Monday, October 27, 2014

Real life is still so very real

So, today was my first day back to work after my unexpected three-day “vacation” in Resort du Hospitale.

Normally when I’m taking even one day off, there’s a certain amount of ‘putting things to bed’ before I log off before I take off. Just kind of proactively dealing with certain things, giving others the background info they might need in case things go awry, that kind of stuff.

Obviously, I didn’t do any of that. It was supposed to just be a quick, after-work-even appointment with the orthopedic guy; I had absolutely no idea, I never would have guessed, that I’d end up in the hospital for gah’s sake.

Even when I was getting the ultrasound because he was all, “{mutter-mutter-clots}”, I still didn’t honestly think that, you know, there actually would be…anything in there.

I expected the usual fuss-n-bother-and-nothing-comes-of-it. Because that’s what always happens. Except when it doesn’t.

So today basically went like this:

  1. I made my own coffee this morning
    1. Which meant having to go downstairs all by myself like a Big Girl
      1. Illusion of being on the road back to self-reliance: Shattered
      2. It costs me way more than I like to admit to do something as simple as “get downstairs, and then back up again”
      3. Also, I do still need the stupid crutches
        1. Argh!
        2. NOT THAT I’M COUNTING (<= lies!), but, this would be Day 17 since I tore that @^*&2ing muscle
        3. ARGH!
  2. Several people are asking me – rather pointedly – how long this or that is going to take, because, per their email from AHEM, LAST WEEK WEDNESDAY…!
    1. It would be much simpler if I would just own up and say, “Sorry, heh-heh, funny story, actually, see, I was unexpectedly hospitalized last week so I lost a couple days…?”
    2. But I would rather die than have this become common knowledge at work
      1. Well. Maybe not die.
      2. But I’d definitely rather put up with people growling at me about their timelines
  3. AND THEN, I got a call from the nurse advocate at the insurance company
    1. Because the hospital stay was declined
      1. Because the information they got was basically “we admitted her because of reasons”
        1. Attending physician? => blank
        2. Diagnosis/Reason for Incarceration Admission? => blank
        3. Treatment Plan? => blank
        4. Reason for Discharge? => blank
    2. Apparently, “because we admitted her” is not considered a ‘medically necessary’ reason to admit someone to the hospital
      1. Go figure
      2. {bangs head on desk for a while}
  4. That One Guy on the team naturally managed to go charging off in all the wrong directions while I was away
    1. He always does this
    2. ALWAYS
    3. Honestly, his capacity for being Just Completely Wrong seems bottomless
      1. It’s like a gift, really
      2. A dark, dark gift…
    4. And, why the end result of this always seems to boomerang back to me is something I ask myself on pretty much a weekly basis…
  5. THEN, when I’m up to my eyebrows in All The Above, I got a call from the ‘patient something or other’ person – basically the nurse who makes sure you’re behaving yourself when you’ve been discharged
    1. I was asked if I was remembering to do the elebenty-bazillion salutations in the cardinal directions on hourly intervals per release protocol
    2. “…yes…?” <= lies, had only done one (1) round of the salutations, while still in bed that morning
      1. And in only two of the cardinal directions
      2. Bah, humbug!
  6. AND TO CAP IT ALL OFF, RIGHT BEFORE LOGGING OFF FOR THE DAY…I find that the reason something “looks a little wrong” in the thing I was working on a while ago was because I had made a mistake in the code
    1. …one that somebody else discovered…
    2. @^*&@!

So, to sum up:

  1. I quit
  2. I quit
  3. I quit
  4. I quit
  5. I quit
  6. I quit

There. I think that about covers it for tonight.

Tune in next time, when I’ll complain vigorously about the clothes moths (!!!!) that moved in shortly after all the construction began, and which now love to flutter juuuuuuuust out of my reach because I’d swear they know I can’t leap to my feet to squash them…!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What a long, strange trip it was

The orthopedic surgeon we saw Wednesday afternoon confirmed that I had a moderate tear in my gastrocnemius (<= the bigger calf muscle).

Then he sent us for an ultrasound to check for blood clots, because my leg and foot were rather swollen, and had been for a while, and I had not had any particular success with getting that swelling to go away.

And that was how it was that I ended up spending two and a half days in the hospital hooked up to a heparin drip and having blood drawn every 4-6 hours to check for progress (and me with my bordering-on-actual-phobia about needles…you can imagine how well I dealt with this) before My Beloved Physician was able to confirm that I didn’t actually have an actual clot, but rather only alarmingly elevated risk of one.

