Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mawmaw's other self-mis-diagnosis

Mawmaw says she gets blood clots.  She says she had them so bad when she gave birth to her first child (a preemie who died as an infant, never left the hospital) that she couldn't walk and the doctor told her she'd never walk again.

I wasn't there.  Her husband was there, but he's dead (from diabetes, natch) so we can't ask him.

I'm betting, based on what I know of her, that she passed the normal blood clots that happen when you give birth, saw them on her legs, remembered how they didn't let you out of bed right after you gave birth long ago, put 2 + 2 together over the years and came up with 13.


Based on what she'd said about the blood clots that happened when she was in her early 20s (and NEVER since then) a doctor who joined the office she went to in 1995 put her on blood thinners.  A LOT of blood thinners.  Let's keep it short by saying it caused issues.  We (hubby and I) were in other states and Mawmaw's daughter (hubby's Mom) was still alive and living with Mawmaw at the time.  None of them or the doctors questioned anything.  She bruised all the time?  She bled a LOT from a teeny cut?  She falls down and gets cut quite often?  Well, that's to be expected when you're on blood thinners, of course.  You're on blood thinners because of the clots.  The clots that hadn't happened in the 50 years since her first giving birth and this supposed clotting episode.

So, when she moved in with us I immediately moved her out of that office and to a doctor I knew as a friend and knew we could trust.  We started cutting back on meds and she went from being on nine prescription meds. when she moved in to being on one prescription med, one med that you can buy over the counter for dizziness and an iron pill.

No more cholesterol pills, no more diabetic meds (she was on multiple), no more blood thinners.  And her blood kept testing fine.  They sent her to a heart and vascular specialist.....everything came back fine.

For three years she's been on no blood thinners.  Guess what?  No clots.

I really don't think there was ever a blood clotting issue to begin with but of course you can't tell her that.  In fact, she shows the regular doctor and the foot doctor 'my clots' every time we're there.  They all tell her the same thing....those are not clots, they are varicose veins.


Since she's so adamant that this happened almost 70 years ago, this doctor says, well, let's run a test.  Let's see if she does have the MTHFR DNA mutation.  She pipes up and says that she remembers a test being done on her legs that said she has that a long time ago.
1. It's a blood test, not a leg test.
2. She can't remember what city she lives in, but can remember these initials from years ago?

Run it.

If she does have it, it lends itself to other issues like chronic dehydration, so it will be good information to have as things progress.  Plus, it's genetic, so it will be good information to have concerning my husband and our kids.

If she doesn't have it that's good info. to have, too.  Will decrease her odds of certain things and the same for my husband and kids.

It took two weeks to get the results back, they just came in today:

Official wording:

No genetic clotting defect.

I know she could have clotting issues from other stuff, but knowing she doesn't have this is a great thing.  I'm quite confident based on the fact that she's about the most sedentary person I've ever met and she's not had a confirmed blood clot in over 65 years that she doesn't have any clotting disorder, but I'm especially pleased to know she doesn't have this.

Next appt. we should get the dementia test results and official diagnosis.  Will update when that happens.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Good news indeed, for your whole family! I'll say it again, you are amazing and so strong for being able to deal with a personality like this, my own mother in law sounds similar in many ways but thankfully she is still living on her own for now. I hope I have half as much patience as you when my time comes to be caregiver!