Tag Archives: IVC filter

How about you not sedate me?

So I finally got to get my IVC Filter out this week and I tried to do it with just lidocaine, but the powers to be had me under conscious sedation. Which means I was awake during the procedure, but I was giving some sedation medication. I really did try to convince the doctor that I didn’t need any sort of sedation, but he felt with with the fusion and medical history it would be better.

So most people are like GIVE ME THE DRUGS!!! I had several friends tell me I was crazy for not willingly accepting sedation and jumping at the chance to be sedated while they were doing this procedure. Well you see what had happened was…no seriously at this point I was so relaxed I was about falling asleep BEFORE they gave me the drugs which meant that once they gave me the drugs I was really falling asleep on them. The nurse had to keep me awake which I kept saying to her I’m awake..sort of..and she goes the drugs are working. I go I was half asleep before you gave them to me!

I also realized when the put me on the table that my shoulder was not going to be happy. I did not think about the fact that with my frozen shoulder that having to hold my arm in a certain position was going to be irritating. So we had to move it around until I found a less irritating hold and then that’s where we left my arm for the procedure. Thankfully removing the filter is a short procedure.

We talked before everything started that it should be an easy in and out. The only thing that would cause it to not be an easy in and out would be if there was a big blood clot in the filter and then he would have to leave it in because it would be dangerous to remove it. If the filter was tilted and he could not easily grab it, we might have to stop and try with a different approach or if the filter and the vein had attached to one another, which shouldn’t have happened because I had mine in for such a short period of time. All of these things I was well aware of because I had discussed it with my hematologist and his PA.

Having discussions with the doctors ahead of time and knowing what you are in for makes these procedures a lot easier. Being able to sign these consent forms that list death as a possible side affect because unfortunately any time you have a procedure like this death is always a possibility- it’s easier when it’s all been explained and you know what you are in for. The filter removal was simple and straightforward. We got it out and now I am oil filter free! (Inside joke) I do not need a new one. If I have another surgery it will be discussed again if another one should be placed.

IVC Filter take Two

So we tried to remove my IVC filter in December and I then had a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst that left 2L (yes liters) of blood free floating in my abdomen. So emergency surgery paperwork signed between grunts and screams of pain (trust me I can deal with pain but that I don’t want to have to deal with AGAIN!) Whisked into the ER and then told I was very lucky that it was only a cyst that had ruptured (they were thinking my ovary had ruptured but there was so much fluid they could not get a clear picture…go figure!

So we figured that Lovonox was to blame in the scenario because I was on a bridge because I was supposed to get my IVC filter out the next day. Yeah talk about timing! So I make frantic calls to get that canceled! So now about 6 months later we are planning to try again. So I am on shots again..oh the joys..does anyone really enjoy giving themselves shots? And I’ll be glad when this is all behind me. This IVC filter was only supposed to be TEMPORARY! It has over stayed it’s welcome! Get it OUT OF ME! IVC filters are tricky things they used to be placed more commonly to help prevent blood clots in patients with histories of Pulmonary Embolisms. Then the filters started to break and there are lawsuits galore (you probably have seen the ads on TV) so doctors do not place them in patients like they used to. I am one of those lucky patients that the benefit of placement out weighs the risks, but we still do not want it long term because they can break. Plus they can change the shape of the vein they are placed in and other issues. So the grand plan was to place it and then take it out about 8 weeks after my surgery…and then stuff just kept happening.

So needless to say I am ready for it to come out, and I will suffer through giving myself the shots so I can have it taken out and move on. We are taking life one day at a time. One medical mystery at a time. My shoulder is still giving me fits. I am rather annoyed at that. They gave me an IV in the hospital and then it started locking back up…unfair! I think it was because I held it so still, so I know it was my fault, but I am going to try and be more conscious about moving it around and working it this week.

Sickthisoften

Infection and IVC filter removal

So we can chalk up getting my cellulitis diagnosed early to being on blood thinners and always being aware of changes in my legs. I was getting ready for bed and noticed a bright red spot on my lower leg and felt it and sure enough it was hot to the touch. So to the ER we headed. After blood work and an ultrasound of my leg it was determined that I did not have a blood clot, but I did have cellulitis.

So the doctor prescribed antibiotics and rest and elevation for 2 days. So I played a lot of video games while I let the swelling in my leg go down again. I am thankful that the antibiotics are working. I know how serious the infection can get, I have had 2 friends spend time in the hospital with the same infection this year.

