TRAVERSE CITY — Eleven hours behind the wheel of a borrowed car gave Carol Clous plenty of time to think about the choices she faces.
So has two weeks of sitting at her daughter’s bedside in hopes the next treatment might work, in hopes the next surgery works.
Clous thought about the foreclosure notice she received just hours before she departed on an all-too-familiar 622-mile drive from Traverse City to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She thought about the job she might lose — a good one working nights as a nurse at Munson Medical Center. She thought about the son, Nathan, 18, she left at home to graduate, alone, from Kingsley High School in a few weeks.
Most of all, Clous thought about her ailing daughter, Kelsey, 21.
“This time ... it was like how could this be happening again?” Clous said, her voice betraying sleep-deprived weariness. “I’ve done the best I can.”
It was 9 a.m. and Kelsey quietly slept in a hotel bed. The women were dismissed from the hospital a few days after their arrival to await the effects of steroids and blood thinners. Kelsey was scheduled to go under the knife once again after doctors discovered that yet another blood clot blocked an artery to one of her legs.
This time, the clot ripped part of the inside wall of a blood vessel in her pelvis.
Surgeons halted the procedure immediately after Kelsey felt the familiar rash that accompanies a major clotting episode. Kelsey can feel them coming on, she’s had so many clotting incidents during the past five years.
It’s yet another bump in a long, pot-holed road.
‘She’s done so much’
Carol Clous is known as a caring nurse who sets aside her personal struggles while she’s at work, said fellow nurse Gidgette Rudoni.