Monday, January 30, 2012

Take 4

Lucy was initially scheduled for her procedure at around 8:30 this morning. An emergency case came up and she has been bumped for the time being. She has her Nook Color to help pass the time.

Her blood transfusion occurred without incident last night.

As part of her blood clot treatment, she has a simple neurological check performed every two hours, even at night. She says she falls back to sleep quickly afterwards.

A very large part of the hospital that is cell phone friendly and the patient rooms have WiFi Internet access. The IV Therapy area and Day Surgery suites still require cell phones be shut off, but WiFi access is allowed in those areas.

This might be a multiple update day. Bear with us.

UPDATE #1: Lucy was finally taken down to Interventional Radiation at 12:15 pm. Her procedures have been averaging a bit over two hours. So I was very pleasantly surprised when she was returned at 1:05! All the "plumbing" on her left leg is gone. She went from nine infusers plus her pain pump to two infusers plus the pain pump. There are some small clots remaining in her calf region but they are going to let those dissolve on their own. After four hours, Lucy should be able to get out of bed and walk a bit.

UPDATE #2: Lucy is restarting Coumadin tonight. She is also still getting heperin. They had to run an IV into her arm so they could administer some Leviquin (antibioic) as a preventative. The skin on her right leg looks like it has been sunburned. A skin infection called cellulitis may form if the antibiotic is not administered.

She still has a couple very small clots in her right calf, but Dr. Siddiqui wants to let the clots dissolve on their own. We know she will be in the hospital until at least tomorrow and until she no longer needs the heperin IV. Molly and Dr. Weinshel from Minnesota Oncology were by to see how Lucy was doing today.

Lucy did manage to stand up with some assistance and took a few small steps. She has been confined to bed since Thursday and her leg was kept immobile for a couple days. Her ankle was very stiff which hinders walking. However, she is noticing a little more range of motion in her ankle as time goes on. She had a large catheter inserted on the inside of her ankle. That also contributes to the swelling in the area. Her pain has dropped down a bit. She was grading herself on the 10 point pain scale at an 8. After her procedures it dropped to 5. Right now at 7:00 pm she gives it a 4.

Her calf circumference is another ½ cm smaller (about 0.2"). It doesn't sound like much, but it is getting smaller. Her thigh is still open and the color has nearly returned to normal. The bottom of her right foot has normal coloration instead of being very dark pink. The Doppler flow detector does not have to have the volume set to maximum just to pick up a faint pulse. Her right foot and ankle pulses sound as loud as the pulses in her left foot and ankle.

Lucy also got a fun little ride today. Even though she is a petite woman, she got to be in a patient lift and thought it was fun. The lift also ensured her weight was more evenly distributed. For us, the big plus is it helps prevent injuries to the care staff. Even a person of average weight can be difficult to lift and balance. Too many care providers are injured or disabled from an awkward patient lift.

We're hopeful of Lucy coming home yet this week. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, love and support. You really help us get through this!

UPDATE #3: While we don't have a definite date when Lucy can go home, we did get some really good news about her Complete Blood Count (CBC) from tonight. Her hemoglobin went up higher than expected after the transfusion. Her white count is back in the normal range and there is still no indication of infection. It's nice to have a couple more victories!

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