Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Something new

wrapped_2
Or, why I'm not downtown doing the dolce vita.

The first errand was a visit to the doctor. I didn't say so before because I wanted neither to jinx myself by naming my secret fear, nor to appear a pathetic hypocondriac wimp if it turned out to be unimportant. The upshot is that it is indeed what I had feared, but that the prognosis is good and the treatment simple. (Zhoen, Lioness and Diana, you are welcome to contribute technical information to the discussion :-)

I've had a lump in my leg for a few weeks now, halfway up the inside of my calf. At first it looked like a bruise, the kind that overtired and distracted air travellers often get without noticing the bump that caused them, but the lump remained after the discolouration and swelling went down. Doc says that it's a classical venal thrombosis, should be dealt with but no need for surgery (which had been my fear). We have a follow-up appointment for Thursday morning.

[Updated for clarification: this is a superficial (surface) vein, it is not DVT.]

The treatment is simple: aspirin to thin the blood, a heparin ointment to prevent further clotting, a bandage wrapped around to apply pressure, and some penicillin for the incipient blood poisoning that is swelling the lymph glands in my upper thigh.

So now you know. No beer for the next few days. I'm not sure what to do (or not do) though: the typical cause of thrombosis is sitting too long too still, which certainly matches my work habits. What should I do during the next days? The doc considers me unfit for work and offered a sick note for my employer (i.e. myself), so clearly I shouldn't be climbing Mount Everest. But given that sitting at work caused the problem, is it right for me to sit around at home? A puzzle.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Dale said...

It's sitting stock still for a long time that's worst. Just standing up & taking a few steps, once or twice an hour, does wonders. Inversion is also great, though I'd ask my doctor before I did it if I already actually had a thrombus that might be dislodged. (By inversion I simply mean lying on your back and sticking your feet in the air for a bit. Draws attention on an airplane, I have to admit, but in a private office you can do it as much as you like.)

Hope it clears up quick! Wretched things.

July 1, 2008 at 7:33:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Wow, that was quick :-)

Thanks for the encouragement, Dale. (A pity your massage practice is so far away ...)

July 1, 2008 at 7:41:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Zhoen said...

Wouldn't massage that, although everything else is good. Compression stockings, definitely. Surgery for that is pretty easy, if you do need it at some point. Very superficial but hopefully you won't even need that.

Isometric exercises, gently done. Wiggle your toes, preferably to good music, stretch your feet, keep movement going, don't just sit. Lie down or amble about. Lots of good information via the internets.

When you go back to work, can you go to a high desk and perching stool? Encourage you to get up more often, stand, walk around.

July 2, 2008 at 12:04:00 AM GMT+2  
Blogger Dale said...

Yikes! No, don't massage it. Zhoen's right.

July 2, 2008 at 6:56:00 AM GMT+2  
Anonymous Andy said...

No beer! OMG!

Sorry to hear about your plight but glad it seems simple to get rid of. Hope it all goes to plan.

July 2, 2008 at 11:23:00 AM GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Thanks for the encouragement, my dears. I am hoping that it will simply go away, though I can see no reason why it would. I'll keep you posted.

July 2, 2008 at 10:10:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Pacian said...

This pathetic hypocondriac wimp is chalking this up as yet another good reason to keep fidgeting. o_O

Get well soon.

July 2, 2008 at 11:41:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

All this and no one has commented on how pale and white his legs are? Especially his right one? Get out in the sun more Udge!

July 3, 2008 at 5:04:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Lioness said...

What?! How could you not tell me?? Look, talk to the doctor before doing any exercises, it's a trombus now,w e don't want an embolus (travelling trombus). Also, any sort of respiratory distress and get yourself to a casualty rigth away. No need to panic, just be aware, we don't mess about with trombi.

And so you know, things like this warrant medical attention right away, particularly in someone who deson't exercise, nothing hypodoncriac abt it.

July 4, 2008 at 7:45:00 AM GMT+2  

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