Monday, December 01, 2008

Mystery Solved - It's a long one!

My Sunday yesterday was a paracetamol popping one, as the mystery pain in my leg just wouldn't let up. My brother used to (or maybe still does???) have a problem with the cartilage in his knee and he'd sometimes put it out when playing rugby or soccer so there were crutches in the house which I soon found.

So after a miserable, sleepless night, I decided I'd mention the pain to the team this morning while I was over for bloods. Not wanting to appear dramatic by hobbling in on crutches, and with my leg feeling just a bit stiff this morning I decided to just catch a lift over and walk in.

But y-owwwww. It was y-ooowwww-some. The doctor happened to be standing outside the clinic when I arrived and said 'Ow, what 'appened to yo leg??' (He's Swiss). I told him I didn't know, but I reallllly needed to sit down. He examined it and sent me for an ultrasound.

When having the ultrasound, the girl was pretty quiet so I asked if she'd spotted the problem. She said everything seemed absolutely fine on the top of my leg. And then she moved down towards the knee and she went quieter (which is pretty hard considering she was silent anyway). And then she said 'Excuse me, I'm just going to get the doctor, I think I've spotted a clot there'.

So the 'mystery pulled muscle' is a clot. I feel slightly less stupid now. There's a 'Deep Vein Thrombosis' which can be dangerous or, there's the one I have, which is a superficial type. Interestingly the 'silly sore arm' was most likely related. I wasn't really paying too much attention, I just realllly needed pain relief.

The treatment is either Warfrin tablets for three months, or Heprin injections for three months.

If I go on Warfrin I'll need to attend a Warfrin clinic twice a week (I think?) and have levels checked, and I can't drink alcohol on it (which is the least of my worries). Unfortunately, the Warfrin doesn't really work out well for me in terms of being able to get to clinic twice a week.

The Heprin injections are pre-drawn up syringes, given once a day into my stomach. In terms of monitoring there's just a set dose, and I take it for three months. My stomach will be 'black and blue' by February and the injections will likely sting. But it will be my more flexible option.

So I went for the latter option. I administered my first Heprin injection this morning and of course I cried, out of frustration, out of leg pain and out of the fact that I couldn't get the needle in. So I now have three pink marks where I attempted it.

The best part is I was prescribed Tylex for the pain. It contains codeine so it's stronger than paracetamol. So far I've only taken one tablet with one paracetamol because I was warned if I took two Tylex together I could end up asleep on the floor, and with an exam in college this afternoon, I kind of needed to be awake (I'm more intelligent awake).

So I have the crutches, I have the painkillers, I have the treatment and so it's just a matter of being grateful that I'm able to have the aforementioned, and seeing it all through. And of course, grateful that it's not something more serious, and that for the most part, I can get on with my life.

Except that icey ground and crutches are NOT a good combination. Stay tuned for the 'broken arm' installment coming soon!