Monday, January 27, 2014

Arixtra and Hematologist

Well I have 16 days left of Arixtra injections and I can't wait to be done!  I'm really not one for hurting myself on purpose, but at least these injections aren't nearly as painful as the Lovenox ones!  I went to see the Hematologist last week and it was a good visit, but then again, I always enjoy seeing him.  I asked about new blood thinners like Pradaxa etc and basically he said the safer (and more well known) choice would be coumadin.  Which is fine with me, whatever, I just don't want another pulmonary embolism.  So a few days before my injections run out I'm supposed to go back on my regular dose of Coumadin and then start getting my INR checked again regularly to make sure I'm in a therapeutic range.

Sometimes it seems like nothing major ever happened to me, medically I mean.  You just get into the routine of life and things from the past become more and more distant memories.  When I go to see this doctor, the things he says, they really solidify how grave the situation was.  He was at the hospital when I went into cardiac arrest and rushed into my room after the code blue was called.  When he was talking about whether I'd have to be on blood thinners for my whole life or not (which the answer is almost definitely yes) he said something to the effect of, 'it's amazing that you're even still alive.  You should not have made it through what happened.'  Even typing it out I get this lump in my throat.  Eventually you start to think that it doesn't really matter what happened, but it does.  Something like that changes a person and I'm glad it has.  I try not to dwell too much on what I'm doing right or wrong in life, but I sincerely hope I'm not wasting this gift of life that God has allowed me.  I hope I'm making some sort of difference, bettering someone's life, at least in a small way. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A New Year

It's kind of my mantra to not wait until the new year to make a change in your life, but I also feel it is a good point to reflect on the past year and resolve to do better in the next one as well.  So I will do a recap of 2013 and a 'wishlist' for 2014. 

  • Started 3 bible reading plans...but didn't finish any of them
  • Lost 19 lbs and gained 12 of it back
  • Started Benlysta infusions for Lupus
  • Developed a sizable DVT in my right bicep
  • Finally got negative results for ALL blood clotting disorders
  • Started the foster-adoption process and then stopped
  • Improved our marriage through some couples counseling
  • Stopped panicking about getting everything done
  • Started to feel more comfortable in social settings
  • Stopped trying to control everything
  • Started trusting God more
  • Stuck (pretty well) to a budget

  • Be healthier
  • Be less angry and more merciful
  • Extend grace to others more freely
  • Squelch the deep desire to tell everyone, 'I never used to look like this!'
  • Assume the best in everyone
  • Savor all of my blessings (especially my kids and my hubby)
  • Be encouraging

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas has come and gone

I'm so sad that Christmas is over, but my house is still all decked out in true Leatrice fashion!  In fact I've even put up more decorations (which I got on smokin clearance deals) since Christmas ended.  This is not without just reason of course since I'm hosting the MOPS leadership White Elephant gift exchange party at the end of January.  Woohoo!  Christmas for 2 months, yes I can deal with that. 

Dorothea and Stefan came down for 3 days for Christmas this year and we had a wonderful time just hanging out, playing games, and watching movies with them.  Then my family and Allison also came over for Christmas day and we had a delicious meal which is about the time I started to get a truly horrible headache.  Then we took pictures outside (which I'm sure made my head worse) and afterwards I tried to lay on the couch, but ended up going to my bed to rest.  Then some of our really good friends from YM/MOPS stopped by and I desperately wanted to see them.   I had just taken 2 sinus pills, 2 tylenol, and a percocet though so I was kind of in a fog.  I came downstairs and played a game of  'Buzz Word' with them while the kiddos had a blast doing 'Just Dance' on the Wii in the other room.  I started to feel nauseated toward the end though, so I went upstairs and never came down.  I felt sooo horrible and I was actually pretty ticked...I mean, why of all days do I have to get sick on Christmas?!  It's literally my favorite day of the year and I had family and friends to hang out with and I ended up in bed for half the day.  Not cool.  Whatever, I still had a great time before and after that so it wasn't a total wash. 

