Pin It A few months ago I convinced myself that I had a blood clot in my leg. I had a little pain in my leg and I read on the internet that if a person sits a great deal and doesn't get up to move or stretch, it might be indicative of a blood clot, which might then break loose and travel up to their lungs and give them a pulmonary embolism. I sit a LOT - working at the computer during the day and for a long time every night, and this worried me. I consulted my husband, who thought I was insane. I consulted my sister Diana, who advised me that I should be careful and get up to stretch every couple of hours.
I worried about the blood clot for weeks. I started having dreams about it, dreams where I could see a big purple spot moving up my legs and I only had a few seconds left to live. A few nights a week I would get into bed with my husband and burst into tears and tell him how much I loved him, and after I died, would he please not marry someone younger than 25 and would he please make sure the children knew how much I loved them and show them a video of me now and then so that they would remember (unless it made them sad and then, never mind) and would he please also make sure the woman he married was no smaller than a size 8? And he would just hug me and tell me I was crazy, but that if I was worried, I should go to the doctor, and I would sigh that I was probably going to die that night in my sleep, but yes, I would probably go the next day. And then in the morning I would forget about it, or be busy, and wouldn't go.
One night I was working at my computer and I suddenly felt light headed, and I thought, this is it, somehow it has skipped through my lungs and it's gone to my brain and I'm having a stroke. I knew my husband would just laugh and shake his head so instead I typed up one letter to my children telling them how much I loved them, and another letter for my husband, telling him not to blame himself for not taking me seriously, because I loved him very much and I didn't want him to mourn me for long, and I left it up on the computer while I finished my work, just in case I really did die. Which I didn't. (Obviously.)
Then one night I could just feel the blood clot, pulsing in my leg and I started to think - this is it. You are going to die. Right now. And I could totally picture that scene on ER when Lucy Knight died of a pulmonary embolism and she died really quickly, so I very quickly told my husband that I loved him, again, and quickly went and kissed the children, and came back into bed crying, and my husband said, "That's it, go to the hospital if you think you are dying." And at first I protested, but then I thought, well, what if I'm right? But what if I'm wrong? I weighed my options for a while, trying to decide if it would be worse to be a) dead or b) embarrassed, and then decided I should go, but then - what if the blood clot hits my lungs when I'm driving down the street? So we called my sister Wendy and her husband Damien and Damien came over immediately and watched the kids while my husband drove me to the ER. (Did I mention this was at 11:00 on a Sunday night? Thanks Damien!)
So we get to the hospital, and I tell the triage nurse about my problem and she puts the little wristband on me and lets me into the actual ER. It's quite a sleepy little hospital and I've been there twice for kidney stones, so I felt right at home. The ER doctor came back to see me, and when I told him what I thought was wrong, he LAUGHED at me. He told me it was possible but not very likely, and I indignantly explained all of my symptoms and he listened and told me that, yes, it was possible, but again, not very likely. Quite frankly, he was more concerned about the rash on my leg than about any possible blood clot. And he said, probably to prevent himself from being sued in the event that I actually DID have a blood clot, that they could do an ultrasound so that we would know for sure.
My husband was like, "Yes, please, for the love of pete, DO THE ULTRASOUND," because it was the only way to conclusively rule it out so that I would stop planning my funeral. (Although, I must say, it would have been an absolutely lovely service - Mark would give the eulogy, there would be a group musical number, and, er, nevermind...) The doctor tried not to laugh, and I gave him what I hoped was a very dirty look and they sent me for the ultrasound.
OK, so I will preface this next part by saying that I am VERY TICKLISH. And really, the ultrasound girl was putting the ultrasound wand thing right in my leg pit, and you know - TICKLISH, right? I was laughing like a freaking hyena, and she was laughing, and I just could not stop laughing. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. It was so tickly. My husband was laughing and telling me that I was a freak. And the tech was like, "WHY are you here again?" I told her blood clot, and I know what she was thinking - I was drunk or possibly a psych patient - but really, if she knew all of my symptoms, she wouldn't have smirked like that.
So anyway, they came back a little bit later with the results - no blood clot. I was very relieved. VERY RELIEVED. My husband teased me for days, and I was appropriately sheepish. And everytime he opened a bill from the hospital he gave me a dirty look, but then he usually hugged me afterward too, so it was o.k.
So, that drama was overwith, the end. And then, a few days ago, I read about our governor's daughter. She is younger than me, was in perfect health, and she was flying back and forth from SLC to New York, and she collapsed and it turns out that she had a BLOOD CLOT. BROUGHT ON BY TOO MUCH SITTING!! THAT BROKE LOOSE!! AND TRAVELED TO HER LUNGS!! AND SHE BARELY SURVIVED. !!! !! And so I had to think about that for a few days.
And then tonight, my mother-in-law told me that her mother had several blood clots IN HER LEG and that they all broke loose and that she could ACTUALLY SEE THEM traveling up her leg and that she would try to "squoosh them" before they reached her heart (holy crap, and for the love of all that is holy, she had to try to sqoosh them) and that the only reason she survived was that she was on blood thinners already and she had to put a nitro tablet under her tongue when they hit her heart. And I sat and listened, horrified and transfixed. And my husband told his mom to STOP! STOP RIGHT NOW! Because he saw the look on my face.
And so I've been thinking and what I want to know basically is - where can I get some blood thinners and/or nitro, and also, Damien, can you come over? Right now possibly? Because I think I need another ultrasound.