Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog

Today is Wednesday, 28 September, 2022. On this past Monday, I went to the VA hospital for a scheduled sonogram.

Sunday night I had slept in my own bed, in my apartment at Ashe. Monday started out as usual. I made phone calls and followed up online with projects I’m working on, primarily SEEING BLACK–Black Photography In New Orleans 1840 & Beyond.

Had a good long conversation with my good friend, photographer Terri Mimms. Sent her a creative writing piece I did about her and a situation she survived–of course, I had shared this with her when it was written  over approximately two decades ago.

The sonogram operator urged me to go to ER, the emergency room. After sitting there for an hour or so, I was checked out by a physician and sent to another area, only to be told that they wanted to keep me overnight. Yeah, I know, I took it personally. Was not clear what was going on but for certain this was a serious situation.

I am on a major medication regime, about five taps, some cut in half, prescribed on a daily basis. I have been relatively religious in taking my medications. Or so I thought. On Tuesday as the doctors made their rounds Tuesday morning, I received the information that what I thought about taking medications was inadequate.

I was also scheduled for a follow-up sonogram, which was done in the hospital bed with a portable machine. Dr. Dharmini Manogna from hematology/oncology questioned me in detail and, in doing so, helped me understand what could be–emphasis on what was “probably”, the problem. 

I had been taking my medication every morning but I misunderstood the way Eliquis–medically named apixaban–that is designed to prevent strokes.

I have my had experiences with the debilitating effects of strokes. My wife over a two year period sustained three strokes, the third of which left her basically bedridden for the last year of her life. Strokes ain’t no joke. At 75 years-old, not to mention my experience with Nia, who made her transition on February 20, 2020, taught me not to ignore my medical situation. I was intimately aware that strokes can take you out.

Dr. Manogna broke it down to me, Eliquis works but only for twelve hours or so, so I have to take it twice a day. I was only doing once a day. I now fully understand.

When I was discharged Tuesday afternoon, I drove myself home and called my daughter Asante to let her and her partner, Peteh, know I was ok at home in my apartment. Working on a number of writing projects, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t ready to check-out, I had major projects I wanted to finish, especially SEEING BLACK, the photo book and exhibit.

Turns out the first sonogram have revealed a possible blog clot in my lower lung, the follow-up exam that had been done Tuesday morning confirmed that I was clear of blood clots in the lungs, which are deadly. My twice a day, 5miligram tab of apixaban was doubled for a ten day stretch before returning to the one tab twice a day routine.

Thankyou Dr. Manogna for helping me understand why I have to take Eliquis twice a day, probably for the rest of my life. You want to live, follow the prescriptions.