This is Tera Springman. I’m sitting with Melissa at the hospital, and she asked me to dictate for her on the blog to update everyone on the events of the past night and day. The following words are from her:
“Today is Wednesday; it’s 8 p.m. I’m sitting here in the comfort, or uncomfort, of my hospital bed with Kathy (my sister), Wes and Tera, and for the first time I feel somewhat okay. Starting yesterday afternoon I had decided that if my temperature had not gone down from 102, I would check myself into the hospital after my 4:15 p.m. radiation appointment at St. Joseph’s Hospital. When I finally got myself motivated and got in the shower, I realized this task was going to be much more complicated than I originally thought. First thing was to get shampoos/conditioners off the shower floor, so I wouldn’t have to bend over. Secondly, we brought a wooden desk chair in the shower (that was the only option), then when I was out of the shower we brought another chair in that had wheels on it so that I could comfortably slide around the bathroom, while getting ready for my doctor's appointments, without injuring my spine. Welcome to my life. We ended up having to cancel my radiation because the shower episode took much, much longer than anticipated and I couldn’t bare the thought of having to walk to and from radiation at this time.
Fast forward, we arrived at St. Joe's ER today at 5 p.m., and within 20 minutes, were admitted. We went through the same routine we’ve gone through since January with the doc/nurses, explaining pain medication routines, begging for ER pain medication via IV Dilaudid, and anxiously awaited a hospital bed on the sixth floor. Surprisingly, within six hours of arriving at St. Joe's, we got a room in the oncology unit on the sixth floor. This is good news because most of the nurses are familiar with me; my caregivers and friends seem more knowledgeable in cancer-related information.
So, last night I went to bed with mild, but tolerable pain, and was ready to wake up and see the doctors the next morning. In the middle of the night, I had to get up to go to the bathroom, and during the trip I injured my back even more so than it was before. I was pulling myself off the toilet with the handicap bar ever so slightly, and all of a sudden I felt a shooting pain up my spine and saw white lights. I fell back on the toilet and screamed out HELP! I called the nurse and for the next 20 minutes, they tried to persuade me off the toilet and into bed, and finally after about 40 minutes, I realized the pain wasn’t going to get any better and I would have to muscle through and get to my bed. At this point, the pain was so sharp and excruciating in my back, I thought I broke my spine. It was a pain I’ve never felt before. Anytime I tried to move up or on my side, it just made the pain worse.
Wednesday, by morning time, I had already seen about 10 different doctors, who had asked me the same set of questions over and over again. The medication that they had me on prior to the fall was antibiotics for the infection because of my fever. The docs had ordered a series of tests, including a CT scan, MRI, X-ray and Venus Doppler for the clot. We had already completed a X-ray the night I was admitted on my chest, leg and femur. I was told that the chest area did show some abnormal growth and it looked like it was old, so at least it wasn’t new [mets?] to the ribs. I have yet to speak to anyone about any official results.
The Venus Doppler gave us preliminary results that basically showed that I did have blockage in my vein due to the blood clot. Something that was clarified before today: blood clots are not spherical; they are more elongated (like spaghetti), so the red blood cells keep attaching themselves at the end of the current blood clot, causing it to get longer and have more blockage. Our initial guess, and something that one of the doctors mentioned, was that they would most likely change my blood thinner to something new. The next test, the CT scan, I experienced more horrific pain when they tried to move me from one bed to the table. It took me 15 minutes to recover and eight people to calm me down. The next big obstacle was getting back to my bed from the machine. They decided to bring in extra help, reinforcements and not to use the sliding stint. This transition was much much smoother.
MRI was the next test. For those of you that have never had one before, be glad. MRI machines are loud, uncomfortable and you are in an enclosed space for a long period of time. It is pitch black, by the way. The X-ray and other tests are TBD. As of right now, I don’t know what the future will hold for me or how my body is going to react to all of these tests, medications and changes. But I just wish that I could have a day without pain.
Melissa is very sleepy now, so we will continue this post later.