I don't have much time to update, as our friend Lauren is upstairs with Annika and she needs to head home before rush hour traffic begins.
Annika had the scope on Wednesday. They found four huge varices (swollen blood vessels) in her esophagus. One of them was a "humungous honker," our senior attending doctors exact words. That varix was the likely source of bleeding, and Dr. Alonso said that it was probably just gushing blood on Friday night.
The surgeon here, Dr. Superina, asked for another C.T. angiogram to be done to check out the state of Annika's blood vessels and clots before deciding what surgical action to take. We are hoping like hell that the clot has not moved into her liver, which would mean that no shunt in the world would do the trick.
Meanwhile, he has asked that all of Annika's varices be banded before he schedules the surgery. Due to some difficulties encountered during the procedure on Wednesday, they were only able to band one varix (the largest one, at least). So we'll have to wait 2 weeks before the varix will have shrunk down enough to make another go at banding possible.
Dr. Alonso thought that maybe we should stay here while waiting for the next scope and banding, but they decided after some discussion that she could go home. I'll carry a letter with treatment instructions around with me, in case she has another bleed while we're at home. Really, the treatment is not all that complex. Start an I.V., start giving blood, and hope that the bleed is not too bad.
I'll post pictures of Anni's hospital stay shortly. We're all sick of it here already, though. There's no question we're going to be seeing a lot more of Chicago in the next few months, though.
Finally, thank you for all the warm wishes, healthy thoughts, and prayers sent our way. It's been lovely sneaking down to the computer and reading all the lovely words sent Annika's (and our) way.