Then, on Friday, she went to physical therapy and pointed out that hey, she fell a month ago, her right leg should not be several inches larger around than her left, still. Some swelling due to the trauma of bruising her leg up and spraining her ankle was to be expected, but not to that extent for that length of time. Also, it was kind of weird that she'd been having so much trouble breathing and her asthma inhalers weren't helping any. I mean, sure, she's overweight and had been mostly off her feet for three weeks, but just walking a few steps shouldn't be that much of an effort.
So there was ultrasounding.
And then there was lung scanning.
BLOOD CLOTS, AHOY!
One giant Godzilla clot in her leg, which spawned several smaller clots in her lungs. She was immediately sent to the hospital for megadoses of strong bloodthinners to prevent further clotting and give the little clots time to dissolve under supervision by medical professionals. She will be on bloodthinners for a while (like, a year), but hopefully they should get her dosage sorted out within a few days. Current predictions have her back home by Tuesday.
This is fucking scary. I don't care how many times she reminds me that it's not such a big deal when you find clots, it's generally much worse when they find you (especially if they find your heart or brain), it is scary. Especially given that because she thought it was just swelling from trauma at first, she kept trying to apply heat by getting in the whirlpool -- which would have opened up her veins a bit and allowed the clot to travel to potentially fatal destinations -- but the thing was broken. Repeatedly. Had it not been, this might have been a very different entry.
Tomorrow (well, today, I guess. Sunday) is an EKG to make sure her heart is doing all right and ensure the total lack of clots there.
I am trying to keep family and friends various levels of informed on the goings-on, and making sure everyone visits Mom and keeps her somewhat entertained because it is awfully easy to become bored out of your skull when you are supposed to stay in your hospital bed. Also trying to walk the fine line between "Keeping Emma informed" and "not freaking Emma out". It's a little awkward. Also trying to manage the schedule for the house for the next few weeks, since I do not know whether Mom will be coming home for certain on Tuesday, or if she'll need to stay longer. Emma's got a bunch of choir and school stuff to do, Gabe has school enrollment stuff he needs to be reminded of, and Dad and the dog need to be fed on something resembling a regular basis.
The dog, by the way, misses Mom already. She is not getting as clingy as she gets when the entire family leaves, but she sits at home by the front door in the evening, waiting for Mom to come home. It is the saddest thing ever. I would try to sneak her in for a visit, but I hear that large, unruly Labs are frowned upon in hospitals. Ain't no way anyone would believe the Butterbeast is a service dog. Unless the service you require is assistance in eating your sandwich.
The positive things are: Mom has lots of visitors. Our family is pretty good about visiting each other when we fall ill, and her friends and neighbors have been stopping by. Also, Mom is not in any sort of pain, and has internet access on her phone. This means she's still sending out emails all day long, and will be checking Rockets scores if she's not able to watch the game. Mom is also quite good at dealing with nurses, having been one for years and years. The nurses and techs LOVE her. This is as it should be, because she is awesome. It also helps that she is married to a doctor who's been working there for decades, and who everyone knows. People I cannot remember at all recognize me as "Dr. Bravo's daughter", and gasp at how grown up Emma looks. If you have to be in the hospital? It's pretty damn nice to be a doctor's wife.
Also, Mom has a sense of humor. We will know when she is dying because she will (a) no longer request her special coffee (Cafe Vienna, sugar-free) and (b) stop laughing.
I am handling the stress, as always, by cooking a lot and not sleeping. Mom will return home to several week's worth of casseroles in her freshly organized freezer. And I am going to name my ulcer "Winter Break '08-'09".