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Best Medical Website for Research-Getting Scary

Old 10-23-2010, 04:43 AM
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Default Best Medical Website for Research-Getting Scary

I know there is no replacement for a doctor's advice, but I need to research some issues my wife is having. She was having severe gastric issues(vomiting) for days along with other issues. At first her GP thought it was her gallbladder, but a CT scan and ultrasound may have ruled it out, and another issue came up as a result of the scan that I want to learn about. I don't want to get into the other issue publicly, but if any MDs here are interested PM me.

Last edited by Sprockets; 10-23-2010 at 10:44 AM.
Old 10-23-2010, 06:11 AM
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I went through something similar and it was an Endoscopy that found that problem. The problem was caused by the meds I had been taking for years for another condition. I ended up with surgery that removed the Pyloric sphincter and 1/3 of my stomach.

Some of info that I still have came from webMD, wikimedia, MedlinePlus and I'm sure many others.
Old 10-23-2010, 06:36 AM
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Thanks Dave. I've read a bit on WebMD already.

Since many are open about medical issues here, when they did a CT scan, they found a big clot in her Portal Vein, which I guess runs from the liver to the intestines and spleen. They are not sure if this is what has been causing the issue or if it is caused by the issue. The strange thing is that it is usually caused by issues that are not present (cirhosis(sp)). Lots of tests being done, and she will be seen by a Hematologist later today. Her GI Dr. saw her this morning. He had seen the report but not the scan. I don't have access to the report yet, as this all came up yesterday afternoon.
Old 10-23-2010, 07:13 AM
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I should say that mine took time. My first major problem was intense indigestion, a few hours later I was vomiting blood and soon was in the ER. I was admitted into the Cardiac Unit because my normally very good blood pressure went to +200 over something. They ran tests on me for 3 days in the hospital before sending me home with a "clean bill of health". I knew something was still wrong and at my insistence, my GP sent my to a specialist, that sent me to a specialist, to another specialist. I finally ended up back with one of the original specialist.

From the time of my original ER visit till the surgery (9 months), I had to be my own medical advocate learning as much as I could. I literally had to "point" the experts in the right direction. I had one doctor say they've never had such an informed patient. That vigilance and persistence may have saved my life.

Stay informed, ask questions and listen to what your told. If you still have questions, ask again. If you are seeing different doctors, using different labs for tests, don't assume that each doctor has all of the collected info. I would write everything down and store it in a word doc on my computer. I carried a file of copies of questions, tests and thoughts with me on every appointment.

Good luck. you and your wife are in my prayers.
Old 10-23-2010, 08:51 AM
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UpToDate is a frequently used reference among docs. I dont know if you need any kind of membership......at my workplace we have full time access so its not an issue.

Beyond this I find that emedicine from webmd is sometimes useful. Most of these resources are helpful when you already have a diagnosis or have narrowed things down a bit.

Unfortunately, you have to be very careful about lay literature because the source might be slanted or is a layperson themselves and thus may not be accurate.

Good luck
Old 10-23-2010, 10:44 AM
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Thanks 606zpx for the emedicine reference. It is a free site but you must register which I did. After a little reading it is troubling. I spoke to her GI Dr. this morning and he considers the situation highly unusual, and I could tell his level of concern is high. They are doing another CT scan today which will include the lower abdomen in addition to the upper done yesterday. She's had one injection of Lovenox today, despite potassium & platelet count being low. He did mention a more invasive approach involving a radiologist attacking it, and it sounded somewhat risky.
Old 10-23-2010, 03:56 PM
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Depending how bad the clot is they may need to do surgery to remove the clot. Sounds like they are prepping her with lovenox to continue with blood thinners. I think I would be focused on the clot at this moment. With blood restriction it can't be good without going after the clot first. Do some research on the location of the clot and figure out how severe that location of the clot is to take action. Like others mentioned...WebMD and other sites are good reference sites.
Old 10-23-2010, 04:47 PM
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Keep an eye on those platelets with the Lovenox (look up heparin induced thrombocytopenia). If the platelets were already a bit low before starting lovenox and they remain stable then should be fine.
Old 10-23-2010, 05:07 PM
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We have our blessings out for you and the wife, Jeff. I sure hope you are persistent and stay on top as much as you are now. God bless you both...
Old 10-23-2010, 05:18 PM
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Hey guys. Just stopped at the house for a few. She is being moved to ICU at FL Hospital's main facility right now. They have her on Heparin via IV to try and disolve the clot. The CT scan this afternoon showed the clot has grown quickly despite the Lovenox. I met with the hematologist who was very infomative. They are testing just about everything based on the amount of blood they took. There is a vascular surgeon who we know personally that is working with the hematologist and will be seeing her tonight when she is moved.

