So we had a bit of an exciting time yesterday.
My left ankle has been sore and swollen for about a week, off and on. Last week was rehearsals for Coppelia, so we were dancing on a hard, hard stage rather than our nice sprung studio dance floor.
Yesterday morning at chemo, I showed my ankle to the chemo nurses. They had the same reaction I did, that I'd somehow re-injured an old ankle break, and needed to just stay off it. So I iced it all through chemotherapy.
Then yesterday afternoon I noticed it was even MORE swollen and sore than it had been the day before. Ok. Either there's a break or a sprain in there, or something weirder is going on.
I called the oncologist, and told them about it, they said go in immediately for an ultrasound. We have to rule out a DVT (deep venous thrombosis), the fancy name for a blood clot. They had no spaces in ultrasound, so they said go into the ER.
At about 2:30, on a Friday afternoon.
Well, the front of the ER wasn't very crowded, but man, the back was. Initially they put me into the last little curtained room (they have 11), but then a bit later asked me politely if I minded being in the hallway. All 11 rooms were filled up, and they had two more ambulances coming in. Over the afternoon, all 5 HALL slots filled up, as well. Busy day, apparently.
So the doctor's reaction was the same as mine = she thought I'd reinjured the ankle. BUT they still wanted an x-ray and an ultrasound, just to be safe. If there was a clot, it could kill me, either by going and mucking up a lung, or in my case by causing a brain bleed. Not good.
In the mean time, I got quite the ongoing tragicomedy in the waiting room. The four other visitors I could see (and hear) were respectively - Hysterical Mommy girl, who was alternately yelling for her mom, her husband, and a cell phone, and trying to scamper past the security guard. Where she thought she would go, in nothing but a hospital gown with her behind hanging out, is a bit of a mystery, but the nurses got so tired of it at one point they threatened to tie her down. Then we had Obese Diabetes lady, which infections along the backs of her lags (She refuses to lie down, so she has pressure on bad veins all the time), her son chewing her out, and then turns out SHE is caring at home for her demented mother, and didn't want to spend the night in the hospital to take care of a new systemic infection. Yick.
In the hallway with me was Hearing Voices girl, who apparently had been admitted for creating a "disturbance". The disturbance turned out to be that she had taken a dump on the floor of a restaurant in town. How niiice. Schizophrenic, I guessed, and that seemed to be the doc's guess as well. (I know, none of this is any of my business, but in an ER they don't worry about HIPPA violations by eavesdroppers like me.) While I was liying around waiting for my turn in ultrasound, the last guy was admitted, also a hall patient like me, for, get this, a rattlesnake bite. Welcome to the Central Valley. The classic way, too. He'd killed a little one, then picked it up to make sure it was dead. And of course it wasn't - struck him on the finger. He ALSO didn't want to be admitted, because his wife's parents were having their 50th wedding celebration the next day, and he'd still managed to clean toilets and bathtubs for it BEFORE a friend convinced him to go to the ER. It really does make red streaks up your arm. However, they were very talkative, and I got to see the snake - in it's own little plastic baggie. You'd be surprised something the size of a large-ish pencil could do such weird things to your arm.
So, like most of my medical adventures, I didn't "present" normally. The infusion nurses said there'd usually be swelling or a red area further up my leg, often the calf or thigh. There wasn't. They said it would be very painful. It wasn't. Apparently my definition of very painful is a bit wonky these days. And yes, there is a partial occlusion - a clot - deftly hidden behind my left knee.
So oh goody, on top of the other treatment, I get to have a shot of blood thinner every day for a month, and try to keep that little sucker from growing any more. Who knew? And into my stomach flesh, bleck, double bleck. I can't decide which is worse - having to give them to myself, or having wertperch give them to me. But I'm glad I went ahead and went in, and didn't just blow it off as a sore ankle.
I'm in good spirits, just trying to remember to prop it up and help it circulate whenever I'm sitting down (ha ha ha.) And we have three weeks to "finish" packing. Anyone who has mad packing skills, and can get over in the next couple of weeks would be HUGELY appreciated.
In the mean time, just trying to take it as it comes. In an odd way, being post chemo, I didn't have any trouble just lying there, watching all the drama. It makes me pretty spacey, and half the time I felt like I was watching a live action version of ER, only sadly without George Clooney. Pity.