As luck would have it, David, Ethan and I celebrated Valentine’s Day last night. We shared some gifts and enjoyed some cheesecake (a rarity in my house). I’m not sure how we had the foresight to know there would not be time to celebrate today.
With yesterday’s snow accumulations of about 18″ after round 2, I decided to work from home. I was in the middle of a conference call when I noticed my cell phone ringing. It was Mom. I let it go to voicemail since I was actually leading the call. But it rang again. And again. Uh oh. I finally got someone else to run the call for me, called Mom back, and discovered that she needed to go to the emergency room. She had been feeling lousy the part few days–nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath — and it had gotten bad. She wanted me to drive her to the ER but my brother talked her into going by ambulance. It was the right decision for many reasons, including the fact that we would never have gotten her to the car; she was so weak, it took 3 EMTs to get her on the stretcher.
After being in the ER for a bit, we learned that her INR level was 10. This should be in the 2-3 range, so that was problem #1. We also learned that she had “a little” pneumonia. Thinking that was the culprit, we felt some relief–some IV antibiotics and she would be good to go. She was admitted and had an echocardiogram shortly after getting to her room. This was, in part, to make sure there were no issues with her valves. The good news is that her valves looked fine. The bad news? There was a lot of fluid around her heart. The fluid needed to be drained (apparently “Stat”) but, because of her INR level, she needed a transfusion first. Fresh frozen plasma. I took my dad home, stopped at the house for a few things, and ran back to the hospital.
At about 6:00 pm, they hung her plasma and she was off. ETA about 2 hours. The surgeon was not happy to learn she was only being monitored every two weeks for the INR levels. Apparently it should be checked 2-3 times per week post-surgery, until everything looks stable. In this case, it appears she took too much Coumadin for too long. This elevated her INR levels and caused her blood to be too thin, likely resulting in bleeding that pooled around her heart. The surgeon is confident that he will find the fluid around her heart to be blood. We shall see.
The good thing in all this is that she’s in the right place, in good hands, and on her way to repairing the problem. Once again, I thank you all for your prayers.
There Will Be Blood (2007) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0469494/