Thursday, September 14, 2006

Off I Go Again (updated)

I'm off now to visit my doctor; it's a whim of a visit, really; my appointment wasn't until October but a little bird, the one that gets on my nerves with his constant yakking, told me to try and get in early, and darned if there wasn't a cancellation and I got it. I really like my rheumatologist; he's a friendly, funny man who almost always makes me laugh. I'm hoping I will leave his office today still laughing. Somehow, I don't think so.

Cross your fingers if you would, please. Like the three-legged pig in the farmer's barnyard, I sense danger.

Update: I'm okay this time.

About ten years ago, I had a blood clot in my leg. The symptoms then were exactly the same as the symptoms now, and I was really, really scared.

I am a person who doesn't really panic 'at the time;' I usually stay calm and capable all through a crisis. Then, as soon as I am assured that all is well and everybody is safe, I react. When I had that blood clot all those years ago, it was August and almost time for school to start up again. I had taken a summer job in a grocery store deli to help finance my daughter's college dorm room, and I was standing on a hard floor for ten hours every day. I figured the pain and stiffness in my leg was because of that. After I had endured it for almost a month, however, I started thinking that perhaps there was some other reason. (Duh.) I called my doctor and described the sensations and he ordered (he didn't 'suggest' or 'ask' or 'recommend') me to come up to the hospital for an ultrasound test. I had never heard of an ultrasound test for anyone but a pregnant woman, and I had never had one myself, so I had no idea what to expect.

It was cool. A handsome, hilariously funny man administered it, laughing all the while as we listened to my right leg; however, he stopped laughing when he started 'doing' my left leg.

With this ultrasound test, you can hear the sound of your blood swishing through your veins; it sounds like the sea. It's a rhythmic, soothing sound. That's what we heard via my right leg. When he started on the left, there was nothing. Silence. It was creeeeeepy.

I was admitted to the hospital immediately and before the day was over, a vascular surgeon had sliced me open and turned me inside out. Well, that's what it felt like, anyway. He was cute, too.

Not that I am a person who notices these things.

I did not realize how close to dying I was, until months later. Nearly dying was not something I ever did, so I just assumed all along that whatever was wrong with me was going to be a quick fix. I had no idea I almost didn't make it, not until much later.

I had to stay in the hospital for a full week, and my doctor would not 'release' me to go back to school until late that next spring. I was all in a wad of panic, for I seldom missed a day and I hated to think of someone else sitting in my chair, influencing my kids, handling my things, etc.

It was the first time since I was sixteen years old that I was not either working full-time (while going to school), or staying home (for a short time) with babies. I was in my house alone all day, and that hardly ever happened, either. I had all kinds of time. I started out too worried about my classroom to enjoy any of that time, but after a few weeks, I realized that the world really could turn without me, and not miss a beat. After that, I concentrated on reading, reading, reading, making the house all tidy and clean (a little at a time, of course) and making quilts.

I made fourteen quilts that year. One for each of my children, one for my uncle for Christmas, and the rest I gave away to friends, and my kids' friends.

I lost count of the number of books I read. It was wonderful.

I still worried about my classroom, and whether or not my substitute was doing right by my Kids, but there was nothing I could do about it whatever was happening, so I eventually calmed down in that area. Somewhat.

In the spring I went back. I was amazingly happy to go back, too. I loved that gig. I stayed for a million more years and then I quit.

(I've been gone from that classroom for three years now, and I still worry about what's happening in there. Not much is, from what I've heard.) (When you've done something for 26 years, it's hard to stop thinking about it.) (I loved it very, very much.) (But enough was enough. Administrators are stupid.)

The point is, I was really afraid that it was all beginning again, because those symptoms were eerily similar.

My doctor shot some cortisone and some painkiller under my kneecaps, and told me to take it easy.

Haha, 'take it easy.' Whatever.

My house is not tidy, or even clean in some places. We live here, and that means there is proof of life here and there in this house. He need not fear that I will exert myself overmuch.

Oh, and that Brain Game trivia contest I was in, tonight? My team won. We're still IN. We compete again next Tuesday night.

Those of you who were worried about me today: I thank you with all my heart for all those good wishes. My blogosphere neighbors are lovely people.

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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:46 PM | |


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