What a Difference a Day Makes
On Tuesday I had my first post-op appointment where they took off all the wrappings/splint/cast and I got to see my very hairy and somewhat atrophied leg (not to mention all the LOVELY, still-gross-looking incisions and my “sausage toes”). Despite that last comment, the verdict was “Looks good!” and after the stitches/sutures were removed, I was only given a boot to wear from now on, (but still not allowed to put any weight on it). Best news was being able to get the whole leg wet the next day. Woohoo!
So, the next day came and everything started out fine, especially my anticipation of that evening’s shower! Then, mid-afternoon, I noticed that the slightest activities were making me short of breath, somewhat light-headed, and producing profuse sweat. These things increased as the afternoon wore on and by supper time a short walk to the bathroom ended with me passing out, something I’d never done before. Something was DEFINITELY not right! Fortunately, a friend was on her way over for dinner so about 15 minutes later when she arrived, she took one look at me and immediately agreed with my assessment that I needed to go to the emergency room.
Would I be able to make it down the stairs to her car? I really WANTED to because the thought of calling on (and paying for!) an ambulance to take me just 3 blocks to the nearest hospital seemed ridiculous. But after taking a LONG time to scootch down just half a flight and feeling very unsure that I would be able to make it the rest of the way, I bit the bullet and called 911. In the ambulance, they checked the oxygen level in my blood and it was 91 — 90 and below is when they really worry. So they assured me a couple of times that I had done the right thing.
Once at the emergency room (which is full of stories for another time!) I had several tests, one of which was a CAT scan of my lungs. Turns out I’ve got blood clots, most likely caused by the post-surgery inactivity. So they admitted me (at 3:00 a.m.! See above comment re: stories for another time!) and put me on a heparin drip, with oxygen still attached to my nostrils. I’ll be here at least until Friday and taking coumadin for 6 months or more.
Blood clots can be very serious, of course, so I’m thankful that we caught these when we did. I’ve sorta joked (but sorta been serious) for years that pretty much the only time I’ll go to the doctor is if I’m dying. Well, that might not have been too far from the truth yesterday!
Never a dull moment …!!