Here’s an update on my recovery.
It’s been seven weeks since my pulmonary embolisms came for a visit. I feel perfectly fine. Normal. No pain. No breathing problems. No swelling in my leg. Just the usual insufferable me.
On Monday I had an echocardiogram – an ultrasound examination of my heart – and a computed tomography (CT of CAT) scan of my lungs. Both came back normal. No heart damage. No clots in my lungs. My lungs have some residual tissue damage from the clotting episode. Despite the damage, my lungs seem to be functioning normally.
I went for my first visit to the hematologist today. His job is to determine the status of my blood, my blood’s clotting function, and whatever clots remain. He had already seen my recent medical history. He was very upbeat. Unless we find something seriously wrong with my clotting mechanics or my deep vein thrombosis doesn’t resolve itself, he’s inclined to take me off blood thinners in six to twelve months. If things don’t pan out, he’ll recommend I stay on them indefinitely.
The plan of attack is pretty straightforward. First, we do what we can to find out why this happened to an otherwise healthy person who does all the right things. I exercise regularly. I am not obese. I don’t smoke. I am handsome. (Okay, that last one’s both irrelevant and dubious).
He had beaucoup vials of blood drawn to for tests. Some of these are genetic tests. Unfortunately, the tests are not covered by insurance so I will be out well over $1,000. I wasn’t thrilled with that aspect but I really want to know as much as I can about what happened to me so I can make informed decisions.
Next month, I go back for the results. The following month, assuming all is going well, I go for a sonogram of my calf to find out if my DVT is cleared up and if there is any related damage to the vein in my leg that we need to worry about. And if everything is fine, I go back in May to get his recommendations for on-going treatment.
My pulmonologists warned me that hematologists tend to be more optimistic about on-going treatment. She predicted he’ll want to take me off blood thinners in six months or a year. She was right. I go back to her next week to see what she has to say about my lung function.
I also go to the endocrinologist next week, likely to have more blood drawn for tests on the little abnormality on my adrenal gland. As I understand it, we are trying to rule out cancer. According to what I read on the interwebs, the probability of my abnormality being cancer is very, very small.
Seven weeks ago I was scared to death. Today, I am wishing it were warmer out so I could go for wicked long bike ride.
Fingers crossed. Knock wood. Hope the creek don’t rise.