Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Everything Old Is New Again

Pin It Or something like that. I am swamped with work and life today, but I wanted to post something because - well, just because.

So I'm going to pretend I'm Antique Mommy, and I'm pulling something old out of my archives for you to read if you are so inclined. My vast, six month old archives. (I know, shut up.) This is actually one of my favorite posts, but I had approximately 12 readers when I first posted it, and they were all related to me, so I have no idea if you'll like it or not. I wrote it very quickly and it's very run-on sentency and stream-of-thoughty and all that, so just be warned - abandon all ideas about appropriate grammar and sentence structure, all ye who venture forth.

Goodbye Cruel World

I want to preface this by saying that I am NOT a hypochondriac. Really. I'm not. Other than having bad allergies, I don't really get sick very often, and I'm not usually one to obsess over my health. So anyway...

A few months ago I convinced myself that I had a blood clot. 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.)

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."

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 Wendy and 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!) 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.

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.

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.

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 squoosh 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. My husband told his mom to STOP! STOP RIGHT NOW! Because he saw the look on my face.

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.

64 comments:

  1. I remember this post. I liked it alot. I too had a blood clot, in my arm, from my chemo port. Not serious but when I first discovered it I totally panicked. I'll have to blog that, wait, I may have already. I'll check.

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  2. This post had me chuckling all the way to the end. I always say "better safe, than sorry". That ER doctor sounds like a jerk!

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  3. Ah yes, when I first found your blog I read all the way back through the archives and this is still my favorite post. I break it out every now and then when I need a good laugh, and with this pregnancy, that's kind of often :) I still think we are somehow twins only you're the cooler older one and I'm the dorky lame one. I'll just steal your new boots to make up for my lameness!!

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  4. This is one of the first posts I read. It was then I knew I loved you, in a non creepy, worship the way you write kind of way.

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  5. Oh great, I sit all day working on computers and riding the train back and forth to work. Now I'm gonna be thinking about blod clots in my legs. My husband thanks you in advance.

    Funny post and very sweet and patient hubby.

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  6. OMGosh, this is just as funny as the first time I read it! I do exactly the same thing. I'm always thinking I'm dying of something, but I don't go to the doctor because I'm afraid she'll think I am a hypochondriac. My funeral will be lovely, too.

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  7. This is the post that made me add you to my feed reader. I know, I know: I should've said something then (the whole not commenting killing your soul thing). But I'm commenting now: I laughed so hard I cried.

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  8. I read this one earlier this week while browsing your archives. Just last night I felt kind of ookey after I went to bed. Lying there I couldn't stop thinking "blood clot, blood clot, blood clot!"

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  9. Being a new reader, I am glad that I didn't miss this one! It was great and reminded me of my not-so-hypochondriac-self.

    Thanks for re-sharing.

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  10. Dude. This is my favorite thing you ever wrote EVER. It's the first one I ever read, after the Mama Bear one, because it was linked on your sidebar. And I worshipped it then. And I still do. That is some FUNNY SHIZ.

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  11. This one makes me laugh out loud every time I read it. Definitely love it.

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  12. I'm not laughing AT you, I'm laughing with you. And also, now I'm going to be worried about blood clots.

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  13. OMG! It had me chuckling and ducking my head...because I did the same thing. About 3 months after my hysterectomy I did something similar...became convinced I had a blood clot. I mean it could be one of the side effects of surgery. I DID used to smoke. I AM on a patch...so it's possible, right?

    OB wouldn't even look at me. Said it had been over the 'normal' time for side effects and that it was probably nothing. That if I REALLY wanted to I could go to the ER, but he saw no need.

    So I can sympathize!!

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  14. This was new to me but very funny. I always get freaked about those tiny air bubbles you see sometimes in your IV (well, assuming your ill enough to have an IV, or your delivering a baby, or whatever). I'm sure docs have a good laugh at all of us worriers, but you never know.

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  15. Oh my goodness. So funny. My husband would have had me committed for sure!

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  16. Thanks guys. I can't believe you've all read it already! Now I feel a little dumbish.

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  17. You started out with people who read your blog?? You are right up there with AM on the funny factor, Sue!! Keep at it!

