May 6, 2018
I sit in church with my niece, Skylar, by my side. I had no clue, at that time, that she would be such a huge part of my journey. She has helped me beyond measure, I will be forever grateful to have her in my life and continually by my side. I look down and notice my hand is turning a funny purplish, blue hue. I nudge Skylar to take a picture as I hadn’t yet seen the surgeon and I wanted to document all of my symptoms. As a nurse, I know this means blood isn’t flowing properly but I still don’t know why.
By the time I get into see the vascular surgeon my right hand is consistently turning purplish, blue. My arm is also feeling cold as if there’s cold water running through it. He starts his exam and is asking about my activity level. At this time, I’m very active! I start by telling him what I had done the previous weekend. I had been tumbling on my 5 year old daughter’s trampoline helping her learn new tumbling tricks. I am one who tries to always take the stairs, even if it means I will be out of breath by the time I reach the top. He proceeds with his exam and starts moving my arm around. As he’s moving my arm up my hand turns blue, he moves it back down it turns it’s normal color again. He looks over my previous imaging and is intrigued by it, but says we need further testing in order to see what is hindering blood flow. He orders a CT angiography (CTA) to be done. A CTA is used to view blood vessels throughout the body. It gives a much clearer picture compared to an ultrasound. I get my CTA scheduled and yet again, I wait for answers.