Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Sharing what happened (by Wendi)

The truth was: I was on a medicine that can make you more "likely" to get a blood clot. Because of the risks involved, my amazing family medicine doctor here in town did not want to prescribe it. She sent me to a neurologist to get a more "migraine-focused" opinion. My neurologist thought it was worth "the try" as about 33% of women in my situation see an improvement with this medicine. 

John and I made the decision to try the medicine after much thought and prayer. We felt that my migraines were SO debilitating, and we had tried so many things, that this was a valid thing to try. 

The second truth was: I took a cross-country flight to California.

Those two things combined were almost definitely what caused me to get a DVT (deep-vein thrombosis) in my left calf. Without the medicine, I still may have gotten the DVT from the long flight (4.5 hours). However, the medicine definitely "did stuff to my blood" that probably contributed. 

And at some point, that clot in my leg, shot up to my lungs resulting in a PE (pulmonary embolism). In fact, I had multiple PE's in my lungs when they did a CT scan.

John is pretty sure (in hindsight) that I got the DVT in my leg on the way TO  California. I had a terrible leg cramp in the car with my loved ones while on the trip, and while it was very funny then (my foot was sticking out the moon roof), we now think that might have been the clot moving to my lungs. 

I also had a really hard time with a bike ride we went on in California. It was a BEAST, but John was shocked that I had such a hard time. In hindsight, it was most likely the trauma my body was going through at that point. 

When I returned to TN, all four of my kids had or currently had Flu-A (we think. John never tested them, but that's his best guess.) When I got back, I was very out-of-breath doing normal activities. And, I also noticed a bad pain in my left leg. Both of these were nearly simultaneous ... but both also had "secondary causes" that got us distracted from what was really going on. 

I attributed the bad pain to a leg cramp -- the remnants of a Charlie Horse in my sleep perhaps. I get leg cramps a lot. Having pain the next day from one is not uncommon.

And then ... I attributed the out-of-breath-ness to the Flu. I didn't feel sick, but maybe I was a bit. I kept having to take rests. I mentioned this to JB. But with everyone in the house sick, this was all pushed away. 

Then, on Saturday morning, I woke up to see John was sitting in the rocking chair in our room. He had had a bad night sleep due to a dizzy spell (which happens to him occasionally). He was telling me about it. I walked over to him and said: "I wanted to show you my calf. It's really hurting."

He felt it and then said: "I'm worried you have a DVT."

I immediately said: "I think I am going to pass out."

I quickly went over to my bed and sat down. John thought I was probably "freaking out" a bit. But I didn't feel "freaked." I just felt light-headed. However, I agreed that I must have heard the word "DVT" and gotten light-headed. 

I decided to take a much-needed shower. While in the shower, I felt myself starting to pass-out. I yelled for John and I quickly moved all the shampoo containers so I could sit on the little seat. John came over quickly as I was about to pass out. He managed to keep me conscious and got me to a safe position lying on the floor.

During that moment when I thought I might pass out, I actually thought: "I don't want to pass out. What if I don't wake up?" I also thought: "I don't want to hurt myself when I pass out." I knew both of these are very common things associated with passing out (especially the hurting yourself when falling thing.)

Once on the floor, I started feeling better (not surprising since my head was level with my body), and we made the decision to go to the ER. At this point, John was pretty convinced about what had/was happening, and he was correct. An ultrasound revealed the DVT and a CT the PE's.  

And now, I recover ...

... It was a scary event. The ultrasound on my leg revealed the DVT. At that point, John felt very confident that we would see PE's on the CT scan, and we did. I received a shot in my stomach right then which instantly goes to work thinning my blood. 

I spoke with John's co-doctor (Dr. Boggs). He felt confident that I was going to "be okay" and said that I could go home and recover. I will have to be on anticoagulants for three months, and I am battling anemia (probably not related but could be.) 

During this time, I cannot take any ibuprofen or Excedrin. Right now, my headaches have been VERY behaved. I am praying that they stay that way, as I am not sure how to battle migraines with just Tylenol. 

I am incredibly grateful for the friends near and far that have wound round about us during this time. Four close friends volunteered to fly/drive right away to see me. Our homeschool/ballet/family/church group was there instantly to do meals and help transport children. And my in-laws were, without a doubt, picking up the slack nearly instantly. 

I am currently VERY tired as I recover. John reminds me that all the "energy" in my body is going to fight off this bad guy. So I am resting and let it fight away.

I am reminded, yet again, that we are mortals. This life is but a vapor. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We are not promised forever. And in this world of sin, there are crappy things like migraines which make you make tough decisions in how to handle. Sometimes you make the wrong decision. You continue to pray and trust the Lord. 

People with PE's can just fall over dead. I did not, praise the Lord. I am still here, and should make a full recovery. 

Praising Jesus for the miracle of another day. 


Unknown said...

Golly, Wendi, Sounds like a freight train rolled through your life...or "A Perfect Storm." And here I am, in the midst of my own train and storm. (I've tried to hold off yakking about it, but Dr. K. was there, at first. Congratulations on keeping quiet about being sick. It's overwhelming, though, isn't it?) I'm on a blood thinner, 19 years, Tylenol works for me, but I don't have migraines. Thank You, God. So I pray You won't have one while unable to take N-saids. Right now I can't really cook, so I will pray you will have plenty of help from others. And lots of love - and fun with socializing 8 cute puppies. I love you and your family so much - and your blog. <3

islandgal said...

You are the Lord's strong woman. Purpose clear.
Reflect back on this love and concern because others love you!
Thank you for explaining.

Maybe if will help others.
OX Aunt Betsy