Tuesday, July 08, 2008

De-escalation

The vein specialist ultrasounded and poked and prodded, and concluded that my house doctor's diagnosis was right, the lumpiness in my groin/upper thigh is just swollen lymph nodes. He was politely sarcastic about my leg-bandaging skills and showed me how to do it properly: using two bandages, not just one, and wrapping tightly all around from toes up to the inside of my knee.

Sis asked in a comment about the lifestyle changes and how this condition comes to be. I do indeed walk regularly and far, but that isn't actually related to how thrombi develop.

As I understand it (and those of better knowledge are encouraged to expand or correct) a thrombosis is pretty much a random event like getting a cold in winter. There are preconditions that encourage it, like being tall and thin and having low blood pressure, but these are neither necessary nor sufficient for a thrombus to develop. The trigger is sitting too still for too long, in a way that permits blood to pool uncirculated, and the time required may be as little as a half-hour; but while this is sufficient and necessary, it isn't automatic because the great majority of airline passengers don't get a thrombus.

I do tend to sit too still for too long while working, I become completely involved in what's on screen and look up in surprise to find that the room has gone dark because the sun set an hour ago. This is what I'll have to change. I have got a timer (software) which blanks off the screen for N minutes every M minutes, and find it annoying as hell because the break always seems to come just as I am getting into the swing of understanding something. I might get used to it in time, but at present I find the constant interruption unbearable: it's reducing my productivity by at least 40% because of the time it takes me to think my way back to where I was before the break.

There must be a middle way, and I shall try to find it.

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5 Comments:

Blogger JoeinVegas said...

OK, where is the Lioness' comment about the technical aspects and all. Guess I'll have to wait and come back for that one.
Glad it is all diagnosed and getting better. Yes, there should be a middle ground, maybe not a blank screen but you taking more convenient breaks, if it takes an alarm to help the let it beep.
We don't want you sick (or dead)

July 8, 2008 at 6:10:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Savtadotty said...

I agree with you about interruptions to deep concentration; I really hate them. But then again, being dead, is too long an interruption, really. Even sick, for that matter. I sympathize with your predicament.

July 8, 2008 at 8:46:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Dale said...

Just as an off-the-wall idea, I know of people who actually work at their computer while walking on a little treadmill.

The interruption problem is a serious one. I've seen studies -- don't remember the numbers -- but a 40% drop in productivity from interruptions like that doesn't seem at all far off.

Of course, as Savta points out, death is even more of an interruption :->

July 8, 2008 at 10:21:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Zhoen said...

How about some good dance music, and when you hear it come on, you have to move to it? Set it to come up? I just know I can't sit still when the rhythm is driving, but it doesn't jar me like a damn alarm. Likewise, one of those chiming Zen meditation clocks, it gets through, but isn't so annoying.

Ha! Now, I could have written about the wrapping, but I assumed you were on compression stockings by now. Also, there are commercially available sequential compression inflation boots, have seen them in airline magazines, very much like what we use in the OR to prevent DVTs during surgery, when it is a very real risk.

Very glad you are in good hands, though.

July 9, 2008 at 1:35:00 AM GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Hmm, I don't know why nobody has recommended compression stockings yet (though every doctor has mentioned them). I take the mention-without-recommendation to be a non-barking dog.

July 9, 2008 at 3:48:00 AM GMT+2  

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