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  18. I've had this headache off and on for about a week.
    Do you think it could be a tumor?

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  19. So if I got this straight, what you're sayin' is, you're my long lost twin sister?

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  20. Bwahahahah! Girl, how is it that I haven't made time to read your archives yet?! This is so something I would do! Umm...have done, now I come to think about it...

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  21. I just linked here from my cousin's page and oh my gosh I am laughing so hard I almost peed myself, which would have been bad because I'm at work and I already spilled fruit juice on this chair and I swear my boss didn't believe the story and really thinks it is pee. by the way, all through high school I had a brain tumor. No kidding. OK. So I really didn't, but I was convinced I did. Thanks soooo much for the laughs!

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  22. Ok, I got up and stretched 6 times while reading this.

    I worry about this all the time, but I stop short of going to the ER......sorry.

    The little air bubbles in your IV? Yeah, we roll our eyes at the people who ring the button for every single one..."..watch too much TV."

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  23. Wait a minute... you had TWELVE readers when you started?!? I STILL don't have that many! Oh, and this was WAY funny.

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  24. My daughter did this a month or two ago. It also took her a trip to the Dr. to realize she was okay. Understand!

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  25. Well, basically my family read my blog. And by the time I wrote this post, some of THEIR family read my blog. It was ALL about nepotism, baby.

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  26. Very funny! I've totally convinced myself I was dying a time or two, but stopped short of going to the ER because of my worry over the bill. I'd rather just go on and die than have to pay a $30,000 hospital bill.

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  27. I'm so like that too, always imagining my death...only I am freaked out a little bit today because my husband's 26 year old female co-worker passed out three times at work JUST YESTERDAY and she went to the hospital in an ambulance and they found out she had a pulmonary embolism! YIKES! She's okay, but it's FREAKY!

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  28. You will have a log wait fo Damien now that he is 350 mies awa! I'm glad you are still with us.

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  29. make that "long wiat for"..

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  30. Eerrr... that's what I get for trying to type while I eat!

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  31. homeslice12:08 PM

    I love that story! I had a dr. laugh at me once b/c he thought I was crazy for visiting him to remove a HUGE thorn that had been in my finger for 2+ weeks that was hidden behind so much puss that he couldn't see it and thought I was making it up... Hello, aren't we paying them? They should at least humor us a little bit and be nice!

    I am also convinced that my husband has a brain tumor right now b/c of splitting headaches he's been having. I haven't started planning his funeral yet, but I do cling to him at night and tell him I love him a gazillion times...

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  32. You are so funny. I'm glad you finally had it checked out. Most of us moms never go to the doctor and just worry quietly over our impending death.

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  33. Oh gosh, thanks for reposting this, I laughed my fanny off!

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  34. um, I am going to laugh at you, but not cause I don't like you...but it is because I don't think you are laughing for me to laugh WITH...

    ah, anyway, you are funny. I am glad you are still alive and clotless.

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  35. k-dub2:49 PM

    Ok, I'm confessing to you now that I've been reading your blog, and LOVING it, but never comment...even with your warning. SORRY! I've had so many LOL moments because I relate so much to what you write about. I must have come across your blog from my cousins because I just noticed she left a comment...Hey Sally!!
    Anyway, thanks for all the laughs!

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  36. But what was wrong with you?! I get migraines a lot and even though the neurologist says I don't, I'm convinced I have a brain tumor. Oh yeah, I'm totally a hypochondriac. Just yesterday I thought my appendix was acting up.

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  37. this is the post that got me hooked... hmmm I think we have atleast one thing in common (maybe our DH's should commiserate)

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  38. It is so great to read all the comments and realize I really not the only one who things I have a brain tumor and am going to die soon.... What is it with women... do men think about their death alot?

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  39. Hey, I just read this...like yesterday! (Cuz I'm stalking you now. Is that okay?) And I still find it hilarious because I was in mortal pain once and my husband basically thought I was being a sissy. So really early one morning, I called his dad (who is a doctor) and his dad told me to immediately go to the ER. And guess what? I had surgery a week later! Gallbladder was all kinds of screwy.

