As some of you may have read on my facebook page, I'm presently trying to relax on the sofa with feet raised on cushion as have suspected DVT.
Timeline - as they say on Twitter.
9pm Thursday night became aware of painful bump at back of knee. Tried to ignore but seemed to be getting bigger all the time. Tried in vain to see it by bending this way and that in front of mirror. No such luck. Googled symptoms and fair frightened myself. Husband away on for the night, my kids have kids of their own to look after. What if I turned up at A&E and it was nothing much. Would feel such a fraud. Taking that line went to bed with hypnosis app. on iphone. Had brief thought that if something serious might wake up dead before hypnosis book took over and I slept until biggest cat woke me.
8 am came with usual present of cat sick at top of stairs. Went to clean it up and ouch! Like a kind of stinging pain. Hmm. Anyway, without too much bending of knee, cleaned up the carpet and went to phone GP for appt.
9.50 Find I've been given appt with GP that my friend tells me is the thorough one. And how! First he examines leg and says enlarged vein. Would normally need antibiotics but these days there's a gel does the same thing. Goes to look it up for me but finds not to be used for asthmatics or diabetics. This page in turn leads him to the new guidelines for enlarged veins. To be treated as suspected DVT. Tells me this can be diagnosed following quick blood test, as he lifts phone and tells Medical Assessment Unit of local hospital to expect me shortly. Um. Ask if I can go next week as supposed to be looking after grandson this morning. He says.No. You are going now. Do you know the way?
10.30 Phone older daughter and say I might be late as popping in for blood test but will try to make it down thereafter. Tries to tell me to go home and rest after blood test but of course I say no I will be down later.
11 am Park at hospital. Why are they always built at top of a steep hill. Of course only parking space is at the bottom of said hill and I make a slow and painful walk up to A&E clutching letter containing medical history back to 1984. Speak to receptionist, shown immediately through to room where blood pressure taken. Its slightly raised. Surprise, surprise after walking up the hill. Notes taken and placed in envelope along with some form or other.
11.15 Shown to lift and directed to MAU - Medical Assessment Unit. Where I sit in the waiting area and note a door marked DVT and not to come in if door shut. Presume that is where the blood test takes place. One other person waiting too. They look worried. Maybe they don't like needles.
11.20 Nurse comes through from the corridor and asks me to follow her. OK. Find myself in ward of curtained cubicles. Handed over to nursing assistant who must be all of 70. Nice old chap. Maybe he's younger and just had a hard life. Chap shows me to one of the cubicles, asks me to take off denims, put on robe to protect my dignity, sit on the bed and await doctor for examination. Withdraws and pulls curtain shut behind him. Do as he says but wondering where the blood test bit come in.
After about ten minutes, he comes back and clips on the monitor to my finger while checking bp etc. All fine. Has little tray with bits and bobs for taking blood. Warn him that everyone has trouble getting blood out of me - my husband always likens it to getting money out of me.
Chap attempts to draw blood from above right elbow. Nothing shows. Takes needle back out and goes to place cotton wool on site. Ha ha, there is nothing to show where needle went in. Not a drop of blood. Has another go with fresh needle around same area. Nothing doing. OK try other arm. Same thing again. Nothing. As withdraws needle, a microscopic drop of blood appears but has dried to nothing by time he lifts cotton wool. Admits defeat and goes to get someone more experienced.
Nurse comes in and has a prod about my inner elbows. Goes for back of hand instead. Bingo! fairly runs out of there. Fills all the tubes easily. Now to await result in an hours time. Designated nurse comes in for examination and says she's fairly sure its not DVT but better to be safe about it. And so I sit and play game on iphone, text daughters.
Noon. Chap comes back in with bit of paper and says on off-chance you're still here at lunch time, what from this list do you want? Cottage pie, I say, thinking probably be going home by 1 o'clock.
1 pm Cottage pie arrives as results come back indicating slightly raised result for D-dime test. This means they need to give ultrasound scan to check vascular stuff. Doc arrives with wheelchair (?) to take me there but takes away again to let me finish lunch. Lovely by the way. Totally unlike hospital food I've had before. Did notice no veggie option. Presume they get plate of mashed potato and peas like my daughter was given when she was a patient. No change there then.
Play games on iphone, text girls. They ask me if dad knows. No. Try to send nice unworrying text to husband on way home. Younger daughter phones me and asks how I got there. Took the car. Explosions from other side of phone suggest this was a bad idea. She's coming round, if only to move it to her's. Save getting ticket for being parked over four hours. Plus driving me home if they let me out! If down for scan, leave keys with desk. Has to ring off as her dad phoning.
Nice text from husband saying what will he do with me and reminding me this is second time he's been away and I've called him from hospital. Last time was broken leg way back in 2001 for heavens sake. But I take the point. He's worried and too faraway to do anything about it.
3 pm slot for scan comes and goes despite designated nurse pleading with them. Full list plus emergency has come in and gets priority. Good to know I'm not a priority I tell myself and wonder if that means I can go home. Doc comes and sounds my chest. asks hundred questions about my asthma, pre-diabetes, open tib and fib and how long was I in plaster. Say I wasn't ever in plaster as titanium rod and pins inserted. More questions. Leaves and has discussion with colleagues at desk. Much muttering. Is it about me? Can't make it out.
4 pm Daughter arrives as nurse is telling me she has good news and bad news.
Good news - I can go home and return on Monday for scan.
Bad news - Still treating as possible DVT and so will need daily injections of Heprin. Clinic runs over the weekend so if I come in on Saturday and Sunday..OR...if I think I can do the injections myself, can do that and see them on Monday.
Took no second thought. Remembered giving insulin injections to our first cat. My Dad who had had a postive phobia to needles and hospitals had learned to give himself insulin injections for Diabetes. What kind of daughter would I be if I couldn't do it for myself.
Shown how to do it, off I went. No problem on a fat tum like mine. No pain, not even felt like a pin prick from needle going in. Yippee! until about few seconds after needle withdrawn and oh boy! stinging feeling crept around site of jab. Apparently this meant I'd done it right and not to worry.
By 4.30, I was home with little green bag containing leaflets about Heprin and DVTs, a mini sharps bin and packet of two ready-filled syringes plus anti-coagulant warning card to carry in purse.
Since then I have sat on sofa with feet raised on a cushion.
Confession - Did take the idea of gentle exercise to the limit perhaps by walking up the road today, Saturday, for breakfast at local cafe and then again when daughter brought my car up for me.
Thanks to Gussypoo for telling me off on my entry on Facebook. I needed it. Have read leaflets again and given myself the heebie jeebies. Staying put for the duration.