Oh, me of too much faith. Nooooo, hubby's medical misadventures are NOT over yet!
Following the surgery to re-attach his colon, initially everything looked fine. The incisions were dry and the medicos regarded them as healing normally. But about two weeks into the recovery he began running a fever. One little spot in the incision, less than half inch in length, was bleeding again. It began as a watery discharge with a little blood in it, and grew to be more and more bloody, and he began running a higher-grade fever. To add to the misery, he was having symptoms of a UTI, with painful urination. He was feeling really rotten. I drove him into his doctor, who decided there was likely an infection in the incision, and possibly a urinary tract infection, although the urine sample didn't show a raging UTI. The doc gave him a scrip for Keflex, a strong antibiotic. We filled the prescription, drove home, and then I had to leave him (what I thought was safe at home) to go fly a little charter.
Whereupon a scenario similar to that of late last February, when all this started, played out once again. He was not able to reach me to let me know what was happening until hours had passed and I had returned to an area where there was cell coverage. That may seem strange to people in the east where there is coverage virtually everywhere, but out here in the mountain west, especially in Nevada where I was, there are blank areas of hundreds of square miles where you just can't get any bars even at a small airplane's cruising altitude.
He took the antibiotic pill, and went to bed early. After a few minutes he felt chilly, so turned up the electric blanket. Within minutes, lying under a warm blanket in a house with the thermostat already turned up to 74*F, he felt like he was lying naked in a snowbank. He began to shiver violently. He called our dear neighbor lady who has been such a resource in these tough days, and asked if she would drive him in to the ER. She came, took one look at him, and called 911. Paramedics were there inside of five minutes, and transported him in the ambulance. His shivering had reached epic proportions, involuntary massive violent shuddering movements, rigorous enough to leave his muscles sore days later. The ER doctor got hold of Dan's physician who recognized an allergic reaction to the antibiotic. He also ordered CT scans to try to determine the cause of the bleeding, which the shivering had now exacerbated.
That's when the surprise was discovered. The little bit of bleeding we were seeing was the tip of the iceberg. He had also bled into his abdominal tissue (not the abdominal cavity) and had big hematomas, blood clots, in his tissue. The CT scan revealed a huge one was wrapping around his bladder, likely causing the painful urination. The radiologist guesstimated we were looking at nearly a liter of blood, clotted into the tissue.
Once again the blood thinner Dan was on for his atrial fibrillation was trying to kill him. Testing showed his INR, the rate of blood clotting, which was being kept deliberately slow by his cardiologist in an attempt to prevent a clot from forming in his heart's atrium and moving to his brain causing a stroke, was higher then it should be. Despite careful monitoring of the clotting rate, Dan's had gotten way out of whack, and was causing bleeding. The blood thinner they had him on, Coumadin, is literally rat poison, causing a rat to bleed to death inside his own body. Because Dan's dose had gotten too high, It was trying to do that to him.
Unlike the Xarelto brand of blood thinner for which there was no antidote and which so nearly killed him last winter, this time there is at least an antidote for Coumadin. The irony is that the doc can't use the antidote for fear of stopping the bleeding at the cost of solidifying the hematomas.
So the saga does indeed continue, with no clear end in sight yet. Shit.