In our last post from a week ago, Melinda had been released to a "skilled nursing facility" for some physical rehab to get back her strength and stamina. She didn't really care for the place, so we got out as soon as she passed the PT goals after about a week there. That was this last Monday - 8 August, about noon.
So it was with some concern that about 8 hours later, she was complaining of weakness and lack of energy - generic complaints, but was it worth another trip to the ER? Her blood pressure wasn't particularly low, and her heart rate has been higher than normal since her last round of tachycardia - nothing unusual there. We called the on-call oncologist at the cancer center for his opinion and he supported the decision to go, so called 911 for the second time in 18 days...
So another trip to the ER - more blood tests than last time, but not as much excitement as her BP and HR weren't too unusual. But the preliminary tests showed her hemoglobin was a third of normal, as if her blood volume was way down - no wonder she was so tired! After some quick tests to look for internal bleeding (sonograms and CT scan) they gave her a transfusion of packed red blood cells - eventually giving a second unit by Tuesday morning. A day and night of observation and the emergency seems to have passed... The official diagnosis is "pernicious anemia", a shortage of red blood cells from a lack of vitamin B12. Whether there were some complications from her radiation treatments just ending a week ago remains to be seen, but today before releasing her she got a B12 shot and off to home she goes.
So she is again resting at home, glad to be feeling better and be around the cats. We'll be getting home health care nurses checking up on us and also continuing to get physical therapy at home till she is stronger. For now, with a little assistance, she is going down the hall to the bathroom using her walker. Sister Maj is here helping out and is shown at left with Melinda. Hopefully that last trip was the final detour to staying home - seems like forever we've been camping out at medical facilities - 2 days short of 3 weeks!