blood clots & trip to ER 1 week post surgery

truly ghastly experience

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blood clots & trip to ER 1 week post surgery

Postby Turk the cat » 22 Dec 2014, 23:11

I had some pretty big excitement a couple of weeks ago on Dec 9th which was 1 week 1 day after my hem/LIS surgery. Sorry this writeup is so huge, I sent it to a pal on this group, a few days following, and don't have the energy at the moment to pare it down.

Simply put it was the most scary medical situation I've ever been in. While I didn't think I would actually, ahem, perish, it did occur to me that I could wind up with severe nerve damage in my lower extremities and that I had to get myself to the Hospital ASAP.

I'm doing better, but feeling quite jangly. My BM's have improved, but the leg pain has really sapped a lot of my energy, and while I'm able to go for short, slow walks, I can't stand in one spot -- at my computer for example, or to do chores -- for hardly anytime at all. It will take time for my legs to heal.

I think this sort of thing doesn't occur that often. Anyone? My CRS didn't think there would be any repercussions like fissure or new hem's as a result.


Everything below was written on Friday Dec 12th.

On Tuesday Dec 9th I had my best BM yet, super soft, coiled, large, and pain free, at around 8:15 am. This had been 4 days in a row for BM each easier then the last. So pleased. I always squat in the tub with paper towels. I felt great.

Until, not more then 15 minutes later I got the urge to go again. Okay, no problem. Except, it was some fecal matter and a LOT of blood & clots (the chicken-livery looking kind.) It didn't hurt to expel. The blood was an extremely vivid red, I now know is known as "frank blood" a term I now know via my new Paramedic pals.

I was kind of freaked out to say the least and grabbed a sandwich baggie, putting the majority of the clotted material into it, it weighed our on our kitchen scale at 6.6 oz or 2/3 of a cup.

I immediately started thinking about calling my CRS's office to explain what happened, and began to formulate what I'd say. He's at a Hospital downtown, a $15.00 cab fare, and the drill has always been if anything dire happens, to get myself there as if not my CRS one of his four colleagues is -- supposedly -- always on duty or can be called down from his office. There are four CRS' in his team.

While I'm contemplating this, less then 10 minutes later, came another bout of the same. This time more of everything. Yikes! I've switched my mind to not calling the CRS and simply jumping into a taxi. Plus I've begun to get a bit dizzy. From then on things are a bit of a blur. I know I meant to get dressed and get going no matter what I decided.

Unfortunately, my husband is usually around in the mornings but had a Doctor's appointment of his own that day so I was on my own. I suspect if he had been at home he'd have had me in a cab heading downtown tout suite and I'd have saved some time, as you'll soon read.

Anyhow, home alone I had one, possibly more repeats of the same, the last being the absolute doozy. I actually passed out on the bathroom floor! I awoke without my glasses on, very stiff, and with the cat meowing hysterically. Do you wear glasses? I can't see a thing without mine. There is ZERO excuse for anyone who wears glasses 24/7 to ever let them out of their sight.

I'm not sure how long I was out, probably up to 5 minutes maybe more? Here's the damage: With each day the bruising becomes more clearer, at its peak now. The right side of my nose is tender (miraculously I didn't break my glasses, nor put them out of whack); I hit my right shoulder front (nasty bruise); left front arm closer to elbow, and have an extremely bruised and puffy left ankle with bruising along side of left leg; and bruising on side of right leg.

I became more sore on Tuesday with each passing hour, but the next few days were worse. I couldn't squat to poop because of tight calf pain. I have been using arnica cream; a corn-on-the-cob bag from the freezer as an icepack; warm baths; and a heating pad, many times each day (I am upset we can't find our "magic bag" or I'd be using that for sure) I've gotten better by leaps and bounds, but my muscles are still quite tight. I've been able to go for walks the past few days.

Okay, so where was I? On Tuesday I awoke to poor Turk the Cat (he lives!) totally freaking out. He was so upset that when I got up he started biting my ankles (er, not helping kitty.) I had destroyed the bathroom mat with blood and clots. It was not a pretty sight.

I realized I had passed out, wasn't wearing my glasses -- which struck fear in my heart because I know how bad things have to be to lose my specs, and I was in a lot of pain pretty much all at once and that got me motivated to, slowly, get moving.

I was very weak and dizzy. First things first, I coiled the bathroom mat, it was ruined. I got up, tidied myself, threw away my drenched underwear, and then went looking for my glasses. Thank goodness I found them on the floor of my room quickly enough.

It was clear to me that I had to call an ambulance (a "no cost" service, covered by our monthly BC Medical Insurance premium a $125.00 total for our family of two which also pays for Operations) even though I knew the ambulance would not take me to the downtown hospital I actually needed because of the catchment area of where I live. Frankly, at this point I thought I was tempting fate to not get to a hospital, any hospital. I truly thought I was close to death's door.

I was freaked about the blood/clot loss, and also especially about the possibility of nerve damage that can happen from passing out with one's body weight underneath oneself. I was out for, I have no idea, maybe 2 to 8 minutes, and I could already feel it the resulting damage.

So I called 911 a few minutes later when I was able to stagger to my bedroom, and told them what was going on and that I needed an ambulance. They tried to keep me on the line but I was adamant I had to get dressed and clean the bathroom before leaving. I checked in with the Operator twice,My husband would have freaked out with the amount of blood in the tub and on bathroom floor.

