Distracting Times at the Family TreeHouse

We’ve had a bit of a distraction here at the Family TreeHouse lately. Lynn was in the hospital!

It all started last Sunday evening (12 Feb). Lynn had had a localized tender spot on her abdomen for a few days, but she didn’t think too much about it.  Sunday evening during dinner (split pea soup), she had one of her common bouts of coughing (her chronic cough that comes and goes was in the process of coming back), and the little tender spot on her abdomen became excruciatingly painful quite quickly, and it was not subsiding. She tried standing, sitting, lying down, nothing took the edge away.  As it got worse, we decided that a trip to the emergency room was in order, so we bundled up (a blizzard had just finished dumping 18 inches of snow on us that afternoon, and dinner was after I finished clearing out the driveway and walkways) and headed out for the hospital the next town over.

In the ER, after the obligatory interminable wait, she was seen by an ER doctor who couldn’t immediately figure out what was going on, so she ordered X-Rays and a CAT scan. These didn’t help figure it out either, so at 1am she was admitted to the hospital for observation. They set her up in a semi-private room, with an IV and some drugs for the pain, but because it was an abdominal problem that wasn’t understood, she was restricted from having anything to eat or drink. Normally that would make sense under the circumstances, but in Lynn’s case it precipitated a different (and possibly bigger) problem.

Lynn is also prone to migraines, and one of the surest ways for her to trigger a migraine is to skip eating so early in the morning, and for the next day and a half, she had a monster migraine with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, all the classics. She was miserable.

While this was going on, the surgeon and other doctors finally figured out what was going on with the abdomen. Lynn has been treating her headaches, arthritis, back pain, and other pains for years with aspirin and Motrin. That thins out the blood AND the walls of the blood vessels, and during her coughing bout a blood vessel had burst in her rectus muscle (the muscle that covers the abdomen and results in that “6-pak” look in body-builders). She had given herself a classic Rectus Sheath Hematoma.  VERY painful.

So, as the surgeon kept an eye on the abdomen problem, the neurologist stopped by to talk about the migraines. The migraine finally subsided enough to allow her to be discharged on Wednesday afternoon, so I brought her home and spent the rest of the day running errands and getting prescriptions filled.

By Thursday she was doing well – moving slow but doing well – so I finally went back to work for a shortened day. Friday she had visitors, and by Saturday she was thinking about accompanying me on a dog walk… THINKING about it, but the 15 degree temperatures with 20-30 MPH winds made her think better of it! 😉

She still has some abdominal tenderness, and her belly looks a lot like the one in the photo on the web page link above, but she’s on the mend. We’ve removed all the caffeinated coffee (decaf only – caffeine is a migraine trigger) and she’s stopped her aspirin/Motrin regimen. She has an MRI for her abdomen on Wednesday, and an appointment with the neurologist early next week. She hopes to be back at work soon, but working at the Quilt Shop means being on your feet a lot and that’s not good for the abdomen discomfort right now, so we’ll see how that goes.

I had been scheduled to head off on a business trip last Monday, so needless to say that was canceled.  Never a dull moment at the Family TreeHouse!


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