Thursday, December 10, 2009

One thing we could do without…

So, we were on the way to the hospital, oh yea…  and Brad jokes that at least this time, it wasn’t one of the kids, and it was a decent hour of the day, rather than an obscene hour of the night(!), but I wish we didn’t have emergencies. Can’t we just… not?

Brad stayed home on Tuesday because he wasn’t feeling all that good, and his leg hurt. Felt somewhat like a charlie horse, or mild cramp, in the back of the calf and it was swollen and hard. We were thinking he’d managed to injure it, or not drinking enough water with too much salt (but we knew that wasn’t the case!), or perhaps it was blood pressure, or ?? who knows?? So he took aspirin, propped up his leg, and took it easy. Didn’t work. Yesterday morning, the swelling was gone, but the pain had moved up behind his knee. He was also pale and wiped out. uh-oh…

We called the clinic and asked if he could go straight to a specialist. The sent us to a wonderful internist at a local hospital, who, after a quick exam, had him in a wheelchair heading for an ultrasound. It was a blood clot, specifically, deep vein thrombosis (DVT)! I am so grateful that we took this ‘sore leg’ seriously! I think now that we could have gotten him in sooner, if we had understood it better (so don’t forget to go back up to the link up there and study!). He had only a couple of symptoms that, to us, tied it the possibility of a clot. It wasn’t until we decided to go to the hospital that we recalled a chest pain he’d had early in the week. It had felt like a pinched nerve or rib out of place. No coughing, no breathing trouble, etc., it just felt like he’d slept wrong (and who knows, maybe it was, maybe not?). He did not have any redness, or hot spots or any other warning signs (not warning enough to us!) but what made us worry was that it was only one leg sore and swollen, not the other, and he didn’t recall twisting or bumping it, or otherwise causing an injury! It didn’t make sense!!

To make a long story a little shorter, because I am tired, he is being taken care of very well and they are running extensive tests on him. He’s in intensive care and being supervised closely. He’s tired and bored and wants to come home, but we both know he is good right where he is for as long as it takes to get him healthy! They ran a CT scan yesterday and also found clots in his lung, but not so bad as to freak out the doctors. They are just keeping a closer watch on him as the medicines do their work.

The kids are coping well. They talk to dad every day by phone. Wish I could make the cats understand as they know something is up and are very clingy. Cannot explain to them! I’m taking the kids to breakfast with Santa tomorrow, then they’ll go stay with friends while I spend some more time with Brad… sigh…

It is a VERY GOOD idea for expats (or anyone moving to a new town) to know exactly where the nearest/best hospital is. Not just where it is, but exactly how to get there, and how to GET IN to the emergency room, etc. (yes, you’d think that should be obvious… but it’s not always!)  It’s even better, for comfort and ease of mind, when you know that it is a very nice hospital with wonderful doctors. I sure wish we’d find a better way to investigate local medical facilities than with emergencies! Next place we go, I’m scheduling a tour as soon as we land…

12 comments:

Cairo Typ0 said...

OMG ***Hugs*** I hope Brad is going to be ok. And you too, girl. ***Hugs***

Given all the flying we do as expats i'm always freaked about DVT. I can only imagine how hard it is for you to keep it together for Brad and the kids. *hugs*

I'm sending all the **healing vibes** i have your way.

Connie said...

Thank you!

The scariest thing was that we didn't recognize it right away! We had been thinking that it must be an injury. You know how easy it is to want to tough it out 'cause it'll just go away??!! eek!

Unexplained pain and swelling in one leg = get thee to a doctor!

(and now I am getting me to bed... worry is tiring.)

Tanya said...

Oh no Connie Im glad you caught it in time! DVT is a very scarey thing. A few years ago my dad collapsed walking down the tunnel off a long flight from the US to NZ when a clot took off into his heart. He was lucky a doctor was right behind him and that it didnt happen on the flight as his heart stopped for a couple of minutes. He was on blood thinners for months and grounded for about 6 months but he says it was the fact it took a good year for his brain to feel like it was back up to speed again (not a good feeling for an academic)that was the worst part.
I am really glad you got Brad to the hospital. Im thinking of you guys.
T
PS dad is back to full time country hopping (which he does a lot for work even tho he's 70)but wont ever take sleeping pills on or around the time of a flight again

Lydia said...

I've always been freaked out about this, given all the traveling we do. I had a weird pain in my leg last week and wondered, hmmmm. . .

My grandpa had these quite a bit, so I'm familiar with symptoms & such. Ugh, being in the hospital is NO FUN!! Get better soon and stay healthy!

Nicole said...

Oh my gosh how scary! I would have never known the symptoms in the first place. I'm glad he is under good supervision and hope that he gets to come home soon. You and the kids take care too!

Donna said...

Scary stuff. I'm glad you caught it in time. Rest up - you need it, I'm sure.

Veronica said...

Hope Brad is progressing well; DVT is very scarey. Very relevant to me at mo, as I am now on asprin after being on blood thinning injections while in hospital ...
Just to add a tiny bit of humour - perhaps I could send him a pair of my white leghorn stockings?
Take care Connie :-)

Mama Seoul said...

So sorry to hear this! How fortunate that you caught it in time!

Connie said...

We are blessed that we caught it!!! Very scary. He is doing much better now, and Veronica, Brad had a good laugh about wearing tights :D Seriously, they haven't said anything about the compression stockings, but I know it is common therapy. We'll see.

Expat Mom said...

Wow, I haven't read here in a bit, and found this post! I'm so glad you guys caught that on time and that Brad was man enough to go to the hospital. Irving would never have gone.

Scary stuff!!

Little P said...

Oh- I am sooo glad that you caught this right away! How scary for you. I'm glad that you were able to get that treated and I hope he is doing ok now.

Connie said...

Little P - he is doing well, thanks! Still on meds, still has swelling sometimes, but much better/safer!