I heard the firetruck arrive outside our apartment building first, standard before Paramedics around here, and told the 911 Operator the buzzer number for our suite. They came up, took my vitals, and within minutes the Paramedics came and took over. I was very pleased with the speediness of the service, probably 15 minutes from dialing 911.

The paramedic duo were very nice, and while the woman took my vitals, the male partner actually helped clean the bathroom a bit at my request (bless him!) although I was stubbornly adamant I wouldn't leave the apartment looking so gruesome. He actually tossed the bath mat into a garbage bag at my request. At this point I was extremely light-headed and fading fast, and they basically got me out the door within five minutes.

We got to the Hospital, where full blood and sugar (?) level's were taken. Then came the waiting. As I suspected the downtown hospital wanted me to get there so they would send someone to pick me up. Ahem. 3.5 hours later they decided to call it a day, with my CRS having me arrange to get to his office downtown bright-and-early the next day at 8 am.

It was a pretty long day. The hospital finally gave me some food when I was being discharged. I hadn't eaten since about 6 pm the previous night and I don't handle being hungry with much grace. Wow, the food was truly wretched. I drank the lukewarm tea water plain with the oatmeal cookie (the prize of the luncheon meal), I had one spoonful of the wretched pureed veg soup (don't ask) had a few of the stone cold green peas, and less then a bite of the wretched hunan pork noodle entree. Good grief, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city, if this shit is the best we can serve our ill, the system is in trouble.

In the meanwhile, earlier in the day I borrowed the hospital's cell phone and was able to connect with my husband -- why yes, we ARE the last people in the world to have a cell, something we are going to remedy in January -- who had arrived home to see the note the Paramedic wrote on my behalf. Gone to VGH (Vancouver General Hospital) call for room number.

In retrospect maybe I should have had an idea something was wrong sooner. I'd had two fairly hard BM's the first of which, on Saturday, was probably the culprit that got the situation going. When I saw my CRS on Weds morning he said that sometimes after surgery a blood clot can form over scar tissue that is already in the rectum, and if, say a hard bm, hits it just so it can cause a chain reaction. My poor butt had been filling with blood and clots, until, well, the dam burst. I recall a fairly noxious cloying odour, but figured it was par for the course. In retrospect, on Tuesday morning there were some signals things weren't right. Before that first, good BM, I'd noticed increased spotting, and upon the toilet, upon investigation, some of the Frank blood literally oozing from my entire, ahem, bum area. Like stigmata and pretty creepy thank-kew-veddy-much. I had put on a pad after first BM and before the s**t-hit-the-fan.

Actually, the first week, and now still, I had much less discharge/bleeding then I'd expected. I started wearing panties with a pad 24-7 the first few days then quickly realized there was very little blood. I then moved to just plain white panties -- a great way to monitor how much "action" is going on -- and then, due to starting to feel "stuffy", not wearing panties, at least in bed, when I'd lay a clean towel underneath my nether regions.

I am back to having very little mucous/discharge (just enough to annoy however) and I must say I hadn't been as nervous in a long, long, time as I was having my morning BM about half an hour before going to the CRS' on Weds morning. I fully expected another blood event, and if one happened I'd have gone directly to the ER at his hospital (as instructed) rather then his office. Thankfully, it was a med BM with zero pain or blood.

The past few days have been rough in that my leg muscles/ankle is in a lot of pain, and my bruises ache. I had a fine BM that Weds morning, but diarrhea twice on Thursday. Unfortunately the timing of my food intake, with more soup/soft food then usual, may have contributed to the diarrhea.

Today, Friday, I've had a tiny BM, and am fearful my body is tensing up too much and that I'm going to get plugged up. Continuing to eat super healthy and thinking calm thoughts. This week has been truly awful.

On the plus side to be optimistic, I did get to see my CRS well ahead of my first checkup which had been scheduled for Dec 19th (his regular clinic hours are only on Friday's.) It was at the 9 day mark, and he said I was looking extremely great for someone at the 10 day point. I will next see him on January 9th. That's like four weeks? It seems an eternity from now.
Last edited by Turk the cat on 23 Dec 2014, 00:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: blood clots & trip to ER 1 week post surgery

Postby Scientist2516 » 23 Dec 2014, 00:29

Oh dear god, Turk, I must admit I couldn't bring myself to read some parts of that. What a horrible ordeal.

Thinking calm thoughts sounds like a great idea, if you can manage it after that trauma. I'm so glad your CRS says you are healing well. Keep it up! Let us know how you get on!
Nifedipine/lidocaine, no help
Diltiazem, effective, but caused major rash
Nitroglycerine, effective.
Topical estrogen for final healing.
Gentle heat to bottom - pain relief, muscle relaxant
Kondremul mineral oil
Time - lots of time.
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Re: blood clots & trip to ER 1 week post surgery

Postby Savaici » 23 Dec 2014, 21:57

Oh dear Turk. So glad that you managed to get to the hospital, and do hope you are better soon from the whole wretched ordeal!!
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Re: blood clots & trip to ER 1 week post surgery

Postby owmybum » 24 Dec 2014, 05:30

That sounds horrific Turk.... I hope you are feeling better and I wish you a speedy, trouble free recovery!

fissure after hem banding and tag removal feb 11
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Botox June 13
Internal flap July 14
EUA and polyps removed Nov 14
Diagnosed with neuropathy Jan 15
Diagnosed with HS EDS type 3 (causes poor wound healing )
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