Sunday, March 19, 2006


Bit of a scare this weekend -- my mother headed into the emergency room on Friday night because of severe leg pain, swelling, and discoloration of her right leg. She's had this sort of thing off and one since July, but she's been in denial about any sort of problem and refused to see a doctor. It got bad enough on Friday that she went to Urgent care, where the doctor said he believed she had a blood clot and should go to the ER.

My mother argued with him. Apparently the statement that finally got her to the hospital was, "Fine. You can either go to the Emergency room and have this treated, or you can go home and it will kill you."

She has Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), and a 3-4" clot in her right leg. My sister, a nurse, told her months ago that this looked serious and she should have it looked at, that it was probably a clot, and it could migrate to her heart or lungs and kill her; but no, your kid can't ever actually be right about anything, and she was ignored. This is the stuff they warn you about on planes -- a clot forms, and goes to your lungs where it becomes a pulmonary embolism and people die from this. Apparently quite a lot of people.

She's on injectible blood-thinners right now, and will go on Coumadin for however long it takes for this to dissolve. They didn't check her into the hospital, which I found a bit odd. She's ok, but scared spitless at the moment. The Adorable husband, also a nurse, and my sister both lit into her about how serious this was and she couldn't ignore it. We're hoping they scared her into compliance with the doctor's orders.

From a website talking about DVT:
The symptoms for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may be subtle and difficult to detect. When DVT is spotted early and properly cared for, it may often resolve itself. When left untreated, it may cause severe complications, some even fatal. Complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people a year in the U.S. — that's more than AIDS and breast cancer combined!
Fun. The complications they talk of are pulmonary emboli. And she ignored this for SEVEN MONTHS. Because, you know, she knows more about things than a medical doctor. All of us deny things, and many of us do not go to the doctor as often as we should, but I think she may change her behavior a bit. I hope!

More here
and here at Wikipedia.

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