I have not talked a whole lot about the nature of my injuries. I know my dad may have but I have not found the strength yet to read any of those early posts about me. But some important things are happening with my physical healing so I felt it important to write this piece:
This journey has been so multifaceted and when I think I am clearing one part, another one presents itself. It was not until recently that I really heard the details of my injury, of the true trauma that my body went through, details of my first day and night in the hospital, details of the true nature of my injuries. And I simply had to stop and praise God for the healing that has occurred.
Many of you know that during the hospital stay, I had a pulmonary embolism and developed clots in my right leg. The normal way you would treat this is to begin blood thinners. Unfortunately I had three brain hemorrhages that were still bleeding so until they got that under control I could not begin the blood thinners. Therefore they inserted something called a vena cava filter into my inferior vena cava. The picture is of one type, I do not know exactly what type they put in me. The vena cava is the vein that returns all the blood from your leg back up to your heart. The filter is placed to prevent the clot from making it’s way to that part of your body. I did start the blood thinners in December just before being discharged. I have been going every two weeks to the doctor to check the level of thickness of my blood. I have moved from my mom having to inject shots of the medicine twice a day (bless her heart) to taking a pill. My range has gone all over the place and we’ve had to regulate the medicine several times. All of that was no big deal, the only thing that has bothered me during this time is that the veins in my right abdominal area are very raised and prominent. In the hospital, my doctor told me that I would probably be able to go off the blood thinner about 6 months post injury which I am at this point! :) However, because of the right abdominal veins he referred me to see a vascular surgeon to be sure the clots were gone before I went off the medicine.
Well, the vascular doctor asked me lots of questions and then when he looked at my stomach, he immediately said that he wanted a CT ordered. Not a very reassuring sign. So one week later and one CT later, I went back to see him and he informed me that the clots had made their way into my filter and were causing a blockage in my vena cava. Yay for the clots not making their way to my heart, boo for them creating a blockage. Subsequently the veins in my abdominal area are so prominent because the blood is having to find other ways to my heart. Whew. Deep sigh. Tears. Confusion. “What does this mean? Will it always be this way?” The doctor was very supportive and drew many pictures to explain what he saw on the CT and then informed me that he would like to surgically insert a stent into my inferior vena cava. Whew. Deep sigh. Tears. Confusion. I had heard of stents in hearts but this was crazy to me for some reason. He explained that it would be like a tube (stent) inside of a tube (vena cava) and that it would bring relief to all of my abdominal veins that have been working so hard. All of this was so not what I was expecting. I expected him to say that everything had cleared and we were good to go off the coumadin (blood thinner). Oh how wrong I was. He indicated that there is a possibility that I will forever and always be on the coumadin. Despite these minor setbacks, I try my best to always realize how fortunate I am to have healed so well.
As a result of the CT, next Tuesday, May 29th, I will be having a stent put into my vena cava. It is an outpatient procedure, which blew me away, and the doctor assured me that I would be ready to go home. I do however have to take it easy on the exercising for about a week. No running training :( The only detail we are waiting on is to see if he can get a wire through the blockage entirely. He can only insert the stent if he is able to first get a guide wire through the blockage. Unfortunately we won’t know that until that morning. Although I am overwhelmed by this, I have to remind myself that it is just another step in my healing. So please keep me in your thoughts and prayers and I will make sure that I or my dad update sometime that day. Thanks and much love to everyone who continues to check on me and pray for me and the kids.