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  40. No, Katie. Most men are sure they are NEVER going to die. That is why they drive like maniacs, play happily with guns and arrows, and laugh at women who are afraid their time has come.

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  41. Ok, so I do this with EW's Psychiatric Saturday posts - I think I have (some of them) the disorders she talks about. I told her I am a 'psycho'chondriac.

    This post is another example of why you're in my feed reader. I love laughing and you constantly feed that need.

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  42. This is one of my favorites too, mostly because I'm so reminded of myself when I read it.

    Normally I'm pretty anxious about my health anyway, but when I'm pregnant I'm CRAZY about it. I have never gotten through a pregnancy without checking myself into the ER.

    Two of a kind . . .

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  43. I am blogrolling you but I am not sure of the name of your blog. So I will bookmark you for tonight.

    I too have concerns from sitting so long at computer and have noticed vascular changes in lower extremities. I should consult with a vascular guy i guess.

    Anyway...I look forward to reading your stuff! Thanks for the laughs! :)

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  44. Elizabeth - NOTHING was wrong with me. It was all in my head. Good times.

    Sally - !! !!! !!!!!! Holy crap.

    Jessica G - I highly encourage stalking.

    Hi Seaspray - thanks! It's Navel Gazing At Its Finest. I know my URL doesn't match. I really need to fix that at some point. LAME.

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  45. Sue...I didn't see this post the first time around...glad you reposted it. If he could, my husband would catch your husband's eyes and nod in sympathetic understanding. I could tell you that I spent *this* Christmas at the hospital, for various diagnostic tests. Yeah. They didn't find anything.

    Heidi

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  46. Funny now! But I know it wasn't at the time! Blood clots aren't usually a funny subject to me since my mom died from one after surgery, but I did get a laugh from your post! Have a wonderful day!

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  47. Oh, Deanna, I'm sorry for your loss...

    Heidi - my husband is a patient, patient man. ;>

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  48. I have never read a funnier story!
    And we might be sisters in a hypochondriac sort of way.
    Because I've had the blood clot ultrasound too! But really, I always think I'm having a heart attack. Always. And I sit around debating to go to the ER or not. Finally my Dr. told me if my chest had been hurting for as long as I said it was and it really was my heart I would've dropped dead along time ago. So yeah, they've pretty much stopped returning my calls.
    But my funeral arrangements are lovely, as well.

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  49. Lisa take 90 - also what's been going on in your life when u have chest pain? If it is muscular like you strained yourself...it will hurt whenever you move. Heart will hurt no matter what. Also SOB, back pain(btwn shoulder blades) chest pain, arm pain, jaw pain, diaphoretic, nausea. Any of these and they don't all have to happen-everyone is different.

    Also a doc I worked with always asked pts if they felt like they have an elephant on their chest.

    I have been there my self with being concerned with symptoms for various things. One could often hear my husband (who is not pt with this stuff) exclaim..."I don't know...I'm NOT a doctor!" Then I started working at the hospital...for 20 years and he got a reprieve. :)

    Now I've been home for two years because I had gotten really sick all because of a big kidney stone back in 2004. Happy to say that I am doing better thanks to my wonderful urologist and will be going back to work sometime this winter.

    So I got relief with questions because i worked at the hospital and could ask the ED staff (I did ED registration)anything I wanted. That was great. haha...but there is always a trade off. I also discovered a whole bunch more things to be concerned about. Ahhh...ignorance is bliss. ;)

    Sue - sorry this is long could so very much relate. :)

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  50. I remember this post! this is the one, I think, that got me hooked on reading you. You are way too hilarious!

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  51. your husband is much more obliging than mine... i have learned over the years that my neurosis are best left where they generate ( in my own crazy brain ). That being said, i do remember sitting with my 27 year old husband in the emergency room because he had been having chest pains that went across his shoulder and down his arm off and on for a couple days. finally i was able to convince him that he was probably going to die and we needed to go to the hospital to either try to save his life or freeze his sperm ( we had no children yet ) and he finally agreed to go... heartburn... we've all been there...

