Well, I wish I had more exciting details to give of my procedure, but I do not. Once the vascular surgeon went into the vena cava he was able to see that the blood clot was much longer and thicker than he was able to see on the CT. Because of this, he was not able to get a wire through the clot which means he could not insert a stent into the blockage. What does this mean moving forward? The doctor told me that because of the blockage I essentially do not have a functioning vena cava on the right side. As a result my body has had to find a different way to get the blood from my legs up to my lungs and heart. So on the right side of my body, in the abdomen area, I have several veins that have now become an important part of returning this blood to my lungs and heart. The result are some varicose veins in my waist and stomach area, because they are working extra hard and carrying more than they normally would. He was very impressed with the way my body had internally created a system that looked like a web of yarn to assist in this process. So all things being considered, it was still a success because although he was unable to insert the stent to assist the blood flow, my body has already figured out a way to do it!
I would be lying if I said I am not disappointed in the results. It was a painful surgery and a difficult recovery and the one thing that made me want it was the possibility of some relief in the varicose veins. I was very distraught that morning that the stent was not going to be able to be placed. After recovering for a few days and understanding it all a little more, I am okay with the way things went. When released from the hospital in December they thought I would need another 6 months on blood thinners. Given everything the vascular surgeon has seen, he feels that I will need to be on them forever more. Again not what I wanted but not an awful thing. I am learning that things do not always go as we have planned and that as much as it hurts, it is okay. If we always planned for the worst, it would be no way to live. I want to live like Glen did every day of his life; loving life, being present in each moment, expecting the best, and working through the things that didn’t go the way he thought they would. There is strength in a man who can continue to positively navigate his life and his family’s life when things don’t go his way. I am blessed by this inheritance that was bestowed upon me.
Thank you to each one of you that wrote me, texted me, prayed for me, and called me before and after the surgery to check up on me. The thing I can remain confident in through this whole process, is that I will never have to face these things alone. And there is comfort in knowing that.