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Another detour

03 Jun

This trip has been exhausting and I haven’t really even left my house. Technically, I did the three hour tour, but otherwise I’ve spent most of my time housebound. Not to say I’ve been immobile because my anxiety over a blood clot has not allowed that. But walking around the first floor of my house (with Butthead following me around) is not exactly doing much of anything. I have otherwise read, watched television, or played Two Dots on Hub’s iPad.

I did make another detour. Sunday I was feeling pain in the back/side of my left calf. I was trying not to be too concerned about it, but not succeeding very well. By Sunday night, I was unable to sleep because of the fear of a blood clot. My legs have been bothering me a lot (walking around in my “house slippers” has probably not been the best idea), in all areas, mostly due to my chronic myofascial pain. But this pain I was having in my left calf felt different. It was a burning, stabbing feeling. I saw no redness, no swelling, found no heat on the skin, but I knew not all those things had to be present for it to be a blood clot. Monday morning, Hub was supposed to go to work but I made him stay home and in turn he made me call the surgeon’s office. I was considering the ER to have them ultrasound my leg, but Hub didn’t want to sit there for ten hours waiting to be seen if we didn’t have to.

So I called the doctor’s office and left a voice mail. One of the nurses called me back (they’ve all been very nice, despite me feeling like a whiny baby) and told me she’d write me a referral for a doppler sonogram of my leg and email it to me. I had to find a radiology center to go to on my own, since we’re in completely different counties. So I called the local imaging center nearby and the nice scheduling person got me in that afternoon. I went to the appointment and they took me only about ten minutes late. But the lady doing my doppler sonogram ultrasound thingy was not very nice. She seemed annoyed to be dealing with me and despite me attempting to be nice (as my heart pounded and my PVCs bumped in my chest), she had no interest in returning the favor. I’m not saying she was mean, but she certainly had no interest in being kind or compassionate. Hub reminds me later that it could have been anything–an argument with a coworker, a crappy boss, a sick child at home–but all I knew at the time was that it felt very uncomfortable and I worried whether she was really doing the ultrasound properly.

I asked politely if she could tell me anything and she said no, that they’d send the results over to my doctor’s office later that afternoon (it was 3pm by the time I left). I went home and tried not to cry, but trying to convince myself that if there was some huge blood clot, they’d be required to send me to the ER without delay. So I waited for my doctor’s office to call…and I waited…and I waited. And the office closed. And I spent the evening bound up in PVCs and fear, repeatedly looking at my calf and waiting for some sign of swelling or heat or redness.

Tuesday morning before I even got out of bed, I asked Hub for my laptop and I logged into my email to see if there was an email from the doctor’s office, but nothing. On a prayer, I signed into their healthcare portal and found the test results sitting there (they hadn’t been there the day before). There was a single sentence from the doctor’s office saying “tests came back normal”, but I opened the report anyone to read it carefully. Beyond it saying the report indicating they saw nothing abnormal, they did indicate the test was limited because of my “body habitus”. Meaning, I was too overweight for them to perform the test appropriately. I’ve have ultrasounds of my heart, of my stomach, of my pelvis and I’ve read EVERY SINGLE REPORT and never seen that phrase written before. Are my legs heavy? Yep, they are, and I am well aware of that issue. But what does that have to do with the work they’re performing? There’s no more fat on my legs than there is on my stomach, so I was kind of upset. And I know she pressed really hard on my legs with the ultrasound thingy, because later I was feeling the residual pain from that.

I’m really tired of being anxious about this shit. And I’m tired of the PVCs that are hanging around. My incision is getting slightly better, but there are ends of “fishing wire” sticking out, which I assume are the internal stitches poking through the skin. I’m able to get up and down for the most part, and I finally walked down all our steps today (thank goodness for our elevator) but haven’t walked UP them yet. My legs still hurt and that stabbing burning pain in my calf still comes and goes. On top of all that, my neck is killing me (I can’t turn my head to the right) and my back hurts and my arms are achy. I’m overcompensating for my abdomen with all my other muscles and they’re ALL complaining. I asked the nurse about going to see my massage therapist but she wanted me to wait until after my appointment next week with the surgeon.

Oh, and the headaches are hanging around, which is very frustrating. They feel like pressure headaches and I haven’t been able to get relief from them for a couple of days. That, too, makes me nervous.

