Yesterday I finished working a lengthy project. Today I am re-centering. I started to describe it as finding my own life again, but that is not true. It’s all my own life. Choosing to immerse myself in work away from home and my usual routine is choosing how to spend my life, my minutes. Things, like this project, that seem like they could be distractions are really important parts of the main thing. They are my life. Stepping outside the norm challenges me to be resourceful and flexible. It brings new experiences, new thoughts and emotions, reveals areas of needed growth. And when it’s over, it makes coming back to “normal” sweeter and restful.
Today I started back to center. I spent time talking with mom, and praying with friends. I took out the garbage, washed the dishes, found the washer and dryer under a rather large pile of stuff and started reading a new book to the husband. I watched snowflakes float down. I cooked broccoli, zucchini and salmon for dinner. I got a package ready for the mail. This too was all my life. One of my favorite sayings describes it perfectly. “It was all fun, and fun is good.” Just sayin’…
Life was going on smoothly with my new, blue cast, for a few days at least. We had a good, but short visit from the North Carolina daughter and another surprise visit from a distant cousin. Events like this are good distractions and I am easily distracted when pain is chronic and below a certain level. And then came Friday, with a totally new distraction.
I had an early morning appointment with the ophthalmologist (tempted to just write eye doctor) and was surprised to see the husband up and reporting to me that his leg had bothered him during the night. He thought it was swollen and felt different. I often don’t agree with his assessments, but I always check to make sure. It did look a little swollen and was slightly warmer. I sent a quick email to our doctor and she recommended we come to the clinic and see what was up. So we were there by 11:30, the husband being examined by a PA.
There was the possibility of a blood clot, a DVT, short for deep vein thrombosis. She ordered an ultrasound of his left leg and we set off down the hall to radiology. Halfway there, Dennis could not go any further. He was leaning against the wall and holding on to the handrail, looking scary. I ran for a wheelchair and helped him sit. He was weak and sweaty. At radiology he was feeling better so the ultrasound was done. I watched the screen as the tech worked and although I find it hard to know what I’m seeing, it was evident that something wasn’t right.
From there we were ordered directly to the ER and met with a whole squad of RN’s. They hooked him up to EKG, put in an IV and started monitoring his vital signs. It didn’t help that his blood pressure was 200/104. The ER doc sent him for a CT scan of the lungs and it showed multiple clots in both lungs – significant was the word they used, as opposed to massive. He was started on anticoagulants and admitted to the hospital. That’s where he spent the next two days until his blood pressure stabilized and his blood thinners had reduced the risk of additional clots.
I don’t remember thinking much about my hand the whole time this was going on. That is not to say that I’m recommending medical emergencies as therapy for chronic pain.