Day Seven, Saturday, July 23rd.
At this point in recovery, the leg had not swollen beyond recognition. This would come later. The feeling of bricks weighing down my left leg continued. I had this feeling before, back in 2019.
Follow your gut
If I can help you do anything with these personal accounts of five weeks of hospital care, I hope you go with your gut.
For a Saturday afternoon, the emergency room was no busier than it had been the previous Sunday evening. I had returned after surgery with verbal complaints of complications after surgery, in the form of blood clots (DVT).
Within an hour, I was being interviewed by a physician’s assistant. 15 minutes later, I had a bed. 30 minutes later, they hunted my left leg for blood clots. And they found them—lots of them.
If I had listened to my gut by Thursday and come in, I could have saved myself some recovery time. The clots had worked their way up my thigh and to my groin area. I was not in a lot of pain, but my left leg was beyond recognition. The leg had swollen double the size of my right leg.
Get the Healthcare YOU deserve!
They found no blood clots in the right leg or anywhere else. Thank God. but this is proof you should never second guess what your body is telling you. My online appointment with the surgeon should have resulted in an in office appointment, but he was sure the swelling was just a side effect.
Your health matters. Get a second opinion if the prognosis doesn’t sit right with you. Ask questions. Be seen and be heard until you feel you have done all you can to get your body healthy again.
The prescription for Eliquis, a blood thinner, took another 30 minutes until finalized by my insurance and was available by a pharmacy within reach.
Standing took effort, as did walking. It did not help that the first pharmacy location did not have the medication. I had to Lyft to the second location only four blocks away. A location I walked regularly when I was healthier.
Misery set in
I knew the chances of a DVT were high. This meant another six months of medication and most likely never to return to my 10k running again. This was just the beginning. Six months? I wish. The doctors were talking nine months to a year or worse, a lifetime of medication.
When I left the ER that day, the doctor who performed the appendectomy apologized for not realizing sooner my complication risks for a DVT. I had Covid-19 at the time of surgery. And many in the healthcare industry believe that there is a link between Covid and the rise of blood clots in patients.
At the time, I said it was no big deal, but looking back, I wish I had fought harder for a room and a few days’ worth of observation to ensure a blood clot was out of the question.
But blood clots are occurring in patients with or without a history more and more since Covid. Some blame the vaccines and some blame the virus. With my history, could I blame either? And when you need someone to talk to, reach out and keep reaching out until someone listens..
Bad blood runs in our family.
Get the help you deserve. Use your voice and never stay silent when your body is shouting.