Good news today! Darlene was able to have the GI scope yesterday afternoon and the doctor discovered a bleeding ulcer in her upper small intestine. The ulcer has apparently been there for some time undetected, but only recently (as in the last few days or so) has perforated through the intestine wall and into an artery. It was spurting (that was the technical term the doctor used). They were able to shrink the ulcer, cauterize it, and clamp it all during the scoping procedure. She’s since received 4 units of blood to help restore her hemoglobin levels.
This has led me to reflect a bit on God’s provision and timing and our (my) tendency to complain while in the moment. We debated for several days about whether to see a doctor about the pain and redness in her leg. I had researched it on the internet and found the description of cellulitis. I’d also found information about possible blood clots in the leg. In my mind, I had determined that it was more consistent with cellulitis. When we finally went to an urgent care facility Sunday night, we were told by their doctor that he suspected a blood clot and they didn’t have ultrasound capability, so he referred us to the local ER at the hospital.
I left frustrated at the urgent care not giving her an antibiotic and we debated whether or not to go on to the ER but chose to anyway. Once there, they performed an ultrasound and determined that there were no blood clots (thankfully), and confirmed from blood work that it was indeed cellulitis. This only confirmed in my mind that the urgent care visit was worthless. She was admitted to the hospital in order to receive IV antibiotics and knock the cellulitis down. We figured the next day she’d walk out with a prescription and we’d be on our way.
She started passing visible blood that night. Apparently, that ulcer was reaching a point of criticality and chose to break through to the artery while she was in the hospital. Had that happened while we were on the road, things could have gone downhill very quickly, but the hospital staff were on top of it and she got the treatment she needed.
I am convinced that God allowed the infection in her leg in order to get her to the hospital in time for the ulcer to be treated without major complications. Her hemoglobin count had dropped from it’s last known level of 15.9 to around 4. She had been losing blood for an undetermined amount of time, but it recently (and nearly catastrophically) began to pour out in large quantities. Thank you, God, for sending her to a hospital before this happened!
She’s still in ICU, but should be moved to a regular room this evening. She’s making good progress.