Friday, May 31, 2013

to be continued...

So way back in January, I made a whole list of topics that I wanted to blog about, hoping that it would actually encourage me to blog more. Then, that week, I got some bad news that put me in a bit of a funk that I am only now starting to really recover from. No one died or anything, but it was a pretty big deal to me, so I moped about it for pretty much ever. To be able to explain, I need to provide some backstory. This is somewhat personal, but I always try to be as much of an open book as possible, so I've decided it is time for me to share. This will likely come in segments, and eventually I'll be caught up on explaining and can move on to talking about the things that are actually going on in my life RIGHT NOW, which I promise will start to get more exciting soon. For now, let's go back to 2009. In the summer of that year, I started having some pain in my left leg while I was in California visiting friends and family. It persisted for a few days, but I chalked it up to all the driving I was doing in Los Angeles traffic--I drove a stick shift at the time--and didn't worry too much about it. Later that week, I woke up in what may have been the most severe pain I'd experienced to date. Only, it wasn't in my leg, it was in my chest. Breathing was excruciating. Sitting up was near impossible. To get a deep breath I had to bend over nearly in half and gulp in air. Naturally, I couldn't just dismiss this, so I went to the emergency room to get it checked out. I worried that I had broken a rib or something. A pain shot in the ER made me more comfortable, but the doctors couldn't tell me what was wrong with me, only that nothing was broken. I was frustrated as all hell and feeling like crap, so I decided to go back home a few days early. I took a nap and then drove home to Oregon. I drove straight through because I was absolutely miserable and didn't want to be away from home any longer than I needed to. I arrived safely and slept for what seemed like forever, but I felt fine. Until my leg started hurting again. The pain went from a dull ache to a sharper pain and moved up my leg toward my groin. A few days later, every step I took was super painful. I sucked it up though, thinking I'd probably pulled a muscle and it would take a few days to start feeling better. Unfortunately, by that night, things were so much worse. The pain in my leg was unbearable, and it seemed like my leg was swollen. So I propped it up on some pillows and tried to relax, but I couldn't sleep; I couldn't even get comfortable enough to sit still for five minutes. Ibuprofen did nothing for me, and I even tried some Vicodin I had left over from another injury, but nothing helped. I kept looking at my leg, poking at it, pressing here and there, trying to find the problem. During one of these self-examinations, I noticed that this leg was not quite the same color as my other leg. It looked dusky, like I had stepped in blue-gray paint and failed to wash it off all the way. I was sufficiently freaked out by this point, so I woke up my mom, and she drove me to the local emergency room. Now, I'm not a very good patient. I don't cry and whine and make a big deal of things. I walked myself into the hospital on my own, explained my story, and sat patiently to be helped. The nurses later told me they were amazed that I'd walked in on my own and hadn't called for a wheelchair to be sent out to the car. If only they had seen me drive myself to the emergency room in California the week prior! Anyway, to make a long story short, the doctors had some suspicions and they ran some tests, and they told me that I had a massive blood clot. An ultrasound showed that the clot ran all the way from my foot to the iliac crest (near where my leg met my pelvis). I didn't even know that kind of thing was possible, and by the parade of med students coming in to stare at me, I learned that it definitely isn't common. I was given some IV dilaudid for my pain and told to sit tight, as they were going to have to transport me to another hospital for treatment. By that point, I was a little foggy from the drugs, and a little freaked out because I really don't do hospitals. I remember them telling me that no, my mom couldn't drive me to the hospital. I know I'd wanted to go with her so I could stop for something to eat and/or drink on the way since doctors are always telling you you can't eat for some reason or another. But yeah, that didn't fly. So ambulance it was. My paramedic escorts were an older pudgy lady and a cute younger guy. I got to ride in the back with the cute one on the way to the hospital, so it wasn't all that bad. (to be continued...)

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