Our house with all of its lights, the ones above the windows are thanks to my brother!

The front of our Christmas Card
And the back!

We went to Winterhaven with our friends

Embry got to hang out with Gabe, her favorite friend.

And this is my good friend Niki

We saw Elf made out of duct tape

and lots and lots of lights

and cute hello kitties

And my friend Kim and her kiddos flew in from the East Coast for Christmas!

Reunited and it feels so good!

On Christmas there was a lot of lego building!

The girls really enjoy their new whale teeter totter

and Uncle Stefan spent hours helping Embry build her new Power Rangers Lego set

Tony carved a delicious turkey

and we all ate together in the dining room

Everyone who was over for Christmas!

and with hats!

before uncle Stefan left

Best friends together again


Well, I had some tingling in my right arm for a while, which is not uncommon at all for me.  Then it lasted for about 3 hours one day so I mentioned it to my dr (who is a new dr since my old one stopped taking my insurance) and he said with my history of clots he would want to get it checked out.  I had also been having more headaches, so he looked through my chart and saw that the MRI I had done in 2005 was reported as a small aneurism which he was surprised about because my dr then (the dr of death) never sent me to a neurologist for follow up.  Well I had a ct scan of my head which didn't show anything, so he wanted me to get an MRI/MRA done just to be sure, but it could wait like a week. Then I went in the next day to get an ultrasound of my right arm and the lady took an extra long time at the end going over one section in my bicep a lot...then had me wait in the waiting room afterward.  She came out and told me that my dr would be calling me.  So I said, 'you can't really tell me what's going on, can you?'  and she goes, 'well, umm, you have a clot in your bicep area (and demonstrated with about a 3 inch section on her bicep) so your dr will have to call you for instructions.'  Then I left and went to walgreens because my brother was at my house and was going to put up Christmas lights on the second story of our house but I didn't have enough icicle lights to cover it all.  Anyhow, got a call from the dr while I  was at walgreens and he said the ct of my head showed a partial blockage of my right sinus cavity as well as a small polyp in the right sinus and that I did have a blood clot in my right arm and they didn't know if it was new or old but they had to treat it like it was new, so I needed to go to the ER asap.  I think I actually said, 'are you serious?  Because I feel totally fine.  Are you sure I can't just go home?'  Anyhow, I went in and was admitted for 3 days.  The hematologist was having trouble figuring out what to do with me because forming a clot while on coumadin means I 'failed' coumadin therapy so basically it's not working.  Normally they'd just put me on a lovenox injection and send me home, but since my platelets dropped so rapidly the last time I was hospitalized and on a Heparin drip they determined that I have Heparin Induced Thrombocypenia (basically, an allergy to heparin) and Lovenox is a direct heparin derivative. Well the options for blood thinners other than those 2 are very slim and the next logical one would be an injectable called Arixtra (which I was on for a short time after I broke my back) but it has only been studied and recommended for short term treatment.  Like 1-2 weeks tops, so my hematologist basically did some guessing at what dose I should be on for a longer term treatment (in my case 2 months) and prescribed that.  I have about 10 days left of month 1 of injections and then I'll start month 2.  I believe I go in for my follow up with the hematologist next week and he will be trying to get me back on coumadin after this 2 months of Arixtra is up.  He basically explained that when someone clots while on a blood thinner, it's like their body is flaring and needs to be calmed down with a stronger medication (in my case Arixtra) and once it's calm again, they attempt to put the person back on coumadin.  I'm not sure if they intend to monitor this clot in my arm before switching me back or if it doesn't really matter since they can't actually go in and get rid of it anyway. 

Also while I was in the hospital they did the MRI/MRA of my head which showed no signs of an aneurism from 2005 which my dr explained to me that it is possible there never was one since the technology of these test has advanced so much in the past 8 years, but I'm gonna go ahead and say that it was a God thing.  :)