Ten minutes of words are running a bit late today as I had to get up and out of the house early to go to the Ottawa Hospital Thrombosis clinic. Say what?
Let’s step back a bit. About a month ago I tore the meniscus in my left knee. Nothing dramatic, it just decided to pop. I did a few rounds with the doctor before deciding on a mild course of treatment involving physio and pain killers. All was going well and I was well on the road to full recovery when, while in Alberta I climbed over a fence and twisted my knee once again. Sigh.
Back to physio last week. During the exam, the therapist noticed a little swelling around my knee – water on the knee as they used to call it. No worries. The treatment proceeded and while my knee was still pretty sore, I felt I was on the road to recovery.
Then on Saturday, I was a Prose at the Park – lugging books around and sitting a lot at a table to sell them. It was a fun day but by the end of it, I was pretty sore. When I got home I noticed that the swelling had increased.
On Sunday morning my entire lower leg from knee to ankle was swollen to an ’impressive’ degree according to a couple of doctors and nurses. The calf was sore to the touch and painful to walk on. The swelling persisted and on Tuesday I went to my doctor to have it checked out.
By three o’clock I was told that I might have a blood clot in my leg – deep vein thrombosis is the medical term. I was sent to find injectable blood thinner that I was to, well, inject myself with before going to the hospital the next morning bright and early.
Strangely, the seven pharmacies I tried couldn’t fill the prescription but since I just assumed they were taking precautions I didn’t worry. I certainly didn’t intend to spend my night in emergency to get a little needle.
So I go to the clinic and get checked in. A doctor does the examination and says – yeah, it’s a high probability that you have blood clots.
A blood test specifically designed to test for clots gives me a score of 1250 (anything above 500 is considered risky). So it off to imaging I go for a full ultrasound scan of my left leg. The techs make suitable soothing noises combined with expressions of concern.
I am sent to wait some more. Then the doctor returns and tells me that I’m clean as a whistle – no sign of clots at all and no indication that I need to be re-tested anytime soon. Life, as he said, will ‘return to normal.’ Three hours in and out and, for my US friends, it was all covered by the government.
The explanation: a ruptured fluid sack in guess where? That’s right, my knee. Turns out it was that after all.
So, despite my initial expectations, I won’t be on rat poison for the next six months. That may disappoint a few people but it has put a fresh spring in my step. Which is too bad, because my knee still hurts.
And that’s ten minutes.