To Clot or Not To Clot

Yesterday was a busy day, what with the Royal Wedding (yes, you capitalize that! c'mon people), kite day at Lily's school, getting Carver packed and dropped off at our church for a retreat, music lessons, a meeting--we thought we'd top the evening off with a trip to the ER.

Poor, poor David. After his knee surgery he developed a blood clot in his leg. He noticed some swelling and severe discomfort on Thursday night, and when it didn't improve the next morning he called his surgeon and went in to get checked out. After an ultrasound on his calf, they were able to spot the clot (Dr. Seuss would be proud) and admitted him to the ER. The blood clot runs from just above his heel to the top of his calf--the entire vein is blocked. Here's how it happens:

You have surgery.
Your body goes into healing mode.
Your blood starts chanting, "Must clot and heal incision! Must clot and heal incision."
It tries to clot really, really hard.
You are unlucky and a clot forms in one of your veins. It grows.

I am insanely grateful for our health insurance, because the whole time he was on a hospital gurney I was not thinking about how much this would cost us. However, being in the ER on a Friday night is not so great. The staff was in-between shifts, and we got a doctor that was hardly there. When they were ready to release us I had to demand why they were sending him home with such a life threatening condition. When I finally had the doctor's attention for more than 15 seconds and she was able to better explain the drug regimen and follow-up routine, I felt somewhat better. But it felt sad that I had to demand it.

And what is this drug regimen I speak of? Well, that's where the photo of hypodermic needles comes in. Shots. Los of them. In his stomach. Given by (wait for it...) me. Oh yes! If you have a blood clot, you get to give yourself (or let your loved one do it for you) shots in the stomach. It's a blood thinner that gets into your blood stream the fastest that way. He's also on a pill form of blood thinner, and in about 5 days when the pill is doing it's job, we can stop the shots. Now, being that David is my very own Prince Charming, the doctor could have told me that I had to eat raw chicken in order for him to get better and I would have done it. But there's a reason I didn't go to medical school.

The nurse gave us a crash course in "how to shove a needle in your stomach and live to tell about it." David got to try and then I got to try. Perhaps one of the strangest things we've ever done together. And then they sent him home. He has to follow up at the Deep Vein Clinic, with all the other delinquents with naughty veins, and it will probably be weeks before he's completely out of the woods. (You want the clot to dissolve and not break off, because that can kill you.)

Here's to smoother sailing ahead. And three cheers to David for being the kind of guy to let me stick needles in him. He's pretty awesome like that.


Mama Papaya said...

Thinking of your Prince Charming and giving that naughty vein of his the look. The one that stops the children cold in their tracks. Enough of the bad behavior naughty vein.

Feel better, Prince Charming.

cathy said...

Thank you, MamaP. I count on your stink eye! Thanks for turning it our way. :)

Arielle said...

Sorry to hear of all if your vein troubles. Lovenox shots are no fun at all. If you want to commiserate about having to give your spouse shots, feel free to talk to Jonathan. I'm way to big a wimp to do it to myself, so he gets stuck giving them. I'll send happy (not too much or too little) clotting thoughts your way...

rebekah said...

Wow - really scary!

Raw chicken? Blech.

Lifepointe Youth said...
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Old Men Reflect said...

done the stomach thing for diabetes. Will give you pointers on how it will not hurt

hotflawedmama said...

mygoodness. so scary! Thoughts and prayers for all of you.