Several weeks before my physical therapy ever began, I noticed a bump on my leg. On my upper calf, near the inside of my left leg there lied a a hard spot just beneath the skin about the size of a quarter. In no way did it protrude from my leg and there was no discoloration. Therefore no one would notice anything was odd. I found this by massaging the painful area around my knee each day. It didn’t hurt, so I figured there was nothing to worry about. Once again, I was wrong. Well, sort of. After a couple weeks of contemplation, I went back to see my family doctor to get this pesky little guy checked out. I had no idea why he was there and what he wanted with my leg! So I unwillingly dragged myself back to the doctor’s office, explained my worries and was sent on my way. Stumped again, eh doc? Not too long after returning to work that day I got a call from my doctor’s nurse, in an urgent voice telling me I have to go to the hospital now. My first thought was, “this is odd”. Secondly, I wondered, “why all of a sudden panic?” She explained that I needed to go to the hospital immediately and check in for a venus doplar scan of my leg to make sure I did not have a blood clot.
At the time I had no idea what a venus doplar scan was for nor did I want to go. If you know me well, I do not like to start anything without knowing fully what I’m getting into. One word. Research! Luckily I wasn’t terribly busy that day but my priority was to finish out the work day and then schedule a time to go back and do the scan. Because of the nurse’s urgency I decided to go down to the hospital at lunch anyway. Little did I know I’d spend the rest of the day there.
When I arrived for check in and filled out the paperwork, the assistant told me I have to sit in the chair and wait. For what? Here’s where things get ridiculous. They insisted I sit down promptly and wait for a nurse to bring a wheelchair. “A wheelchair?”, I asked. Apparently hospital policy requires any mention of the word clot to signal silent alarms and nurses to come running. So I humbly went along with it. After walking for the last few weeks, driving to the hospital, walking through half the hospital to get to check in, they put me in a wheelchair and pushed me into the elevator and down the hallway to my next checkpoint. About a 2 minute walk on foot!
Ok, ok. Looking back makes me realize how serious the situation was, and I’m glad they were thorough. After the ultrasound scan the doctor tells me it’s positive. Oh boy. At that point I still did not know quite what to think of everything. I just wanted to be with my girlfriend and nowhere near the hospital. My doctor explained over the phone that they found a superficial clot in my leg and that I need to come back to his office for further instructions. After several hours at the hospital I was emotionally drained and just wanted to go home.
Back at the doctor’s office, he explained to me that my clot was superficial and thankfully not a deep vein thrombosis. The super serious kind. However, because I did have a clot he recommended some meds to get rid of it assuring no further movement into a deeper vein and causing all sorts of trouble. This may have been overkill but it worked. He put me on Lovenox injections for a couple weeks. I won’t even begin to describe that process because it will probably make most people cringe at just the thought of sticking a needle into your abdomen. If you’ve ever seen it done, it’s not pleasant. Especially when you have hardly any fat beyond the subcutaneous tissue. After the injections, the next step was to take warfarin pills for the next 3 months. Supposedly the injections help give the warfarin a jump start to get working in the body.
A month went by and I began to worry once more. Each day my bump receded until it finally dissolved into nothing. My concern was that I was still taking a serious medicine, but did I really need to? The doctor told me it was mostly a precaution anyway since the clot was only superficial. So I decided to call and thankfully they gave me the ok to stop all meds. Success! I was once again medicine free.