A month after our trip to Chile and Ecuador in January 2016 I got a blood clot. We weren’t sure what the reason was, although we did have ten flights in 23 days of traveling. I had a clot 29 years ago when I was given doctor’s orders for bed rest when I was pregnant with our son. We had traveled a lot in between over the years and really didn’t think that it was just the multiple flights last January. While at the hospital I had a CAT scan to see if I had what is called May Turner Syndrome, a narrowing of the veins in the thigh. I was all clear on that, but the doctors did discover a lump in my thigh. It was pretty big, the size of an egg, and really is not something most people walk around with. There was a possibility that the lump was pressing against my veins, causing the disruption of the blood flow and therefore the clot. The doctors in Poughkeepsie thought it was a Myxoma, which is a benign lump that only one in a million people get. Did you expect me to get something normal like a boil or ingrown hair? Of course not, I am special. A biopsy was done, and the reports came back that it was benign. We were lucky to have a doctor at Sloan Kettering think that my case was interesting enough to be seen. So since last March I have been getting MRIs in Poughkeepsie and then traveling back to see Dr. Boland every three months for observation. Meanwhile I was put on Xarelto to prevent further blood clots. I also had a number of genetic tests done and it was found that I do have a gene causing a predisposition for clotting. Was the recent clot caused by the trips, the clot in 1989, the Myxoma, or the genes that I have? We may never know the answer to that question.
In January 2018 we had seen Dr. Boland, and we was a little bit concerned that the Myxoma had grown quite a bit since the time we last saw him in October. We arranged for me to have the surgery to remove the Myxoma in May, after our trips to the Maldives, Argentina, and Abaco. We made sure that we flew business class and that I wore support stockings on the flights. Well, except for the trip to Abaco as we flew Jet Blue, and they didn’t have Business Class. But I did get the seats with more leg room. We had excellent adventures as you have already read most of them.
In late April I had my last MRI. The Myxoma had decreased in size, which was great, and we were worried that the Doctor would cancel surgery when we saw him last week. Although the Myxoma had shrunk, it was enhancing a bit more after I had been injected with dye. This wasn’t so good, and by now the Doctor was getting more frustrated with the Myxoma, and agreed that even though it had shrunk and none of us were able to palpate it ourselves and feel it, it was good bye Myxoma time.
So here I am, the day before surgery. Steve and I had a great morning, he made me great scrambled eggs and we went to the gym, in between my packing and loads of laundry. By late afternoon we were ready to drive to Manhattan where we would stay overnight at the apartment of our kind friends. As we were leaving home, I went to put on my slicker and found out that I had brought the wrong jacket home from the gym. Alas, I had a orangey red EMS men’s medium slicker instead of my bright red Patagucci (Patagonia for those who are not hip like I am) rain jacket. So it was off to the gym we went, hoping that my jacket was still there. It was, and I returned the other jacket, shaking my head over my operator error.
We then drove to Manhattan. There were many traffic jams, due to the five borough bike race and Sunday afternoon traffic. We ended up driving through Harlem, and down 1st Avenue. We finally made it to the apartment, dropped our bags off with the Door Man and drove up to Sloan to find a parking garage. Of course we neglected to look at our phones to find the parking garage nearest the hospital and drove around blindly. We almost parked in another hospital’s valet parking. Finally we found a garage near the hospital, where the car will stay until I am released. Only $60 a day! Steve will probably find a better alternative while I’m in the hospital.
We walked to a restaurant highly recommended by our friends. It is called Neary’s. Here is Steve out front. Neary’s is a favorite of Kathie Lee Gifford. She used to talk about it a lot when I used to watch Regis and Kathie Lee. While we were waiting for our table we saw a gentleman who from the rear looked an awful lot like my Doctor. He got up and headed to the bar. It was him! “Dr. Boland”, I said, “How nice to see you! I am looking forward to my surgery with you tomorrow!” He looked a little confused, and then recognized me. I met his wife, a lovely woman. He told me to eat a light dinner.
Here are the rolls we had. I already ate one before I took the picture. Here I am, beaming with excitement. Looks like George Bush ate here also. Steve was excited about the mayoral proclamation on the wall behind me. Steve does like a good proclamation.I had the trout, with a baked potato. Steve had the barbecued chicken. No desserts for us, as I was supposed to eat lightly, per Doctor’s orders. We met the owner as he came to visit all the tables. That is a job that would be great for me! We told him that I was going to have surgery tomorrow and that Dr. Boland across the room was doing my surgery. He said that I was in great hands, and that Dr. Boland was the best surgeon.
Soon it was time to leave. Good bye Neary’s, Good bye Dr. Boland and lovely wife. Sorry we didn’t get to see you Kathie Lee, maybe next time!We made it up to the apartment. Sorry, no pictures. I know where to draw the line, between public and private. Especially someone else’s private.
Wish the surgeon steady hands, wish me speedy healing and the chance for an upgraded private room. Would you expect anything less if I was offered a chance for an upgrade? It sure will cost more, but after my last two roommates who kept me up all night with the television blaring I am going into the bank account for this one!