Thursday, January 19, 2006

Where Do I Go From Here?

So I've been home from the hospital now for a month. I take 4mg of Warfarin (generic Coumadin) a day, and have my INR (length of time it takes my blood to clot) tested once a week. I was back in the emergency room on January 2nd with a rapid heartbeat, which the ER Doctor thought might be due to the last bit of the clot in my leg letting go and traveling to my lungs, since an ultrasound done at that time showed the clot in my left leg to be completely gone. I was pretty upset about that, as my general practitioner had told me specifically that no such thing would happen. They sent me home and told me to "take it easy." I more or less stayed in bed for the next four days, appetite-less and feeling like crap, and had all sorts of bad dreams in which I had other, more bizarre health problems. I think in one I was told that I would have to have surgery at the State Fair if my condition(?) couldn't be brought under control. These nightmares were so vivid that I would have to wake myself up fully, usually by getting up and walking around for a bit, so that I could sort out my reality from the dream. I'm still having the occasional nocturnal visitation by freak maladies and impending surgery. I can only hope that they go away sometime soon.

I went to the hematologist last week. He told me that he thought it was highly unlikely that my rapid heart beat had been indicative of my leg clot embolising, since only new clots embolise, and the blood thinners should have prevented any from forming. He also said that he felt that two weeks was a long enough period of time for the clot to dissolve on its own. He recommended that I get a follow-up CT scan to make sure that the emboli in my lungs had resolved themselves, and told me that it was possible that I would have to be on Warfarin for the rest of my life, a discussion that will be continued in October when I return to his office. Oh, and he told me to get on with my life: go back to school, work, travel, have babies some day (pregnancies are high-risk for someone with a Factor V Homozygous Leiden, and involve blood-thinning shots and extra attention to timing) and that I could probably go back to running, provided that I wear supportive shoes to keep from bruising my feet. That said, with as tired and out of shape as I have been feeling lately, it'll be awhile before I attempt another marathon. I would settle for running my errands without feeling completely drained of energy.

School starts again tomorrow. This semester I only have three classes, which at the moment I consider a plus. With as many undergraduate credits as I have, there aren't many things offered that I still need to take. I'm a little wary of going back, of the daily commute, of my own propensity to worry beyond reasonable limits. As a friend pointed out, though: I can choose to drop classes, but not start them late. So wish me luck, and more stamina that I currently feel able to count on.

If I may wax cheesily poetic: Oh, hurry up, Spring, in whose sap-wakening days I can't help but be buoyed by green dampness and the return of evening light.


Blogger Birdie said...

Oh, man, Beej...reading all this makes me SO THANKFUL you're ok! When you put it all together this way, it's a damn scary narrative, and the alternative is unthinkable...

You've had 31 fairly healthy years, and then six frightening discovered you have a hereditary condition that no one knew about...and now you're better than you were in November. It'll just take time to get back your confidence and courage.

Like the doc said, go slow, and also remember how MANY people love you dearly...

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on, right on! It's time to TAKE BACK your confidence and courage. It's not something that will be given to you. You're got to TAKE it back. So you go girl!! Me and Olympia and Keanu and Sharon are rooting for you!

LHM - Noona

6:48 AM  
Blogger Lemony said...

I'm trying. Today will be a big challenge. Scott is actually going to drive up with me, since he has the day off. It feels a little like going back to the scene of the crime or something. I just need to remember that I should be physically well by now, albeit kind of weak. I've lost almost 10 pounds, but I think it was mostly muscle:-(

I'll post here to let you guys know how it goes.



9:56 AM  

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