Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tom, Chapter 1

Get comfy, it's a long post. It's been a heck of a ride this week.

Ten or so days ago, Tom complained he didn't feel good - achey, fever, nothing huge and obvious, just yucky. Two days later, he told me his feet were swollen. Last Friday, he was short of breath walking up the stairs and really felt like crap. Well, it's midnight. I made an appt for Saturday morning. The doc called it cellulitis in both legs, gave him an antibiotic, drew blood for good measure and a chest x-ray. His breathing was worse to me as the weekend went on, so we were back in the office Monday morning. Swollen legs, short of breath, wheezing, dry persistent cough, blood pressure up. A week ago he was overweight but healthy outside of sleep apnea. This week, it's an effort to go up stairs from out basement. The visit resulted in more bloodwork, CT scan, echo, and stress test appointments, and another sleep study. They called us back emergently based on the bloodwork to do a CT scan on Monday, looking for a blood clot in his lungs. What they found is 3 enlarged lymph nodes behind his sternum and something in his right lower lobe. The chest xray showed an enlarged heart. Since then, we've done the echo - no results until at least Monday. I called Wash U pulmonologists for an appt, knowing that would take weeks to months to get in. Our doc set up an appt with the local pulmonologist who sees us for sleep apnea. We saw him today. He didn't seem to be totally together with everything. He was discussing a biopsy of the lymph nodes, and I mentioned that we had this WU appt for April. At that point we were summarily dismissed. I think it pissed him off that we were already working on a 2nd opinion. Apparently, he'll see us for OSA, but I won't let him touch us for anything else. I would be a fool to not utilize the resources in my own backyard - top 10 hospital 38 miles away, with physicians I know and (mostly) like.

As for the CT results, a few of the possibilities are lymphoma, infection, sarcoidosis, lung cancer ?? We don't know anything, and aren't getting a ton of help from anyone we doctor with locally, and Tom still has all the other stuff going on. He is going to work in between appts. He figures it's a desk job - as long as he can walk from the parking lot in, he can feel crummy at work. His job doesn't offer a lot of sick/ vacation time, so he'll work as much as he can.

Upcoming is the stress test next week and the WU appt (a pulmonologist that I know and really like to work with) in early April. I imagine cardiology folks from WU will also get involved if stuff shows up on the echo/ stress tests.

I am trying to tell Evan on a need to know basis and protect him from garbage that he doesn't need to hear, but he's a wise and sensitive soul, too smart for his own good sometimes. Colby's oblivious - the aunts and g'ma & papaw have tag-teamed him this week, so his life is great.

In the midst, it's Evan's birthday on Sunday, so we have to have a little party. That cannot be overlooked!


Anonymous said...

You guys have been occupying my thoughts all evening. Hope you can get some answers soon.

Love you both!


Steve Elkins said...

Please keep us up to date on the results...know that God is in control. I'm praying for Evan, that God gives him the understanding to trust the things that you are telling him, For Colby, that his innocense is not interrupted, for Tom that he gets some answers very soon and for you, that you will keep your strength up and stay focused on the positive. Call me if you need anything...I'm not that far away!

Susan said...

You are both in our thoughts and prayers. Praying that the answers come sooner rather than later! Keep us posted!!!

Love, Susan