clothes on my back, I never dreamed I would be facing a hospital stay. 

After I made it to a room, we called E. I started giving her a list of things we needed from home, Mr.P was staying with me. There was never a question about that. He was my glue. When you're becoming unhinged you NEED your glue. Right?


I had three separate ports and countless blood draws.

From what I understand, blood clots usually form from some sort of trauma, disease or infection your body is facing. Like a broke arm, car accident or a knee replacement. But to have one appear in the core of your body, deep inside, it is very rare. Since my kidney obviously had not experienced any trauma, the doctors then had to figure out the cause. Cancer, renal failure, infection and disease all had to be ruled out.

It didn't take them long to start running tests. After being poked with needles, countless bags of all sorts of meds, 27 vials of blood drawn, and three days - the hospitalists came to the conclusion that my blood clot had been caused by the month long high dose of birth control pills. Why in my kidney? I have no idea. And neither do the doctors. The doctors were concerned because of the position of the clot. It is sitting in my renal vein, right next to my aorta, which is a hop, skip and quick slide to my heart and lungs. Until the blood clot completely dissolves, there is always a chance of it slipping loose. That would be bad. 


This is the arm I took home. Lovely.

The whole time I was in the hospital I was on a heparin drip, a high powered blood thinner, and I was sent home with a prescription for Xarelto. No birth control pills + blood thinners was a recipe for disaster for me. Thankfully I didn't start bleeding again until Friday morning before the hospital released me. Had I started on Thursday they never would have let me go. And I was ready to go! As the weekend progressed, my bleeding got worse. It was totally out of my realm of experience. My body had no blood clotting capabilities. Also my pain was extraordinary, which is unusual for me. I have a high pain tolerance.

I called my OB/GYN on Monday of this week to let him know what was going on with my body. It didn't take him long to call back saying we needed to go ahead and do a DNC and endometrial ablation before I bled out. With the blood thinners there was no other way to stop it. He set it for Wednesday morning. THAT WAS QUICK! Really too quick for me. It was a risky and precarious surgery because of my blood clot and it's position. I'm not going to lie, I was really nervous about it. Mr.P held my hand before surgery and Dr.H held my hand until the anesthesiologist had me asleep. I'm not sure if that's appropriate doctor-patient relations, but when I lifted my hand and made a grabbing motion, he reached out and took it. Sweetly whispering in my ear that everything would be fine. He's been my doctor for over twenty years, we have a history. I did not think it inappropriate. I found it comforting. Thankfully surgery went fine. I've had little to no pain and bleeding, which is great. 

There is still a long road placed ahead of me. No hormones means I'm back to not sleeping, disgusting sweaty hot flashes, freezing spells (my poor husband never knows when he's going to need his coat or if he should dig out his swim trunks!), lots of crying, and Mr.P's favorite mood swings. He loves them so well. Hopefully there will be NO weight gain. I simply can't do that again. They are telling me it could take as little as 3 months or as long as a year to dissolve this clot. PRAYING for the least possible time. Mr.P and I both turn 50 this year (we'll be married 28 years tomorrow, January 17th) and we were planning a trip for just the two of us in the Fall. As long as the clot is with me I can't fly anywhere. So I'm hopeful for sooner than later. 


My sweetheart and GLUE!

For those of you that asked to come and visit, please take no offense in my request for no visitors. I wouldn't even let my family come to the hospital, if that's any consolation for you. I just wanted Mr.P there. He stood in the gap for me. E came only because I needed some socks and a toothbrush. And I asked her to bring her beloved, Mr.B, with her because I knew she would be leaving the hospital after dark. Last weeks hospital stay was an extremely emotional, stressful and on occasion maddening experience for both Mr.P and me. There are more factors there than just my condition. There's a story there as well, but I will spare you that. 

I can still use your sweet prayers. So if I should cross your mind, say a prayer. Specifically for the clot to dissolve quickly and the patience to endure all of the blood work and scans that will need to be performed in the coming months. I have a wonderful hematologist, Dr. Maisel. God sent him to me, I have no doubt. He's one of the best docs in Dallas. I start my visits with him next week.

There are no words to express how thankful I am to have people in my life who are willing to pray for me, who think about me, and who love me. It’s beyond comprehension to know that there were literally hundreds of people praying for my well being. People in different parts of the country and around the world. Thank you all! Why you all care about me I really don’t understand, and many of you I don’t even know. It’s mind boggling. Mr.P and I both have received e-mails from people that we know and some we have never met. Friends and strangers that have been standing with us in prayer. This, I believe, is the kind of love that Jesus speaks of in John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” 

Tight Hugs and Much Love to You All!
The Domestic Curator
Ronda

Quick update as of 1/29/15: My OB/GYN is back in town - he went away on a medical missions trip the day after my surgery - and called today to say the pathology report was clean. Not even one precancerous cell was found! Dr.H felt pretty confident that the tumors and polyps in my uterus were benign. But you know how that works, they still have to send a biopsy off to the path lab. Thanking the Lord for passing this hurdle! There are more out there, but we'll just face them as they come. 

8 comments:

  1. My goodness, such a harrowing experience. Glad you came out the other end (mostly) ok though. Take the time to just take care of yourself because that is what's most important. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer, I am taking things slow but steady. Now it's just a waiting game, but I've got time!

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I understand, from current experience, all the menopausal issues and other health problems that can come from them and the reluctance to go to the doctor. Praying for you and your family.

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    1. Thank you so much Danita. Wish I hadn't taken the hormone replacement but you can't go back. You live and learn. The prayers are appreciated!

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  3. Aww--I will pray. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, but I am so glad that they found the clot. We'll pray that it will dissolve so that you can go on your vacation!

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    1. Thanks Tammy, I am feeling so much better. The prayers are appreciated!

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  4. Sweet, sweet lady. I am so sorry you are having to go through all this. I had been concerned about why I hadn't been receiving any updates from you and now I see why. I will be praying for you and hope that all will dissolve and resolve itself soon. Big hugs.

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    1. You are a sweetheart! Any and all prayers appreciated. Headed to the doctor tomorrow, hoping for a good word!

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