Two Weeks of Emergency Care

Hey all, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks taking care of my Mom. I thought you all might like an update from me on what is going on, so here goes:

We've done our best to keep her spirits up.

We've done our best to keep her spirits up.

So a couple of weeks ago, right as the second weekend of Surf Cup was set to begin Mom went in for an ultrasound of her liver and her leg veins.

Thankfully she mentioned to her primary care doc that she was having some serious leg pains. She’s not always good at sharing that sort of info with the doctors. She’s got so many pains and aches she hates to add to the list. But this time she told him, and it turned out to be a great thing she did.

The ultrasound revealed a blood clot in her leg. The clot caused her so much pain she screamed out when the technician was moving the ultrasound wand over that part of her leg because it hurt so much.

Once discovered things moved fairly quickly. She was sent back to primary care for a determination on how serious the clot was and how to move forward on it. Her primary care doc took a look at the results and spoke with her about it and sent her straight to the ER.

Theresa was with her all through this, God bless her. I was watching the nephews that day since Laura and Adam were in the midst of moving their lives from that tiny ass apartment into their new home in Vista.

After some time we all convened at the hospital to A. give Teesa some much needed company and support and B. to let Mom know that we were all there for her. (Thanks to Alissa, Missy and Jess for all their support through this!)

The ER docs were concerned that Mom may have thrown some of the clot to her lungs already so they ordered a CT scan of her to check her lungs for any clotting. Naturally this emergency test took several hours to get done and we just waited. And waited. When she finally got it they determined that her lungs were clear and she could go home. The treatment for the clot was constant care at home and a series of Lovenox shots (2 a day for 5 days) and Cumedin pills.

Naturally, we were going to have to administer the shots ourselves. So Theresa took Saturday and Sunday off from the tournament to stay at home with Mom and to take her out Saturday to the pharmacy and the Clinic to get the shots and then learn how to use them.

This turned into an 8 hour ordeal in which Theresa visited something like 5 different pharmacies (no one had enough), made another trip to the ER with Mom, and haggled and argued with pharmacist after pharmacist over the $90/dose cost of the shot medication. Eventually with the help of some social workers at the ER they were able to get the shots down to $60/dose (gee, thanks that was only $600 for the complete prescription!) and Theresa worked out the deal with the pharmacy to pay for all the shots and take what they had now, and pick up the remainder in a couple of days.

Oh, and don’t forget that when she first got to the pharmacy from the hospital they managed to lose all record of the reduced cost prescription so she spent more time arguing and calling social workers to get it all worked out again after she got there.

And poor Theresa, she was left with the unhappy task (Bryan too) of administering these subcutaneous shots to Mom. Each one cause her to bruise up terribly and scared the living hell out of us. Some of them even began to ooze blood eventually. Thankfully that stopped around the same time the shots stopped as well a few days later.

Mom seemed to get a bit better as the week went on. And then yesterday she woke up coughing blood. Lots of blood.

Back to the ER went Theresa with Mom. This time my schedule was more free, so I spent the whole day there with them. Mom was coughing up some serious phlegm and blood all morning. The sound of it was terrifying and painful. By 2 or so, the blood in the cough had subsided quite a bit, but she was still coughing very hard all day. The docs were once again fearful that she may have thrown a clot in her lung and ordered another CT scan. We only waited in the ER for that test to be done for 6 hours!

Mom was scared and Theresa and I did our best to help ease her nerves. Bryan was home watching the nephews and Laura was at work. We gave both of them updates throughout the day.

Finally they got Mom back for another scan and once again there was no sign of clotting in the lung. This made me both happy and sad. Happy that she wasn’t in danger of a clot in the lung, but sad that once again we had no real answer to one of her medical mysteries.

They told us that her blood thinners were at a good level according to the pulonologist who looked her blood work. So they don’t think the blood in her lungs was caused by her blood being too thin.

We were then told it could be any number of things and that she should see a lung specialist to test her airways and see if she’s got some other complication, including cancer, that may be causing her to bleed out (a condition made more obvious by the blood thinners).

Joy. So we are back to the primary care doc on Friday and we’ll have to see about getting her into another specialist to look at her lungs. The saga continues. I’ll update more as we know more.

In the meantime, please pray for my Mom. She sure doesn’t deserve all this suffering and pain. 😦

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3 thoughts on “Two Weeks of Emergency Care

  1. nicely put david. i hope mom gets through all this ok. one correction though we haven’t had the ultrasound on her liver yet. that is tomorrow. we were sent with urgent instructions from her doctor to get ultrasound of leg done right away.

    love you and thanks for being at the hospital all day with me yesterday.

  2. Thanks for clarifying Teesa. Of course you know best, since you are the one taking care of her everyday! Thank you for all your efforts. I know it’s hard to be the one there for her every single day.

    Love you!

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