Regarding the severity, I think it is pretty high based on what I have been told and the actions being taken. So far, I've been very impressed with everyone from the nursing staff to the physicians.

Got to get a bite to eat with my daughter and head down to the hospital. Thanks for all your thoughts.
Old 10-23-2010, 05:30 PM
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Those of us that don't know anything about medicine, but do know about dealing with sick people are sitting quiet on the sidelines hoping for the best for you and your family. It sounds from your latest post that you finally have some confidence in the team working on your wife.

This is 90% of the battle with dealing with the anxiety of sick loved ones. There is power in knowledge and hopefully things are beginning to work out.

Hoping things continue to progress to a diagnosis and treatment quickly for you and your family's sake.

Mike
Old 10-23-2010, 07:41 PM
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Mike's words and encouragement can only be echoed. Wish you guys the best.
Old 10-24-2010, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 606zpx View Post
Keep an eye on those platelets with the Lovenox (look up heparin induced thrombocytopenia). If the platelets were already a bit low before starting lovenox and they remain stable then should be fine.
Did some reading on this and it helped me understand the relationship between the low platelet count and the heparin. They were drawing blood via a pic line every two hours last night, and the list of lab tests on the "daily plan" stretches to the second page. I have to assume they are on top of this, although I'll try to keep track of the platelet status.

The surgeon spoke to my wife early this morning (I wasn't there). I'll call him soon, but he talked about a procedure performed by a radiologist to dissolve the clot. Lot's of reading to do today.
Old 10-24-2010, 07:57 AM
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Understand that heparin does not "dissolve" clots. I assume they are considering TPA---possibly delivered more precisely via a catheter.

I wish you the best. I try to place myself in my patient's shoes and see the situation from their perspective. I have all to often assumed that my patients understand what is going on, but found that they have a great deal of uncertainly which itself creates angst.

One of the biggest questions will be the underlying cause. I am sure that they will be doing a hypercoaguability evaluation.

BTW, HIT may be delayed a few days and, yes, I would imagine they are checking CBC's regularly. HIT is well known and they can deal with it, if occurs.....try not to focus on HIT unless it occurs....relatively minor concern compared to other issues going on.
Old 10-24-2010, 08:53 AM
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TPA is exactly what is being discussed. It will probably be done this afternoon or tomorrow morning. I've spoken with the surgeon and they have consulted with the radiologic intervention team. The clot is blocking the portal, mesenteric and hepatic veins so it is really serious. She is 45 and otherwise in reasonable health so they feel the risk of the TPA procedure, while not zero, is relatively low. As you menitoned, the cause is still a mystery and being researched.

606zpx - I'll shoot you a pm
Old 10-24-2010, 05:10 PM
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I also live in Central Florida. The Florida hospital chain has the best Doctors, and the latest equipment. Your wife is in good hands. I had open heart there 9 years ago and came out better than before.

I also do my own research on medical concerns. As an engineer. I like knowing whats going on.
keep us informed and your wife is in our prayers.
Old 10-24-2010, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Mike's words and encouragement can only be echoed. Wish you guys the best.
X2, Godspeed....
Old 10-24-2010, 06:54 PM
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Best wishes!!!!!!!!
Old 10-24-2010, 07:14 PM
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Good luck.
Old 10-25-2010, 02:16 PM
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You're in my prayers. God is always with us

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