Posted by: Ken Wheatley | March 15, 2009

Back in the ER

Sheila woke up this morning, Sunday, with neck pain near the incision point of the port line, but still wanted to go for a motorcycle ride. We had talked about doing that earlier in the week if she was up to it after the port surgery, and she was looking forward to it. It’s been several months, and she’s missed riding on the back, enjoying the view.

So we met Steve and Joanie for lunch in Carmel Mountain, and then came home, and went grocery shopping. She wanted to work in the garden and also trim the fruit trees. The pain in her neck had been increasing throughout the day, but she was determined to still try and enjoy the day. It was cool out but sunny.

By 7pm the pain was getting worse and then the vein in her neck started to noticable swell to almost twice the size of the other side. So she called the on-call oncologist, talked about the situation and the doctor advised her to come into the ER because it could be a blood clot. She had to be off the thinner for two days, so it’s possible one formed before she started back on Friday.

So it’s 9:30pm and we’re at the UCSD ER waiting for a blood draw and labs. They can’t use the port obviously, so she’ll be getting “stuck” again.

Waldo, the nurse (yes, that’s really his name)  is in now doing the blood draw. They’re moving much faster this time, compared to when Sheila was here last week. The same nurse, ironically, is on-duty that Sheila had to file a complaint against. Not surprisingly, she’s avoiding this room.

Waldo got the IV started on the first try. Good job! That hasn’t happened in quite some time. He said that it’ll take about an hour to get the results of the blood tests.

Dr. Binh Ly just showed up and is checking her out. We’re waiting on the x-ray people to show up. It’s now 10pm.

It’s 11:45pm and Dr. Ly just told us the good and bad news. Sheila has a blood clot in her neck (superficial thromobphlebitis), but the good news is that it’s in a small tributary that branches off the vein where the port line was installed. It’s not a vein that leads to the brain, so that’s the very good news.

Discharge time and heading home…

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