I am Sheila Swenke, Norma’s daughter-in-law, and I have set up this Caring Bridge site for Norma. I will be providing updates on Norma’s condition on behalf of Norma, Jeff, Beth, and Nancy. It will be a place to keep all family and friends updated in one place. Please feel free to leave comments. We appreciate your love, prayers, and support. Thank you for visiting.
Norma had been experiencing severe pain in her left hip area. She went to her family doctor on December 20th for the pain. He wasn’t sure what it was, as there is nothing located internally in the area. He thought it might be an infection and prescribed antibiotics and ordered blood work. Norma asked him to do an entire and complete blood test. On December 23rd the doctor’s office called her, stating that she needed to go to the emergency department at the hospital that day because several numbers of her blood work came back high, and they wanted her to have a scan. She actually had two scans done, and it was discovered that she had a mass in her pancreas. They told her that she needed a biopsy for the mass.
The biopsy was scheduled for the following Wednesday (December 28th). However, it was then canceled, because she needed to be off her Plavix (blood thinner medication because of her heart stint surgery in September) and her cardiologist would absolutely not allow that. The doctors needed to decide how to get a sample of the mass safely. On January 4th she went to have an X-ray on her hip (because she was still in severe pain and struggled to walk), and they found nothing that could be causing the hip pain. They determined that it must be the pancreatic mass pinching or pushing something. The doctor prescribed two different pain medications, but they do not help the pain. The only pills that help with her pain are Advil Liqui-Gels. The doctor did not want her to take those, in fear of a bleeding stomach ulcer. She has started walking with the aid of a walker. She was still waiting to hear about the biopsy plans and still in pain. She got word that the doctor will allow her to take one Advil Liqui-Gel daily, so she can get around six hours of pain relief.
After a lot of discussions amongst doctors; it was decided that she could have the biopsy while on her Plavix if done in Indianapolis (where they would be better equipped if she started to bleed) the following week. She was waiting for a date to have it done, when she received word that the doctors in Indy did not feel comfortable after all doing the biopsy while she was taking blood thinner medication. They decided that she would need to have a GI scope performed and was searching for a doctor to do it. After a few more days, they found a doctor to do the GI scope. However, he was not in her insurance network, so they had to find another one, who the insurance did approve. The scope was finally scheduled forJanuary 11th at IU Hospital in Indianapolis.