Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wind and Rain but No Blood Clot

Although the warnings about Hurricane Sandy were dire for Virginia, we dodged a bullet. We had rain and wind, but nothing more than you would expect out of a good, old-fashioned storm. This one just lasted a while longer.

Monday had been forecast to be the worst of the storm days, and of course, that would be the day that Ashley and I had to do the most traveling around in it.

For a week now, Ashley's right ankle and foot have been very swollen. There's no bruising, and it doesn't appear to bother her, so I don't think it is an injury. But because I didn't know what it was, we visited her pediatrician Monday morning. He was a little baffled also, but suspected it could be a blood clot. If that were the case, it would instantly be an emergency situation. He sent us to the imaging facility next to his office with a script to get a venous ultrasound done.

So, we moved out into the storm and walked across the parking lot as my umbrella decided to flip itself inside out. The winds were just too high for an umbrella, but I didn't want either Ash or myself to get totally drenched. Too late...

We registered at the imaging facility and had just shaken the water off our coats when the receptionist walked over to tell me that they could not do the procedure - it had to be done at the hospital. She kindly gave me the number to the hospital and showed me to a phone I could use. Because everyone involved was assuming this was an emergency, we were told to drive immediately to the hospital cardiovascular lab.

So we left the imaging facility with a broken umbrella and clothes that were still damp, and headed out into the pouring rain again. I walked briskly across the parking lot as I pushed Ashley in her wheelchair. I got her into the car, and then wrestled her wheelchair into the trunk. Now we were more than damp.

We drove to the hospital, unloaded the wheelchair, and dashed into the hospital and headed to registration. At this point, I was feeling bad for the person who might sit in the chair that I had used because it was now soaking wet.

We headed back to the cardiovascular lab, and instantly I knew things were not going to go smoothly. One thing to keep in mind is that this was one of the few hospitals in our area that we had NEVER been to.

Ashley looked into the room where the ultrasound would be done, immediately locked her legs, dug her heels into the floor, and stiffened in her chair. She was NOT going into that room. The tech, an attractive young man, seemed to not notice her behavior, and told me to bring her in, get her on the stretcher and remove her pants. I laughed - perhaps just a bit hysterically.

I went through my whole speech - the speech I would not have had to give had we been at the hospital we normally frequent. I could tell he just wasn't grasping the situation because he kept talking on the phone to someone and saying, "Her mother won't do it."

Finally, I think I began to make him understand when I told him that for all other procedures in a hospital, they were done under anesthesia. If he required a child to be still, not fight, and not require at least three burly men to hold her down, we were going to have to do the test under anesthesia. Somehow, he and person to whom he was talking on the phone, decided they could probably make that happen. I was to go to the OR and see the anesthesia doctor.

But, here's where we had another little problem. Ashley was already an hour past the time of her noon seizure med dose, and she had eaten breakfast that morning.

So we moved to plan B. We were to go home, take the seizure med, and not have anything else to eat or drink until 3pm at which time we were to come back for the procedure under anesthesia.

It was out into the storm again. I drove home, administered Ash's seizure meds, and tried to keep her occupied and not asking for lunch.

We left home at 2:30 - back into the wind and rain - and arrived at the hospital at 3pm. They were ready for us. We went through the whole fill out the necessary forms thing again, all the while trying to keep Ashley calm because WE WERE IN THE OPERATING ROOM. It was a battle I was losing.

Fortunately, the staff and the doctor listened to me, and with the help of two large men and three small nurses, the anesthesioligist placed the mask over Ashley's face while she was still in her wheelchair, and she drifted off to sleep. Then they moved her to the stretcher and started her IV.

The test was over in about 20 minutes. They moved her back to her chair while she was still asleep, and slowly helped her wake up. All in all, I think a great deal of fighting was reduced by that maneuver.

Ashley woke up soon after with no issues, and we left to go back into the rain and wind, but this time to go home and stay home.

The pediatrician called a couple of hours later to tell me that the test did not show a clot. He was going to have to research and call me back. I haven't heard back from him yet.

Ash's ankle and foot are still swollen. She still doesn't seem bothered by it, and our clothes from Monday are almost dry.

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