Purple Arm- 12/15/2009

Hi All,

At this point, I am about to ask for a shelf in a storage closet at the hospital; I'll just keep my stuff there so Nick doesn't have to shlep it back to the hospital every 9 days or so...

On Sunday afternoon, I was getting ready to go to the store for a few things. When I got out of the shower, I noticed my whole left arm was a dark purple, bluish color. I sat down and rested for a minute, and it went back to a pretty normal color. Then I went to get changed, and it did it again! For someone who is generally, ah, pigmently challenged like me, a darkening of the skin at ALL is quite a departure, so I knew something was up.

I called the doc and he said since I'd had Sparky put in on the left side, and also since I'd had a catheter put in the left side of my neck a few weeks ago, I was at high risk for a blood clot, and should come to the ER right away.

I got to the ER, and they checked me into an ER room right away. They examined me and weren't exactly sure what was going on, but they needed to do an ultrasound of my left arm to see if there was a blood clot. Well, it turns out that the people that do that test are always on call except for Sunday afternoon and evening. Uh, rats. So they called a bunch of other hospitals in the area to see if any techs were available- no one could come.

Loooong story short- I stayed in the ER until 4:30 am (which was a total of 13 hours), when the finally admitted me into the Cardiac ward. I guess that's what most people experience when heading to the ER-I've just been super lucky and gotten the VIP treatment until now. : ) Not to say I wasn't treated great-it just took forever to find the right people to take care of me.

They started me on Heparin, a drug to prevent clots from forming. It can't break down any clots that are already formed, but it's important to prevent any going forward. On Monday morning, they did an ultrasound of my arm, and lo and behold, there was a big fat clot right near my collar bone and shoulder. The excellent news is that it was in a vein, not an artery. If it dislodged from the vein, it would just go back into my heart, not that dangerous. If it was in an artery and dislodged, there is a very good chance it could go to my brain and cause a stroke. Scary stuff! But since it's in a vein, they are just going to let it disolve on it's own over the next few months.

They are putting me on coumadin, a anti blood clotting medicine/ blood thinner. It seems to be a great drug, but I'll need to ask you all to refrain from whacking me on the head. Actually, if you could all walk around with me, surrounding me with pillows, that would best. You can all certainly take shifts...I'll send out the sign up sheet later. ; )

The other weird thing with coumadin is I can't change my vitamin K levels much with the foods I eat. Meaning I can't start eating big bowls of kale, cabbage, soy bean oil, or mayonaise. The mayo will be the only challenge but I'll get through it! I did ask what consituted a "big bowl of mayo"...just kidding! Sort of.

As for my LOS (length of stay), I expect to be out of this joint on Thursday or so. But they've given me no promises. I hope so, weekends here are lousy. They seem to send in the B team of docs (or JV as I call it) and nothing happens. It's a real snoozefest.

In other news, my parents and Skylar and Rhetta are coming for Christas in 9 short days! Yahoo!! Dad said he definately wants us all to go mountain climbing, glacier scaling, and to the Ballard Locks. We'll pencil it in.

Nick's about to arrive for our nightly movie showing...My vote is Love Actually, Nick's vote is GI Joe. Sparky's vote is Love Actually, so Hugh Grant here we come!!

Good night all!
I love you!

Mandy Morrelli Young Oh Jana! Wish we could be there, we love you and send you our positive thoughts, hugs, smiles, prayers, love, and anything happy and good vibey. I'm glad Sparky gets a vote, Love Actually is a much better movie than GI Joe.

Emily Murray Honey! We are thinking about you. Thanks for the update. Hang in there. =)

Marnie Miller Love actually is a fave of mine! I've already watched it this season :)

Kitty Muller warm hugs jana sweetie.. you are a brave and amazing young woman.

Sandy Farrill Sorry Holiday Inn was a let down. Nothing can compare to Whilte Christmas.

Abigail Claus Where do I sign up for a shift of pillow-holding?? I'm totally down.

Melissa Owens Reasoner Pillow holding actually sounds fun! :) Stay in good spirits sweetie!

Cathy Heckendorn Ask them if you can paint and put stickers on your shelf. You know, kind of personalize it a little.

Sandy Farrill You will certainly be able to go to the old folks home and talk shop on medicine. So there is a benefit to this. Dad

Rebecca Heckendorn I would like to be the first for the pillow holding, but you better be careful or you might get down in the mouth... :D
We are praying for you- and that no one gets sick so they can come see you!

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