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  52. I was bent over, laughing out loud with tears in my eyes. That was F.U.N.N.Y!!!!!!!! And it wasn't because I could so relate, as I am the same...no, not cuz of that AT ALL!

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  53. You're blogrolled and it was no easy feat for this technically challenged girl. I forgot you said it was a different name from your URL. Haha!

    I do look forward reading your posts although experience tells me to make sure I have swallowed whatever is in my mouth 1st! I frequent the medical land of blogdom and the humor in some of them is exquisite and have come close to a few coffee nasal lavages. ;)

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  54. I've read this post two days in a row. I can not stop laughing.

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  55. I actually read this in your archives when I first found your blog, because I am nerdy like that. And I laughed because I have a blood clotting disorder that causes me to have to take blood thinners when I am pregnant, and I always wonder...why only when I am pregnant? Does the disorder go into remission or something when I am not carrying a child? Because I apparently also have a short-term memory problem, I never remember to ask my doctor this, and it only occurs to me late at night or when I've been sitting down for a long time and I become convinced that I am probably moments away from death. And I vow that I will call my doctor as soon as humanly possible. And then I forget again.

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  56. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Hillarious, first time reader, first time commenter. Keep it up Trieste

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  57. mollyB9:56 PM

    Found you through a long, convoluted case of blog-stalking. Thank you for eating up my entire evening with your addictive posts! Love it!
    p.s. I had a blood clot in my leg last March (actually it is still there) after my 5th baby was born. i had always had what i thought was an irrational fear of bloodclots. Turns out it was UNirrational after all....

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  58. For the record -- this is one of the posts I referred to in my post that made me laugh out loud. While I was in labor.

    (I would say it had me in stitches, but that happened later.)

    Truly, you have a gift Sue. Freakin' hysterical.

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  59. Oh my GOSH. I am still honestly laughing out loud. You right like I think! I don't dare right the stuff really rumbling around up there! I have had this happen to me. After some Zoloft for 18 months, and a very slow weaning off of it. I haven't had to deal with this stuff.

    Still, you are very funny I am enjoying your blog a lot.

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  60. Oh by the way. The zoloft was a recommendation from the ER doctor after I had seen him for blood clots and impending heartattacks just weeks apart!

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  61. Oh my goodness! I am so glad I just went to the bathroom or I would have peed my pants! You are hysterical! Thanks for the smiles.

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  62. I know this is a really old post, but I just had to comment because I totally did this too. I had a pain and a lump in my leg and I'd been watching those scary commercials about DVT's and then I got on the Internet and looked it up - always a big mistake.

    So I did the same thing - drove myself to the hospital and sat there for three hours, did the ultrasound thing and I could tell the staff thought I was a complete hypochondriac, but I was still totally relieved when they told me everything was OK.

    PS: I just stumbled across your blog today and I'm adding it to my favorites. It's really funny and sweet. I'm so pleased that you are getting your house back. We'll be sort-of neighbors - I live in Sandy.

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  63. I just found this post through Toddler Dredge. You are hilarious!

    I can also be something of a dramatic hypochondriac. I once thought I had a DVT...turns out I did. The cardiologist freaked out so much he gave me his cell phone number, which I interpreted to be a death sentence. Cardiologists don't give you their PERSONAL CELL PHONE NUMBERS unless they are sure that you are going to DIE and won't be around to call them at home for much longer.

    Anyway, it all worked out great: turns out I have a clotting disorder and am at a high risk for PE and/or other DVT's, and I have to give myself shots in the stomach every day.

    Can you just imagine what that situation does for a hypochondriac? To have that sort of paranoia confirmed is like throwing fuel on a fire. Whenever my husband tries to tell me that I probably do not have that extremely rare form of fatal tooth cancer I can be all like YOU DON'T KNOW, I was right last time!

    Anyway, glad to have found your blog. :)

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  64. This caught my eye at Toddled Dredge because I have a clotting disorder and am at high risk for clots. Normally I just take fish oil and baby aspirin, but while pregnant have to do heparin injections in the stomach twice a day. Good thing I don't hang out with you IRL...I'd be paranoid, huh? :)

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