Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Rumor of my Death has only been Slightly Exaggerated

So I haven’t posted much or run much or done much of anything the last few days.
I had a shortened run on Thursday and Friday. Very painful and low energy runs.
Sharp and increasing pain in my left inner thigh. Starting Thursday night and increasing Friday. By Saturday morning it was a 9 on the pain scale and I could barely walk. And by Saturday morning I had a nasty looking red streak/snake running up my inner thigh. It is a nice shade of red that looks good with my summer tan - Very attractive. Of course everyone I talk to has some theory or horror story about red streaks on legs:

“My auntie had that and it was a staph infection and she died”
“I knew someone that had that and it was blood poisoning and they had their leg amputated”
“My grandpa Joe had that and he had to quit his traveling limbo team that he tours with”
“Oh yeah my husband had that and now he’s impotent”

Saturday night I went to the nighttime acute care place and they weren’t sure what it was. Their guess was either an inflamed vein (phlebitis) or an infection. So they gave me antibiotics to take and told me to also take Advil and to go see my primary care doctor on Monday. They also said if the streak continued up my body towards my heart it was a staph infection and I should go to the ER right away cause I would need intravenous antibiotics and if it wasn’t treated promptly I could die…nice.

So I was a tad stressed all weekend. I was also supposed to run a 10 mile race in Annapolis Sunday morning so that was out. I did start feeling a bit better by Sunday but the pain was still around and so was the red serpent on my leg.

On Monday morning I went to my primary care doctor or whatever they call your regular neighborhood doctor these days. He diagnosed it as phlebitis (inflamed veins). But it turns out there are two kinds. Superficial – involving the veins near the surface and not a huge deal and Deep – which involves the larger veins deep in the leg that head back up into the upper body this is the bad kind. Both kinds can produce blood clots but the deep kind can end up in your lungs and you can die…there’s that word again.

So I was sent to a radiologist office and they did a Doppler Ultrasound thingy on my leg. Kinda cool machine and even cooler that there were no blood clots – deep down or near the surface.

So the official diagnosis is Superficial Phlebitis. The treatment is: keep taking the antibiotic in case an infection was involved, take Advil for the inflammation and pain, 1 baby aspirin a day to prevent clotting, exercise the leg for blood flow, and elevate it above the heart to empty the veins and warm compresses. So apparently I will live after all and my wife needs to stop mentally spending all my life insurance money that she’s not getting, at least not yet.

How does one get this? Well that’s the strange part. Here is a list of risk factors which pretty much don’t apply to me:

• Prolonged inactivity. Blood returns from the extremities to the heart by the contraction of muscles. Situations in which a person sits or reclines for long periods of time can allow blood to pool and clot. Examples include long trips in a car or airplane or bed rest after an operation or illness.
• Sedentary lifestyle. Inactivity with little or no exercise
• Obesity
• Smoking cigarettes
• Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills
• Pregnancy
• Certain medical conditions, such as cancer or blood disorders, that increase the clotting potential of the blood
• Injury to the arms or legs
• Varicose veins

The last time I checked I wasn’t fat, pregnant, smoking, had varicose veins or on the Pill.

Anyway as of Tuesday morning my leg feels about normal the red python is now more like the size of an earthworm. I haven’t run since last Friday so I’m a bit grouchy but so far I haven’t torn the face off any of my kids.


Kim said...

It must be pregnancy...your wife's imminent delivery, that is! Why do these things always seem to happen to husbands just when we need them the most?
Get well soon and blessings for #12's impending arrival.
--Kim D. from WI

Colleen said...

Glad to hear you're ok. I think it's so ironic when things like this happen to such healthy people. I guess it's a good reminder of our mortality :)

momto5minnies said...

Glad it isn't anything too serious. Sounds like a perfect time to relax a bit with the wife before baby #12 comes.

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