Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mom update

Wow I didn't realize I hadn't updated on what went on with mom yet! I swore I had written it up already but it must have been all the emails and phone calls I made during that week mom was in the hospital.  Lot's happened so I am going to just do point form what happened:

  • The resident and nurses kept telling mom and dad that she could go home the next day (starting all the way at the beginning of the week saying she could leave Tuesday!) Her doctor knew something just wasn't "right" though and kept wanting to do more, wait for more etc.
  • The found that she had an increased pulse rate that was sitting around 100 (which we all know so much about!) and after many tests and worries it was found that she had a blood clot in one lung. However it was not in a dangerous area at all and they say that it could have potentially been sitting there for years or it could only be from the last surgery.
  • Because of this we entered into the realm of blood thinners :S Even more so we entered the realm of home health care for a brief period of time with so much conflict. Big city told mom and dad that a nurse would come to the house daily to give her injections for 30 days. Our town told us that a nurse would come out for three days to teach someone how to do the injections.  Reality - A nurse came out, went over all the stuff associated with the injections and then asked who would be doing the injections. Neither mom or dad could muster up the courage to do it, so I stepped forward. From then I had to giver her 38 injections total!
  • Mom went back in early January for her follow up and was put on a pill form of blood thinner. We had to do six more days (with horrible pre-filled syringes instead of me having to draw up the dose myself) and then she was switched fully to pills.
  • She has had a lot of blood work done since is now on getting tested every other week) and her values have been right in the appropriate scale and has only had to take one pill a night when generally I understand this is abnormal as it usually takes a lot of play to get the dose right.
  • She goes back the second week of March to find out about the blood clot, we assume another CT scan will be done.
She is doing really well.  She came home after a week at the hospital (last December) and was basically at the same level she was before surgery. She recovered from this one, which was much more major and involved a whole lot faster than the original surgery (which was basically just exploratory). Everything is going well and we even are wondering about getting my blood clotting levels tested as the few scrapes she has got while being on the blood thinner are healing very abnormal to her but very normal to how I heal. The 'bumpy' scabs, extended healing time, easily 'knocked off' scabs etc so we are going to ask about getting my INR levels tested as a curiosity.

GP Appointment - January 31st

This will be brief (for once!) I promise :) I went to see my GP and had a short list of things to go over and we managed to get them all covered with no real frustrations or upsets. The easy part was just getting my pain medications refilled for the next three months. He still doesn't want to switch me to breakthrough med #2 as he thinks it's a "dirty" drug. No mention that I had been on it for like 5 years and have never had an issue for it. At the last appointment he was confused as he asked me who prescribed it to me last and I told him that he was the last. He is fine switching between slow-release #1 and #2 but only wants me to be on breakthrough #1. Back then he told me that I could increase my dose as I was only taking one or two doses a day (which generally means it's time to change things up) but that I could take four to six doses a day (yet only gave me 100 pills for three months). Anyways that will be the challenge for the next appointment.

A few days before the appointment I had a scary incident where it felt like my head was going to explode it felt so full of pressure. I have had this before but this night I was getting slight blackouts on the edge of my vision, my eyes actually hurt and my ears kept throbbing. I heard there was a medication that would help with headaches and help with the pressure feelings. So I asked my doctor about it but he read it interacted with one of my other medications (which could be stopped if I had to) and read that it was a migraine medication. Out of nowhere he comes out with "these won't help you, you don't have migraines you have pressure build up headaches". My jaw just about dropped!! We spent years trying to figure out the headaches and it was only a few years ago that my internist confirmed that they were because of the neck issues. So I have my doctor saying that my headaches are from pressure build up in my brain!! It's so funny how when you drop trying to get someone to understand what is going on, is when they come out with it all on their own. So anyways, he agrees to try something else for headaches and actually wants to put me on a different AD as it is supposed to have less side effects. I am mainly wanting to get rid of, or at least decrease, the dry mouth issues as I hate having dental work every year (and already know I will have to go in again which is a horribly defeating feeling). He doesn't want to change the meds though until the weather stabilizes. This is twofold a) depression is bad this time of year and he wants things to be less depressing weather (if that makes sense) and b) with the big changes in weather that will affect the headaches as well so it's not the opportune time to work on headache meds. I am totally fine with this as long as he is willing to put this in action when the times comes.

Lastly I asked him about getting a new bone scan done. He turned and looked intrigued and asked why. I told him how my old rheumy liked to get one done every two to three years to keep on top of everything and to see if there are any changes in the bones or joints that are occurring that we could use for preventative instead of dealing with them when they become a problem. Surprisingly he also thought it sounded like a good idea and had the receptionist get one set up. And that was the entire appointment. I know it doesn't seem like much but to get all those issues addressed in one visit was very productive.