This is one of the things we love so much about this guy: A lot of doctors would have been more like, “Look, you’re already here and we’re halfway down this path, so, my work here is done. You have another four to seven days in the hospital (!!!) while the warfarin takes over from the heparin, then three months (!!!!!!) of taking the warfarin daily (with daily / every-other-day lab work, I might add), because that’s what we’re doing.”

Instead, I got to just come home with instructions to be very alert about the swelling returning, and with a prescription for a mega-dose of aspirin.

It’s not exactly that I’m furious and want to have stern words with anybody for making me go through all that “for no reason.” There was a reason for it. They saw veins that looked like they were under stress, there were markers in my blood that said, “probably has a clot in there” – I think what they did was the right thing to do.

You don’t fool around with suspected deep vein thrombosis. Having a clot break loose and travel up into your lungs can kill you – I’ve still got an awful lot of Denizen-rearing to do, and I’m kinda curious how it all turns out.

So on the whole, I’d like to, you know, not die of something stupid and miss all that.

Still. It’s a bit…vexing, to spend all that time hooked up to an IV and being stabbed by cheerful, smiling lab folks what felt like every fifteen minutes over and over in the same general area, only to be told a couple days later, “Oh. Never mind. You ‘just’ have a rather elevated risk of clotting from that area. Here. Have a prescription for a mega-aspirin, aaaaaaaand if your foot or leg puffs up like that again and you can’t get the swelling back down quickly? Get your arse to the emergency room, what are you, STUPID or something?!

The crook of my left arm looks like I have a serious drug problem (or like I was attacked by near-sighted vampires mistaking my elbow for my neck or something); plus, of course, the fact that I was on a blood thinner means that I bruise fairly easily, so I have all kinds of beautifully yellowing marks all over me.


I probably have about six to eight weeks of recovery time ahead for this stupid thing altogether before I’ll be back to more or less normal, and a month or two after that where I’ll still need to be a bit circumspect about how much stress I put on the leg; it’s just one of those injuries that take a looooong time to heal.


But, it could be worse. I could have been stuck in the hospital for over a week.

With the convenient, in-house, available 24/7 lab people.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Leisure, or nothing like it

I haven’t done a single chore for six days, y’all. Not so much as rinsing my own dishes.


I have been sitting right here…for the last six straight days…reading…playing video games…watching an endless parade of brain candy flicker past my eyeballs…eating food brought to me by my family…

It’s…it’s…well, it’s miserable. It is exhausting. It is frustrating in the extreme.

SEE…what happened was…a freak laundry accident.

I am being totally serious right now.





…you absolutely can-NOT make this kind of stuff up, people.

SO THERE I WAS, last week Friday, getting a jump on my weekend chores. I’m standing next to my bed folding the clean sheets like a boss and I went to put the latest example of my rather poor sheet-folding skills on top of the pile and…well.

Over the course of less than a second, I thought to myself, “Huh, my left calf feels kinda tight, is it trying to cramp up…?”

And then, pretty much simultaneously, there was a feeling like somebody had snuck up behind me and whacked me, really hard, in the back of the leg with a rather blunt axe; it was like a punch and a cut, if that makes sense?

And, there was this…sound. Not a very nice sound. It sounded like somebody biting into an apple – not a super crisp one, but one of those mealy ones.

I hit the ground like I’d been clubbed, both hands wrapped in a death-grip around my calf, almost before the pain even hit me.

You know those moments when you totally know the reality of a situation almost the instant it arises, but you also just can’t quite believe it has happened so you keep second-guessing yourself?

Yeah. That was my whole entire weekend. Within about five seconds of hitting the floor, I knew exactly what I’d done. There was really no question that what I had here was a classic example of Ye Olde Torn Calf Muscle. The only question left to answer was how bad a tear I’d gotten.

But…it just…didn’t seem possible. This is a pretty strong muscle group (I said to myself). C’mon. How could I POSSIBLY have done REAL DAMAGE to it, JUST by leaning forward to drop a sheet onto a pile?

I had to be mistaken.

But, looks like I wasn’t. When My Beloved Physician started poking at it, he pretty quickly discovered that I’ve got some “weird” deformation in the muscles, and at least one ligament is kind of “floppy” when it should be “springy.”

So now I’m on crutches until further notice, and going for an MRI next week so we can figure out exactly how bad it really is, and I’m in for anywhere from “just” about a month of this “keep off it” nonsense to three months if I really did a number on it.

Well, damn.

Then, because insult loves injury so much…guess what? After four days of zero swelling, and zero bruising, and only very mild pain as long as I kept my carcass parked in my chair?

Yeah. That honeymoon was over. My calf feels like an overfull water balloon, my foot is all puffy, and the pain is starting to become quite annoying.