Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dan's Ordeal

I think I will start this story at the end – or at least at the present . . . Dan is feeling much better now.

And now for the flash back:

A month ago Dan was having a toothache, the pain of which actually spread clear up into his sinuses. The dentist tried to save him from having to have a root canal, but it didn’t work, so eventually sent him to a specialist for his very first root canal procedure. It did the trick, and his tooth/head pain was relieved.

Still he wasn’t feeling well. He was complaining of fatigue, non-specific aches and pains, and feeling feverish (although, according to the thermometer, he wasn’t). At those early symptoms, I probably wasn’t as sympathetic as I should have been; I didn't understand just how bad he felt.

But by Labor Day weekend I had to admit, contritely, that something really was wrong. He could hardly move because of the pain in one of his legs, and all he wanted to do was sleep. I told him, on Sunday, “You have to go to the doctor!”

Since Monday was a holiday, he waited until Tuesday to call for an appointment. Of course, he couldn’t get in to see our doctor, who had no available time, but they scheduled him with a physician’s assistant. He went to the clinic that morning, still in pain, and went through the lengthy process of checking in and updating all of his information in their computer, then sat down to wait his turn. After waiting what seemed an unreasonable amount of time, and witnessing people come in (after him) and be seen, he went back to the counter to find out what the problem was. The problem was that someone had marked him as a “no show.” By then, they told him, his appointment was gone! They asked if he’d come back later in the day if they could fit him in with someone else, but he was hurting badly enough to hold his ground and insist on being seen, by ANYONE. Finally, to appease him, they got a doctor to see him. The doctor said that he might have a blood clot in his leg, so he was scheduled, for later in the day, to have an ultrasound done at a different location.

The ultrasound technician found a clot. The results were relayed to the doctor, who said he should be taken to the ER and started on blood thinners immediately. By this time it was evening. I called Tim as soon as he was off work, and asked him if he’d drive me to the ER, so that Dan and I wouldn’t have two cars there to deal with, since Dan was no longer in any shape to be driving. For the second time in a week Tim rescued us (remember the iMac hard drive install?), and took me downtown to the ER.

Despite all the nightmare stories we’d heard about bad care and poor service at the ER, Dan was speedily taken to a room and very kindly and professionally cared for. Still, it took time for a doctor to examine him, blood work to be processed, blood thinner to be administered, and prescriptions and instructions written out, so it was 11:30 p.m. before he was dismissed. Neither of us had eaten anything since breakfast, except for a cup of yogurt around lunch time, and we were starving. I drove Dan home, got him settled in, and went to Sonic for a couple burgers. We were finally sitting at the kitchen table, eating our “dinner” a half-hour after midnight. And then to bed!

For a week-and-a-half Dan was on doctor’s orders to stay home from work. For ten days he was on two blood thinners – one of them that had to be self-injected into his abdomen, twice a day, the other taken orally. He also had a script for pain. He has now finished his ten days, and is no longer taking the injections, but is still on the oral blood-thinner. We don’t know how long he’ll be on that medication. We don’t know when they will do another ultrasound to see the status of the blood clot. They did tell us that it will take at least six to eight weeks for his body to absorb the clot, so there’s no reason to check before that.

Yesterday he returned to work. I was impressed that he worked a full day. He said he had some discomfort early in the day, but changed the settings on his office chair, which made a big difference.

We're thankful to those of you who joined us in prayer for healing, and to God who, as always, was faithful to answer.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

CANADIANS

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad Dan is doing better! Did any of the doctors say why he had gotten the clot?

Genie

cruz said...

Good work dear.
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Papa John said...

Wow! What a scare. I'm afraid my prayers for Dan were weak and tardy having heard the story now. I'm sorry. Did any of the medical folk suggest the clot may have originated with the root canal? And why must we deal with the frustrations of dealing with the medical caregiving community? How thankful we are to be in the hands of a provident Lord, Eh?

Linda said...

Genie and John, one doctor did say that the root canal could have been a trigger, but others said it was not likely.

John - yes, we are very thankful.

Anonymous said...

I will write about this in an e mail to you. I am so thankful though that prayers are being answered.

Love,

GR