So the other up coming thing for me is the removal of the IVC filter! I am really looking forward to this! It has done it’s job, but now it’s time for it to go. Every time I see one of those commercials on the TV about the lawsuits I shake my head. That was one of the things my doctor and I discussed before I had mine placed. However we felt the benefits outweighed the risks.

So with the placement I did not need sedation, but now that my neck has been fused I will need it. I understand why, but I was hoping to avoid it. I told the doctor that I’m easy going, and she agreed that I was very informed and laid back. We are doing a Lovonox bridge, which I am grateful for but dislike the bruising. I don’t mind giving myself the shots.

Neck surgery, recovery and sticky cat…

My neck fusion surgery is complete! I had the IVC filter placement and the neck surgery this past week! What I love is doctors who upon meeting me realize I do know a lot about medical procedures. The doctor that placed the IVC filter had NO IDEA who he was talking to when he met me! He asked me why I was getting it and I gave him the very abbreviated version of the story, and how I had already gone over all the risks associated with the IVC filter and I understood that normally doctors do not recommend IVC filter placement before surgery but I was the exception to the rule.

So they used lidocaine to numb where they were going to cut my neck open to put the camera down my neck into the vena cava and they found the hardware in my back, they saw my stimulator in my back, but because I didn’t need sedation I only had a 30 minute recovery period after everything was said and done which ROCKED!

Surgery went well and I only had to spend one night in the hospital which was good. I like the shorter stays gets me out and back home to recover. The physical therapist and occupational therapist were the same ladies that saw me the past 2 surgeries and so they knew I was a pro. We go up and walked and I showed that I am much better at walking than they expected, but hey I have my issues!

Last night I slept pretty well, the pain woke me up a couple of times, but I took medicine and was able to get back to sleep quickly. My arms fell asleep (aka were numb) but hopefully as the swelling goes down from the surgery that will take care of it’s self too! I am happy that the surgery is over and I can go back to living. I know I have to take it easy and I have even more restrictions on me, but I am going to keep getting up and being as active as possible because that is the best way to prevent post surgical blood clots.

Speaking of blood clots…they have me on shots for the next few days to prevent blood clots and I am not thrilled with having to give myself a shot, but eh it could be worse! I have to remind myself that life could always be worse. I am home, I am healing, I am blessed beyond measure!

Creme (the cat) has been stuck to me like GLUE! She is helping me heal I’m sure, but it’s too hot for all that! I love her, but she needs to back up a bit! She always gets this way when I disappear for a couple of days, she wants to make sure I don’t run away with the circus or something… I’m just glad to know she missed me, another reason that I am…..

Tooblessed

Bonito..todo me parece bonito

So when I lived in Spain many years ago I really got into Jarabe De Palo’s music and one of my favorite song’s is “Bonito”. The first line which I made the title of this blog translates to beautiful, everything I see is beautiful. When you keep a positive attitude things seem better even when things are bad. When I was in the hospital with my saddle pulmonary embolism I was really positive and I only cried a few times because I knew I was going to survive. The first five days I was in intensive care the doctors kept telling my family I might not make it. They were not convinced that I would survive. For five days my Mother prayed for me.

Those first five days I don’t remember a whole lot, I slept a lot, I remember I kept telling the doctors to keep me alive! I was told over and over again how close I was to death that if I were to get out of bed I could die, etc. Of course I was so weak that getting out of bed was like the last thing on my to do list! The first time I remember getting out of bed it was like freedom and then I did it and I thought am I sure I want this freedom? I still was hooked up to oxygen, IV and all these monitors so it was quite the feat to get me out of bed! Walking wasn’t that much fun having a huge blood clot sitting on both sides of my lungs!

I met with the hematologist this week to discuss my upcoming surgery and if I should have a IVC filter placed before surgery. He did not make this recommendation lightly. We looked at the pros and cons of filter placement and we both agreed that it would be for the best for me because of my history.

So while I was there I got to see the scans from my blood clot and I have to say I am glad that I know this clot is gone now. I am glad I did not see the scans while it was still sitting in my chest because if I had it probably would have given me a heart attack. The scans were something else! HOWEVER I’m smarter now on what a blood clot feels like, what symptoms I have, and we are doing blood thinners after surgery so all is well. I know that we learned a lot from my experience last year and it was a great teacher going into this next surgery.