Friday, 1 January 2016

Recovery from Pulmonary Embolism - Part 2

A couple of weeks went by with the usual things happening. On Monday 5 October I had to get organised for the CT Colonography scan the following day. This involved a preparation sheet and some bowel prep.  :-? 


A long list of instructions, starting with a low residue diet the day before. No brown bread, red meat, cereals, vegetables, cheese or anything with seeds in it! Doesn't leave a lot. I got some Black Doris Plum Yoghurt as it has no seeds! It was thick, creamy and delicious  :)

Apart from that I had white bread and honey and cooked myself some chicken for my evening meal. The next day it was clear fluids only. I'd bought some Barker's Lemon & Barley fruit syrup so I had more to drink than just water. I also made up some chicken stock - homemade in time honoured tradition - so I'd have some sort of sustenance!

 At 3:00pm I had to start the fun part of the bowel prep.  =))  First up at 3:00pm was 250ml of Picoprep - I decided if I had to drink this stuff I was going to do it in style! It didn't taste as bad as I'd feared. The advice was to "Stay close to a toilet as the laxative may begin to work soon afterwards" Straight after the Picoprep you have to drink another glass of water!


Now, there are 5 of us in the household and 1 toilet in the bathroom - which is not usually an issue. BUT Pa needs it sometimes in a bit of a hurry! What's a girl to do? Solution - I set up the Campa Potti just in case!  :D  Ours is similar to the one below - but quite a lot older. 

I had some of the chicken stock, at least it had some flavour! Made me feel like I was having something other than water.

Chicken Stock - homemade :)

This looks like milk. But it is definitely not milk! It is called E-Z-CAT dry. Didn't taste too bad either. Had to have this one at 7:30pm. Then more water at 8:00pm. Then at 9:00pm more of the Picoprep, 250mls. Then another glass of water!

Gastrografin -definitely not water!
10:00pm it was time for the Gastrografin above. 500mls of this to get through! It had an aniseed flavour so it's lucky I like aniseed! Then . . . you got it . . .another glass of water! By which time I felt as though I was ready to float! Finally about midnight, when all these laxatives stopped working, I was able to settle down to sleep! Oh! And the Camping Potti was not needed  :D

Next day was clear fluids . . . I stuck to water as after that prep no way did I want to have to repeat it! The scan itself was interesting. IV line for the contrast dye, then the fun part . . . gas pumped into your gut! Via your rectum/butthole of course! The comment, "Try not to release any, as it will just need to go back in . . " had me squeezing my gluteus maximus muscles as best I could. It was pretty uncomfortable as the gas pushes up against your diaphragm . . . but it didn't last too long.  #:-S  Though when I was told to roll over onto my tummy - well let's just say there was a bit of a gas leak  :-$


Once it was all over I took myself to the Wishbone cafe in the hospital foyer and had a coffe and some Macaroni Cheese! Needed something before I headed home.


Once I got home I had one of my fav Jarrah coffees and some mini squiggles. I felt like a wee treat after the scan I'd just had. 

Well!  That was all some time ago! Life sort of rushed along and I followed behind as best I could. Hence the gap of time between the last post and this one. I had this one mostly done . . . then got busy doing all the rest of the things that needed doing and by night time I was usually far too tired to do anything but read a few lines of a book before falling asleep! 

I also found an awesome blog Blood Clot Recovery Network (BCRN) which I've read many of the posts of. It has so much information and was a source of comfort as I sorted out my head space after the PE. I found that I was lucky as many folk had trouble with their breathing for months afterwards! Mine has mainly been tiredness, my stamina is not as good as it used to be . . . and the other thing I've noticed is my memory is not as good. It may be the medication, but I have to make notes on my phone or I'll forget things! It's been noticed by a few folk . . . but not many, only those closest to me. And I just now discovered I had completely the wrong month for the date of the embolism in an older post so I have now corrected it! I had July and it was August . . . normally I would pick that sort of thing up, but there you go! I didn't! Nuff said.

Over the last couple of months there have been more tests, a change in medication as the Rivaroxaban and periods were NOT a good combination for me! So I was changed to Wafarin which meant for 6 days I had to inject myself with Clexane which took a bit of getting used to! The actual jab didn't hurt . . . the fluid stung a bit. It was more psych-ing myself up to stab myself in the tummy! Thankfully my INR (International Normalised Ratio) got to 1.8 quickly and so I could stop the Clexane. Then it was blood tests every few days till my Warfarin stabilised into the 2.0 - 2.5 range the Prof wanted it to be in.

The CT Colonography showed that the clot had come from my femoral and iliac veins. They still don't know why though. I've had an ultrasound recenlty which shows the clot has gone . . . praise God that it has! It did show some "beading" on some veins so I've been referred to the Venous team. 

Throw in the studio dance concert, plus the one Locket does Tap at, and it was a busy few months.

I'm doing ok  :D  I still have to watch my energy levels as if I get too tired it takes me days to recover. I've just had a classic example with some dresses I was making for a wedding which left me sleeping 5 hours over 2 nights . . . after handing over the dresses I was exhausted and almost physically sick from the stress. A few good nights sleep have sorted that . . . though I can feel in myself I need a few more days to get back to my new normal, which is different to my old normal.

That's just life. Things change when your body throws a hissy fit! When I told my GP (doctor) who I've been going to for nearly 30 years that I went to bed and to sleep the night of the embolism he looked at me and said, "Many people don't wake up." Which I know . . . but it is still very sobering to hear it put like that.

So that is a very quick wrap up of the end of the year 2015. 

It is now 2016! It seems to have come around very quickly indeed. There will be new things happening and some of the old as well. This post is long enough though so I am going to wrap it up now.

Wherever you are I wish you all the best for a great year in 2016! 

 I hope it goes well for you. See you soon  :-h

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