Posted by: Ken Wheatley | July 9, 2009

ER Update

They ran a bunch of blood tests and a CAT scan and determined that she has a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot) in her upper right lung blocking one of the sub-arteries, but it’s not in a position to threaten her life. So that what’s causing the intense pain (an 8 out of 10 according to Sheila) and winded feeling. Her oxygen level has dropped slightly to 95%, but it’s still within an acceptable range.

At first they were going to admit her because she got the PE while on blood thinners which are supposed to prevent clots, and they were concerned that something (like another tumor) was causing the development of the clot. So they started to process the paperwork to move her upstairs.

But then the ER doctor got hold of Dr. B, and they reviewed the CAT scan and other tests and made the surprising turnaround decision that Sheila could be released and treat herself with injections at home.

Wow! We were very surprised at the reversal and became very concerned that being at least 50 minutes from the hospital would present a problem if Sheila got worse later tonight at home.

So we had a lot of conversations with the ER doc to get a comfort level with the new decision.

Basically times have changed, as I think I’ve mentioned before, that hospitals now avoid holding people if the level of treatment isn’t going to be much different than what a capable, mature person can do for themselves at home. So because Sheila has been very good about taking her meds and doing her daily shot for the past year and half, they felt that she could get through the night at home.

There isn’t anything they can do to the clot anyway. They don’t go in and get it. At least not where this one is. The change in treatment now is that she has to give herself a shot twice a day, every 12 hours, for at least the next 6 months.

So we left the hospital at 10:30pm, tired but somewhat relieved that we weren’t going to spend the night and all day tomorrow in the hospital. Plus we have an appointment at USC Norton Cancer Center in Los Angeles on Friday that was tough to get, so we didn’t want to miss that.

She’s still in a lot of pain, (only when she breathes she says), but she has an amazing pain tolerance level, so she’s putzing around the kitchen trying to burn off the tension energy before we head to bed.

This morning, about 10 seconds after she finished upchucking, she was sitting on the side of the tub cracking jokes, while I was still getting over her abrupt nausea and sickness. Yet another example of what an amazing woman she is. I love her so much…

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Responses

  1. You both are so amazing!! Please hang in there.. we have been thru a lot ourselves so I really can relate. She does sound really amazing and so do you!

  2. Thanks Christi….


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