Positive note, I did go with Mom to her radiation appointment today. Unfortunately, while she was in her treatment my stomach decided to be unhappy, but I managed and made it back home to rest. I had a little trouble getting into and out of their big SUV, but I didn’t injure anything, so I guess that’s good. Friday I go to see T, but I don’t think I’m ready to drive yet, so Hub is going to take me.

This has been so difficult. Even thinking I would have trouble after the surgery, I wasn’t really prepared to deal with all of this. I hope it ends up being worth it…not that I can go back anyway. I wish I knew when I’ll be able to get past these concerns over blood clots. And also, making myself go through this sort of “exposure therapy” was really rotten. I don’t like it at all.

 

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7 responses to “Another detour

  1. joeyfullystated

    June 3, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    OMG. I am sooo sorry. So very sorry.
    I once had a radiologist who was nothing short of cruel. He was seeking gall stones. I was in no pain until he began. It was TORTURE. He should work with inanimate objects. He was awful. Awful.
    I feel so badly for you. I wish I could take your suffering away.
    I can’t imagine legs so heavy, on a mobile person…Do only thin people get blood clots?!? I’m awed and slightly terrified. When is the surgeon appointment?

     
    • meANXIETYme

      June 3, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      You know, when people are kind it makes the whole experience easier, even if there is pain. If she had just been a little nicer, the whole experience would have passed more easily. Most of the time I get good techs when I go for tests, but this was a real pain, literally.
      I half feel that if she had taken her time and done the ultrasound with the intent of doing a good job, there wouldn’t have been an issue. Instead I felt that she was biased before we started (based on her ‘tude when she came to retrieve me in the waiting area) and so she did what she was required to do and then passed me off with a cover-her-ass statement of “it’s the patient’s fault that I couldn’t do an appropriate test.” Bleh.
      And I would suspicion that ANYONE can get blood clots, thick or thin, so WTF, right?
      Follow-up with surgeon is next Tuesday. I’m both anxious to go and terrified to go, as I have no idea if he’s going to do an internal exam to check stitches “up there” or what (sorry, TMI). I just feel like it might be really uncomfortable at this stage. But until then, one day at a time!

       
      • joeyfullystated

        June 4, 2015 at 10:25 am

        Never TMI for me, I live in reality. I don’t know if he will, either.
        Yes, I would think that blood clots are a people thing regardless of size…That’s why it’s kinda frightening. How long are you sposta worry about blood clots? COME ON TUESDAY!

         
      • meANXIETYme

        June 4, 2015 at 10:41 am

        When I first started looking into the timing, I was horrified to note that it’s like SIX MONTHS after surgery that you are at an increased risk of blood clot. The risk does reduce after six weeks I think it said, but at that point I had to stop reading. I’ll try to ask the doctor, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to believe his answer. 🙂
        And so I wanted to know if they saw an athletic woman with large calves, would they have responded the same way as they did for me? I mean seriously, I’m a human being no matter the size of my “body habitus” and should be treated as such, and given the same consideration as anyone else!

         
      • joeyfullystated

        June 4, 2015 at 10:45 am

        I have never been told this. I can’t even fathom. In my adult life I’ve had about a dozen surgeries!
        I know! I wonder this, too. Body builders? Or what about immobile people who really have large legs? I’m no dr, but don’t your veins and arteries accommodate blood flow as the grow or shrink?!?

         
      • meANXIETYme

        June 4, 2015 at 11:12 am

        The doctor didn’t tell me how long the blood clots were a concern, so I googled it, which I KNOW was a mistake. But I was trying to reassure myself that it would only be a week or two of concern post-surgery. But the medical websites said otherwise (I only looked at legitimate medical websites). I freaked myself out, so I stopped looking it up. I understand from the reading that orthopedic surgeries are the worst for blood clots, and that it gets less concerning as you go above your abdomen.
        I have no idea about the size of veins or whathaveyou. Or people who are immobile. I just think the tech wasn’t interested in doing anything more than minimally was required. I looked up the term “body habitus” and a lot of people said it’s more about the technician’s skill than anything else, so…

         
      • joeyfullystated

        June 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

        OH! Well, she should be fired, LOL!

         

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