More clots and the filter debate

ICU is no fun. While you can constantly monitor your heart-rate, your blood oxygen and your blood pressure, the wires that tangle around your body make you feel like a big insect trapped in a spider-web. Using the toilet is an absolute chore and you are watched over like a hawk by multiple nurses. This may sound like an oxymoron, but I was probably the healthiest ICU patient in all of Scottsdale ever.

While in the ICU, they did more tests. First, they did an ultrasound of both my legs to see if I had any blood clots lurking. Next, they did an Echocardiogram to take a close look at my heart. They drew my blood from both arms umpteen times to monitor everything from platelets to white-blood count to troponin levels to god knows what else! Most of it is Greek to me but I’m glad I have Binita by my side to help me along.

My mood remained happy and jovial. Some people would consider this a mask because I’m supposed to be scared of what might have happened. In reality though, the only thing that scared me all day were the needles that they poked me with. My body was not really willing to give up much blood which made it harder to draw blood. This just meant more pokes.

Happy to be released from ICU

The bad news we got today was that I still have a few clots in my left leg. We found this out early in the morning and there was a great debate between the attending physician (Dr. Malik), the Pulmonologist (Dr. Beaty) and the Hematologist (Dr. Grover) as to whether they should insert a “filter” in one of my main veins carrying blood to my heart. After much debate, the doctors decided against it. In fact, Dr. Beaty was comfortable releasing me from the ICU and moving me to the general floor. So at around noon, I was moved down from room 2306 (ICU) to room 3117 (General Floor). Progress! My hope was that they would release me with some blood thinners by the evening. I had no such luck!

At around 7:30PM, Dr. Grover and Dr. Malik came down to see me and talk to me about my case. Binita was with me (thank god). The three of them indulged in a debate about the clots in my legs and the risks associated with them. While the risks are minimal, there are still risks! After much debate, it was decided that it is indeed a good idea to insert the filter in one of my main veins. That procedure is scheduled for tomorrow.

It looks like I will be on blood thinners for about a year. This has some pretty serious ramifications on my budding triathlon and Ironman career (humor intended). I have to be super-careful about internal hemorrhaging especially in my brain. This means that outdoor biking is pretty much out of the question for about year.

I have blogged that I have signed up for the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii on May 31 which I will drop out of. Instead, Binita and I will have a nice quiet vacation on the Big Island (assuming I have permission to fly).

I now have to think about this Ironman-related blog. Life has some strange twists and turns; some are harsh and some are favorable. We just have to make the most of them all! So…with no biking, Ironman and triathlons are out. I can still swim and run (I think); but will have to look for new hobbies or revive my old ones. So many new options will open up. Photography and birding will probably top my list. Most people tend to suggest golf. Er…no thank you!

More tomorrow…the saga continues :).

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