This morning as I got out of bed to go to the bathroom, I bled out all over the bed, the floor and eventually the toilet. Even though I understood theoretically that the blood thinners could cause rectal bleeding, nothing like this has ever happened to me before and I completely stressed out.
The nursing staff cleaned up, took me immediately off the heparin, and then started a reversal process using a protamine IV to reverse the thinning effects of the heparin. They took me off all foods and liquids just in case we could schedule an appointment with a radiologist to implant something called a vena cava filter.
This device is meant precisely for patients like me who have had complications with bleeding from blood thinners but who are still in mortal danger of a pulmonary embolism which could rupture a pulmonary artery and cause death. As it turned out, the radiology department couldn't fit me in today, so it looks like tomorrow morning is when the procedure will be done.
The vena cava filter is inserted in a major vein, directed to the heart by x-rays and the skills of the radiologist, and is then deployed in that part of the heart most susceptible to a clot. The filter is like a wire mesh in which regular blood passes through unimpeded but in which clots are caught and prevented from passing through to the lungs.Even with the device, there is no guarantee that the patient will not suffer a fatal pulmonary embolism. But, if all goes well, the device will assist in my recovery from the deep vein thrombosis which is causing my most serious complication to date.
I'm afraid. But I am in the right place should further complications arise. Maybe tomorrow, I'll have better news about making progress on the road to recovery. I truly hope so.