a week in the hospital (by Judy)

I’ve been gone from much of the internet world until yesterday because I spent a week in the hospital and, although I was hooked up to their wireless via my iPhone, they don’t allow their wireless to go to any blogs.

At any rate, the hospital. Yes. One week. One long, boring week, but a week that saved my life so I won’t complain TOO much.

What happened? Well, last Wed., March 16, Absent Minded Professor (AMP) was out getting lunch for us to eat at my workplace, as he often does. During that time, before noon, I started having chest pains. Pains that felt heavy, didn’t subside and were right in the middle of my chest. I called him just as he was coming back to my workplace and told him that instead of eating lunch together, he was going to take me to the ER of a local hospital.

I tell you what — if you have chest pains, the ER takes you in right away. They did an EKG on me and it seemed fine, so they took me to one of the ER “rooms,” a small area divided from the others via curtains. They hooked me up to a heart monitor, went through my medical history, and when my heart checked out fine, the ER Dr. who had me said that with cancer patients, they worry about blood clots in the lungs.

By that time, I was feeling fine so I kept saying that I was OK and wanted to go home. No way were they allowing that. They did a chest x-ray and then I had a CT scan for my lungs, and lo and behold, I had a clot in my lungs. I had to stay in bed until I was admitted and getting Heparin, a blood thinner. I wasn’t even allowed up to go to the bathroom. They mentioned a bed pan, but I decided that I could hold it. 🙂

At any rate, it was a busy day at the hospital and they were short of beds so I was in the ER for a total of six hours before I was admitted to a room and hooked up to Heparin via the IV they had put in my arm for the CT scan.

The hospital Dr. I had said it may take a few days. My oncologist, who visited me early the following morning said it usually took four days. The nurse that I had that day — and most of the time that I was in the hospital — said that it could take longer than four days.

It took a week for my INR level (something that measures the coagulation of the blood) to get to a point where they thought it was safe enough for me to be at home.

I was discharged in the evening of Wed., March 23, one week after I entered the hospital.

It was a tough time for me, not just because having a blood clot in your lungs is scary, but also because, once the chest pain subsided, I felt fine. I felt fine, but I wasn’t, so my main complaint there was boredom. However, I knew I was in the best place for me at the time so I tried to pass my time there as well as I could. It’s hard to complain too much about being bored when others in the hospital were in real pain. Plus, I didn’t want to be released just to have the clot move and . . . well, kill me.

I’m home now, and getting back to what’s normal for me. I saw my oncologist this morning and we talked about Coumadin, which is a blood thinner that I’ll be on for the rest of my life. My INR numbers have been good the past two days, and they’ll monitor that number at my oncologist’s office. I had my weekly chemo today. Back to normal, normal for me.

While I was in the hospital, I was eating their diabetic diet and my blood sugar numbers were still way too high so towards the end of my stay, they brought in an endocrinologist who changed the insulin that I’m on.

I realize how badly things could have gone for me. I know that if I hadn’t gone to the hospital, the clot may have moved and killed me. I could have died last week, but I didn’t, and I am so very glad.

I’m a lucky woman. No, not lucky, blessed. Incredibly blessed to have followed my instincts, to have good medical care, and to have tons of people praying for me. I have the best friends, family, and church family that anyone can have.

And I’m grateful, very grateful to be alive.

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him


3 Responses to a week in the hospital (by Judy)

  1. […] Cross-posted to Mothers With Cancer. […]

  2. Lahdeedah says:

    So sorry, Judy. Following your instincts is always a good way to go. Happy you listened to yours.


  3. Stimey says:

    Wow, so glad you listened to what was going on in your body. I’m glad things went well for you.

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