Another Day – Another Test (or 10)
Debbie here again. For those of you that panicked yesterday when it was me writing instead of Jill, she is still alive and kicking – I’ve already had several e-mails from her this morning. Yesterday morning she had an incident where her hand “flopped over” and she couldn’t control it for a few seconds. They attempted to do an MRI, but she still can’t lay flat for more than a couple of minutes without feeling as if she’s “drowning”. So she had a 2 minute MRI . So in Jill’s words, here’s the outcome of the tests and treatments for the day.
Dr. Yu the on-call neurologist popped by. The 2 minutes of MRI I managed to get through showed several small strokes. She has no idea if the jaw spasms are little strokes too, but she doubts it. She thinks that’s low potassium and I’m getting that now by IV, so that should help. She did a complete neurological workup, and I have no deficits whatsoever. My only problem is with numbness in my feet, and we’re just going to have to deal with that later. It’s likely peripheral neuropathy from something or other — some chemo I’ve had in the past coming back to haunt me. I’ll have to deal with that later, but I might be a hobbler/tripper for the rest of my life. Oh well.
There are tiny strokes on both sides of the brain. They need to find out more about the source so tomorrow they’re going to do an ultrasound of the vessels in my neck, which should tell them something. Not sure what, but something. Meanwhile, I have the call button. (My un-expert medical opinion – several days of very high blood pressure caused the strokes)
The solution. Thin the blood. Cancer thickens blood, and God knows the high blood presssure and high heart rate the last few days hasn’t helped. So, I go on 325 mg of aspirin a day. Salycilic acid. Willow bark. Simple.
Dr. Ingber also gave me a prescription for Xanax, which is taking my anxiety level down. My heart rate is now hanging about 119 rather than 137. The blood pressure is 120/70. Good. I’m sure the 151/100 didn’t help with the strokes. (Jill holds the same un-expert opinion) He’s also ordered the metroperol (????) heart-rate slower 2x a day rather than the one time the on-call oncologist ordered over the weekend. Good That should help also.
The hospital food is darned yuky. Blah blah blah. They have some good cinnamon rolls, though, so I’ve been enjoying them in teeny tiny bites lest they freeze my jaw shut. They also have all kinds of soft stuff I can eat. Again, boring, but edible.
Thank you all for prayers and support. Toast me with an aspirin tonight and I’ll update you as I can tomorrow.
This is excerpted from an e-mail I received from her this morning. More reasons to be praying diligently.
Can’t eat or drink anything, but they gave me a diuretic this morning anyway???? Whatever. They’re going to check my legs for deep vein thrombisis — just kind of a routine thing done with ultrasound, no biggie. They’re going to tap my lungs to see if they can get me to lie on my back long enough for a full MRI. 20 minutes flat on my back. hahahahhaha. I thought they were going to do a CT, but they’re persistent. Maybe the not eating and drinking is because they want to leave me open to being knocked out with twilight sleep to get through the MRI, which might work.
So there you have it. They are still thinking about putting drains in to help manage the pleural effusions. Apparently these particular drains are a new technology that allows the patient to control the flow of fluid exiting the body. Since this is so new, the drains are somewhat hard to find plus the insurance company will need to approve their use. If you’ve ever had a bad cold or bronchitis or pneumonia or asthma or any other problem that makes it difficult to breath, you have a small idea of what Jill is going through 24/7. The drain would greatly reduce her discomfort – so pray for smooth sailing with the insurance company and that a drain or drains would be available soon. The Xanax is helping a lot to manage the anxiety of not being able to breath.