chris (_fool) wrote,

this isn't supposed to happen to me

my leg swelled up last week after a sore day followed by an intense bike race (in which i still placed last, but had fun. it was the first race for that bike and i am having it reconfigured to be more functional in the next race. but that's beside the point.)

it hasn't unswelled since. magn0lia, masseuse & chiropractor extraordinaire, came over and gave me delivery kinesio-taping service, just as professional as any i ever received from algol_galaxia back in the day, and this helped reduce a fairly significant amount of pain..but the tightness and swelling, i just kept expecting to go away. and it didn't, and it didn't, and i was having trouble walking normally, but it felt ok on the bike as long as i went easy, and i was trying to ignore it, and then magn0lia came by a *second* time and told me in no uncertain terms to go to the doctor, tomorrow, because blood clots might be involved and those things are potentially fatal.

tomorrow turned into two days but I went yesterday and the doctor said "well, it could be a clot, but you're young and have no reason to have one" (provocations typically include: being sedentary, taking a long car or plane trip, medical trauma like a deep cut or surgery, or being trapped in a cast), plus i seemed to get better when i was warmed up from exercising. So he referred me over for a blood test to just make sure i wasn't having a clot.

the tests, i was informed, are 100% accurate if they report a negative. but the false positives are possible and even likely, so all it could tell me is i don't have a clot, which is referred to in the lingo as DVT, Deep Veinous Thrombosis (that's my darkwave my bloody valentine cover band name, by the way). anyway, the test takes overnight to happen, so i get a call this morning, "well, you're not negative. come back in and we'll look with some technology. we can fit you the middle of the afternoon and no other time. but it's essential! come in today!" ok...

so i make a shambles of my afternoon and shamble over to the doctor (ok, i rode my bike, because that's what i do. i shambled to my bike though. recall that i've got an endearing limp...) and i get two sexy nurses, one of whom is a nurse in training, and the other of whom is a sonographer (sez her name tag). they tell me to strip, then daintily put a towel over my junk, and proceed to give my leg an hour-long sonogram from the crotch on down. i've only ever seen a sonogram once, when i was 5, and got to go with mom to look at lil sis kim still in the womb. technology, as far as i can tell, hasn't changed much. she lubed me up, rubbed me with a wand on a cable attached to a screen, and scrutinized something i couldn't see the whole time. her poker face was impeccable and all i was told was that "these things are code red, stat, so we'll have someone read it while you wait." i know these people know when they see a thing--x-ray techs have given away my broken bones before a doc even gets the x-ray more than once. but she was unreadable.

so i dress back up, go wait in a chair too uncomfortable to sleep in in a cell phone dead zone until she comes back out and says the doctor will see me now. this sonographer, her eyes are flat, i can't read 'em at all. i'm still feeling upbeat because there's no way a healthy dude like me would get an unprovoked clot, and chances are it was just a false positive. but the doc marches straight in and says "bummer, man, you gotta clot." he explains briefly that it's unexpected, it's good i came in quickly, and that my chances of getting a pulmonary embolism were really low now that i'd be getting treatment. By the way, that's the potentially fatal clot-consequence, where the clot decides the leg is so last week and moves up to the lungs and effectively suffocates you by blocking the blood from getting to some or all of the lungs. so that sucks, but hey, i'm already on the road to recovery, so whew, right?

i try to stay upbeat as they shuffle me over to the entire wing of the clinic called the "coagulation unit". apparently a fuckton of people take these medications, so many so that the nurse has clearly done this spiel a thousand times as she explains that i'm gonna spend the next 2 weeks injecting my own belly with this one anticoagulant, and then the next 3-6 months taking this other one orally. oh, and while i'm at it, i can't drink, or anyway if i do, i'll probably bleed to death from scratching a mosquito bite, because my blood is gonna be thin as a supermodel from the 90's and won't want to stop bleeding short of cauterization. but hey, at least i'll knock some weight off in the process, probably, since not drinking all summer is likely to help with my first-time-ever over-200# scale visit. sigh.

the good news: i don't have to change my lifestyle, as long as my lifestyle isn't based around taking advil (or drinking), or eating highly variable amounts of green veggies (broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts). it's not that I can't eat those, it's that I have to eat the same amount every week. and knowing me, that means "none", since i'm terrible at keeping the house stocked with veg or really remembering to eat anything in particular when i'm out. and i get to keep exercising "as much as is comfortable". right now, the leg is so swollen, it's not comfortable to walk, run, bounce, or bike hard. but i can bike gently for now, and according to kdaisy721 who just went through this, i'll be unswelled shortly, like in a week or two.

in the meantime, i gotta go to the doctor a lot and try not to be such a klutz. thank goodness i have awesome insurance--it paid for $854.99 worth of medicine today. fuck our healthcare system, but thank goodness my employer believes in taking care of its team.

give me a hug if you see me. i could use one. now for dinner (and presumably hugs) with a randomly-visiting decibel.
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