Who you gonna call, CLOTBUSTERS!

Fairview Southdale’s Oncology wing is on the top floor. Being eight floors up allows for some nice views. That’s a wonderful little perk. We wish the skies would clear at night so we might see the northern lights before they fade.

This morning started with some hustle and bustle as the staff prepped Lucy to have the catheter procedure performed. There was some good news today.

I forgot to mention that when Lucy received her three units of blood last night, she received a diuretic called Lasix. Lasix administration helps flush some of the excess fluid that builds up during a transfusion. The excess fluid can cause blood pressure elevation to unhealthy levels. If any of you play the ponies, you have heard that some unscrupulous owners used to give horses a Lasix injection before a race. An injected horse becomes several pounds lighter after multiple bladder voids thus giving it an unfair advantage. That’s probably where the slightly vulgar observation involving a Russian race horse originated. One side effect of Lasix is it can reduce potassium level and Lucy’s potassium is slightly low. They will address the deficiency with oral or IV potassium supplements. She also likes bananas and Gatorade, which will give her a slight potassium boost.

Lucy had ordered breakfast before getting told she was NPO. The Latin phrase Non Per Ora means nothing by mouth though she is allowed sips of water. She had to watch me eat her French toast and hash browns. I’ll figure out a way to make it up to her!

Lucy has Blue Cross for her medical insurance. They have been wonderful once one finally gets through to a human. Dante must have foreseen Blue Cross’s automated phone system and used it as the inspiration for the ten circles of hell in “The Inferno“. The only thing missing would have been getting Heath Ledger in his “The Dark Knight” Joker role to intone “Omnes relinquite spes, o vos entrantes” (Abandon [relinquish] all hope when you enter) and cackle maniacally when the system answers.

The platelet transfusion worked even better than expected. Her count jumped from 53,000 to 98,000. Dr. Thurmes was very pleased with that. He also noted that her white count also improved and that’s something that has to come up on its own. After all the pounding her bone marrow took from the previous three rounds of chemo, perhaps her bone marrow is getting back to normal. That will bode well for her anemia if that is the case.

Her blood cultures still show no sign of infection after two days. While her leg is still very red and swollen, it is from the blood clot. The clot is bad enough to battle, she doesn’t need a few hundred million microscopic critters playing rough and adding to her discomfort. They will watch her cultures for a total of five days.

She went down to Interventional Radiology on third floor for the catheter insertion at 9:30. The preliminary estimate is about two hours, mostly due to allowing the anesthesia to kick and recovery time afterwards. Lucy is a little slow recovering from even local anesthesia. She is getting moved to a room in Surgical Specialties for at least one day. They want to keep very close watch on her to make sure the clot doesn’t do something very unpleasant. The likelihood is very small, but there is still a risk.

I’ll have another posting tonight. Thank you for keeping Lucy in your thoughts!

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