Routine Visits…Blood Clots….Procedures & Strainers

Happy Friday my friends. I hope all is well with you and yours!

Disclaimer: this post has nothing garden related – other than these pictures….of the progress I managed to achieve yesterday while waiting for doctors to call me back. 18 sweet pea containers were started yesterday, greenhouse cleaned up & a daffodil bed was prepped and planted! WhooHoo! Soon I will begin Zinnias, Cosmos, Marigold beasts and several others….

The day was so fabulous-I could not have asked for better conditions to get all of this done in an afternoon off of work!
My new coveralls did a great job of keeping me warm & dry!
I just have to say how happy I am I waited to plant these-the weather could not be any better for this to be happening right now!

We’ve had an interesting week to say the least.

I’m starting to take Wednesday’s off at work so I’m able to focus more on moms care management. I’m not going to lie and say that’s the only reason, it’s also for my self preservation. These last two years at work have been difficult, things are certainly better, but it’s been rough and has taken a toll on me.

So to fill you in on the happenings with my mom-the thing my video on Instagram referred to….

This week was my first Wednesday with mom. Had plans to take her to her foot doctor to get her nails done, then to Walmart and lunch out. Simple enough day for sure!

At her foot doctor appointment, the nurse & the doctor came out to the car (I still can’t go in due to the restrictions around Covid) to discuss concerns about moms leg appearing to be swollen – which with mom, isn’t anything new, we are used to it, but I told them we had an appointment to talk to her primary care doctor that afternoon, so we would bring it up then.

Off we go to Walmart. Let me tell you about shopping with my mom—-she’s always in a hurry, “got no time to waste”-so she’s busy buzzing around the store-dazed, confused, and unsteady on her feet. It’s become apparent I cannot do my shop at the same time. Perhaps we will try the scooter thing-but again-slowing down is something she isn’t good at-I have visions of her speeding through Walmart-plowing through the display of soda bottles piled high to the ceiling!!! Wouldn’t that be a story to tell her great grands!!

Anyhow, back to Wednesday’s adventures, while walking around, I notice moms leg is rather red. I decided to call the foot doctor to see if I should take her to the ER, because Lord knows getting a hold of her GP takes well over 24 hours and our telemedicine appointment wasn’t for another hour. The foot doctor was amazing, they called the cardiovascular center & got us an appointment for later in the afternoon. In the meantime, we waited for our appointment time with the GP, spent over a half hour on hold.

By that time, I’ve kinda lost it, I’m steaming mad that we had to waste our afternoon waiting for this appointment-that was supposed to be for him to write me a note so I could take time off work. So, when the doctor finally shows up, I calmly tell him that this medical system is the reason why people die-getting through to these people is impossible. He apologized-we had a long conversation after that-I will save it for another post!!

We finish with him, head to Safeway to use the restroom, grab a sandwich & drink, head to the cardiovascular center for images.

I had to sit out in the hallway-for an hour…wondering what was taking so long….then mom rushes out & says she has to go to the ER. The clinic called ahead & said we were coming. It all kind of happened so quickly – the ER is literally right behind the cardiovascular center, so it wasn’t a big deal. They got her checked in, back to the back and in a gown within an hour.

Strangely, they didn’t hook her up to any machines, people were coming and going, but not really saying much to us. Then this guy walks in, dressed in scrubs, looking very official – comes right up to mom – very close to her and I, and says “I’m going to get right down to it, I’m not sure why you are here…..” Oh-evye!! What?!!

He was aware that mom has a very large blood clot in her left leg-from her knee to her groin area. Apparently the man was unclear as to why they couldn’t just toss in some anticoagulant pills, shake mom up a bit and send her home to wait for the clot to break up on it’s own. What does this mean? What are we doing? What is happening?

After filling him in on mom’s history of falling, confusion and foot numbness – he said it was all beginning to make a lot of sense. What are these people doing exactly? What would have happened had I not been there, what would have happened if they told mom “here are some pills, go home and sleep it off”. Does anyone read chart notes anymore?

So, that man left, came back about a half hour later with some news for a possible plan – either they were going to go in to remove the clot surgically, or they were going to install a Greenfield filter that would hopefully catch it before it made it to the heart and caused a pulmonary embolism. Apparently they weighed the risk and benefits of both and decided on the filter.

So four hours after we walked into the ER, mom had a bed in the overflow area, with plans to have a surgery the next day.

I have to say a few things here… physicians assistant, Jonathan Hendricks – aka man who came to talk to us – thank you, you were kind, honest, open, upfront and very helpful. To the hospitalist, Bryant McCall– shame on you for telling a 70 year-old woman there was absolutely no reason to cry and treat her so horribly after she found out she has a blood clot the length of her femur that could break off at any moment and could die within seconds. To the triage nurse who checked mom in – shame on you for lecturing mom on the importance of paying attention to symptoms and not ignoring them — had she taken a moment to listen, she would have known that there were NO symptoms and we WERE indeed following up on things. To the Bellignham foot clinic – both the nurses and the doctors – thank you for caring about your clients so deeply and following through on things. Thank you to Starla Smit the PA who called me about mom’s procedure – taking the time to answer questions and help with any confusion. Fun fact about Starla — she’s actually a flower friend — she has been flower farming for two years & we took a floral arranging class together back in 2019 I believe.

I’ve learned so much about the medical community around Whatcom County, and hope that things begin to change and people begin to demand more of the health care system that is supposed to help them – not kill them. I hope the insurance companies begin to fade away and stop practicing medicine so good doctors can practice what they are so passionate about. I hope that the people who read this post – take a minute to think about what they are lacking in their health care – take a minute to talk to your GP if they are not meeting your needs, take a minute to voice your frustrations, your heartache, your cares and concerns – because there is only one way things are going to change…make your voices heard. Make it heard by casting your vote for people who support the doctors making choices for their patience, not the insurance companies, make it heard by not going to the doctors that do not respond to your questions or concerns. There will be another post, where I talk specifically about Peach Health Medical Group. The boat needs to start rocking, things need to start changing – the care they are providing is not good enough – most of their doctors are amazing, but PHMG has gotten to big for it’s britches. I’m tired of talking about it, I’m going to start making noise. If you happen to want to join me, email me your information at

Thanks for taking the time to drop in for a visit. Until next time my friends – hugs to you.

2 thoughts on “Routine Visits…Blood Clots….Procedures & Strainers

  1. Shirley Nielsen

    Thank you for speaking up!! About time someone did this. I, too, am confused and concerned about this subject. And your Momma!!! DearGod, I am so glad you were with her! And how is she doing now? Where is the clot now?


    1. The clot is still in her leg, we meet with her GP in person in two weeks to see what the next step is. She will have home health care come in & do PT for a few weeks also. The strainer is in place…hopefully going to do it’s job when needed. Mom went for two walks outside with a friend today 🥰🥰🥰 thank you so much Shirley for asking!


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