Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Fairfax Hospital Stay

Hey there! 

I just spent the last two and a half days in Fairfax hospital. I went into the ER on Sunday around 1pm and did not get discharged until 5pm last night. 

I went to the ER with one main complaint – a headache that would not go away since last Friday night. After numerous tests (PET scans, Brain MRI, multiple ECGs, Ultrasounds of  my heart, liver, gall bladder, legs, stomach) it turns out I have a blood clot in my lungs. They fixed my massive head ache with steroids and pain meds, but I had to be checked in so they could do all the tests. 

The blood clot they found cannot be fixed with meds. The blood thinning meds they typically prescribe would possibly cause brain bleeding. So I have to wait for my body to break up the clot on its own and just keep checking on it. It is in a place where it will not move or cause other problems. Well, other than the breathlessness I get when I do anything strenuous. It really explains a lot. 

So to protect my lungs from developing new clots which mainly come from the legs, they surgically implanted a Vena Tech Vena Cava Filter in my abdomen. This filter will trap any blood clots that form in my legs and keep them trapped there until they dissolve. The filter will be in place forever.

My parents were with me practically the whole time which was nice because of the many stories the nurses told me about when tests were ‘supposed’ to happen. Plus they provided comic relief.  I got to stay one night in the new tower which was like a hotel room with floor to ceiling cabinetry and a flat screen TV.

I never want to go to the hospital again --at least for a while. Now I am back home puttering around the upstairs of my house trying to stay balanced, not fall down, and retro-fitting grace’s room with things that will prevent falls in the bathroom.

Chris and I still plan our outer banks getaway this weekend. It’s all I can think about.

Love to you all,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Therapy Helping Slowly

I have no incredible news. I took a fall last weekend at the valley house –tripped on a mat on the deck and hit my face on the deck railing. Chris and Austin were right there to help me. Luckily it was not nearly as bad as the gas station fall. I have a scrape on my face, my right knee and some general bruising. All because I am clumsy and did not look down. And of course my reaction time and strength are low.  Slow and deliberate is how I must be… which is no easy thing for me.

I just had physical therapy today. I went in frustrated and teary about how long it takes me to shower and dress and how out of breath I get. I went out of therapy feeling stronger and more confident. I have five more sessions. I really like my therapist, Lisa, at Fairfax hospital. She pushes me just enough. 

I love the cards and letters and gift baskets people send me. And of course the prayers and well wishes from countless others. I swear, it all keeps me going! 

Love and peace,
-        Annie

P.S. My wonderful husband turns 44 tomorrow (he’s caught up to me!) and I have to give him a shout out for making me walk around Target to help me gain strength and stamina. And it has the added bonus of buying or wishing we could buy stuff we really don’t need. Damn, you Target, and your amazing discounts!  Resistance is futile! 

Let's see who can see one of my tumors in this MRI image (hint - it's in the brain stem area - the bad, bad place)