more bad news

Tuesday, I had to take Stanley to the ER at Norwalk Hospital. He had an agonizing pain in his lower right side, front and back, which occurred about 5am after he spent the night in pain from a calf muscle and a foot that went to sleep (went numb). He didn’t want to go to the hospital then—he wanted to see his doctor, Jay Horn. I got him in there about 11:45 and Dr. Horn spent about two minutes assessing Stanley’s abdomen and told me to take Stanley to the ER and he’d phone ahead to set things up. Might be appendicitis, he said.

So off we went after stopping by the house to let the dog out to pee and grab the cell phone. They did a CAT scan and found kidney stones lodge high in his kidney, so the theory was he passed a stone. Only, if the stone passed, why was he still in pain? The ER doc, I forget his name but it started with an A I think, was thinking of doing a contrast CAT scan, but I guess decided against it and said he was going to send Stanley home with instructions to come back if the pain shifted or got worse along with some pain meds. I immediately wondered how Stanley would know if the pain got worse or shifted if he were on pain meds ... but it didn’t matter because I, and Stanley, pushed for a diagnosis, telling Dr. A that Dr. Horn said it should be checked for appendicitis. Turns out Dr. A never saw the message from Dr. Horn—called him and then he ordered up a contrast CAT scan. The first scan didn’t take because the contrast stuff didn’t go down. The second one also didn’t go down—Stanley ended up having to get it done the hard way.

The contrast scan showed a blood clot in the kidney, which had killed a piece of the right kidney. Apparently, it’s pretty rare (go ahead, Google “renal infarction”—there isn’t that much there about it.) They don’t know what caused it, and did another contrast cat scan of his chest area to rule out a dissected aorta (a tear in the artery) or an embolism. Neither were present (relief!), and on Thursday Stanley’s cardiologist, David Lomnitz, is going to do an, um, ultrasonography? Kind of an echo-cardiogram via the esophagus instead of through the chest wall, gets a better picture of the heart close up. He will look for blood clots in the heart, especially to see if there are clots around the moo valve (the valve job Stanley got two years ago). If so, then it’s warfarin for Stanley, which is scary for both of us given the problems he’s had with the stuff. If not, a dna test will be done to see if he has weird alleles that are markers for ... and here it has slipped out of my brain—first things first.

But wait, there’s more. The doctor attending on Wednesday for Internal Medicine (our doctors’ group practice) FINALLY listened to our tale of the events that led up to the kidney clot—I think we told that story to doctor after doctor, but nobody seemed to think much about it until the doc from IM (I can’t remember his name, damn it) listened. Whereupon he wrote an order for a vascular consult and possibly a vascular cat scan of Stanley’s legs. Dr. Paul Gagne came in around 6:15 to assess Stanley and told us that it looks like there’s a blood clot in Stanley’s left calf, kinda below the knee, and that what Stanley thought was a bad sprain a couple of weeks ago was actually a clot and the clot cut off the blood supply to his foot, which caused the foot to go numb, and that the events are almost definitely related and might indicate that it is a cardio problem. I KNEW it has to be related—it doesn’t make sense any other way.

So, Dr. Gagne says Stanley’s calf artery will have to be roto-rootered to clear the clot, or bypassed if the whole thing is clotty. This will happen Thursday or Friday.

We are in shock. Stanley got a clean bill of health from Dr. Lomnitz on his April 27th checkup—not even a month ago!

Oh, I forgot—also, Stanley is anemic. Where the anemia came from is also a mystery right now. It explains a lot, like why he’s been sleeping so much over the past few months, and coming home and drooling on his keyboard when he dozes off while checking his email. I guess that’s the next thing to tackle.

I hate this. The cats and the dog are upset that Stanley isn’t around—it’s so sad how dejected Ginger gets when I leave to go to the hospital or when I come home and Stanley isn’t with me. Even Twitch is clingy when I’m home. I’m also trying to finish up some store sites that ideally should be done by this weekend—I’m so close to completion it’s ridiculous. I’m way to out of it to work on it tonight so I’ll just go sleep and get up early to put a couple of hours in before I go back to hospital. Stanley gets the echo thingy first thing, so I probably don’t need to get there until 10ish.

There was an old Twilight Zone, or maybe Outer Limits, episode, about these people who were transformed from skin people to people covered in kind of a hard, white, exoskeleton—not all at once, but gradually, a small patch of skin at a time. It ends with the main character, a woman, finding she’d already started transforming by finding a patch on her chest or something. At any rate, stress makes my psoriasis worse. I feel like I’m slowly being transformed into one of those exoskeleton people as the plaque patches spread. I just have to stay okay enough to be able to help Stanley, to deal with it when my cousin dies, which looks like it will be any day now, and deal with maybe bad news about one other person I’m worried about (but I’ll have answers for that towards the end of June—I’m so hoping it’s good news).

To bed, perchance to sleep.

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