dvt, healthy living, injury

my new normal

One week ago was my first full day back at the house after getting discharged from the hospital after spending five nights there due to a deep vein thrombosis in my left leg.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I am adapting to my new lifestyle. The changes are minor on the outside but increasingly significant as a whole. Back in May when I broke my ankle, I thought I had to deal with a lot of doctor’s appointments but that’s nothing compared to where I am now. Because of the blood thinner medication I’m on, I need to have my blood tested frequently make sure my INR levels are where they need to be. This means regular trips to the chronic care clinic. Thankfully it’s about two minutes from my house and has some early morning hours so I can, for the most part, make it work with my job schedule.

On that end, because the INR levels aren’t where they need to be yet I have two types of medicine I’m taking, one of which is administered via an syringe twice a day. Wake up, give myself a shot. Take a pill before dinner. Give myself another shot before bed. Rinse and repeat. 
I also have to be careful about the foods I eat. Vitamin K specifically since it’s a natural coagulant and can counteract the blood thinners. I’m allowed to eat Vitamin K foods I just have to be consistent with them. Over the weekend I was thinking about this and realized that about a month ago I developed a taste for green smoothies with a spinach base. I had them on an almost daily basis in the week leading up to FitBloggin and they probably had a good 2-3 cups of spinach in them. 
Spinach is full of Vitamin K. This means spinach helps blood clot. This normally isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually a good thing. Unless, of course, you’re dealing with a fractured ankle and two months of leg immobilization followed by a road trip. 
I suspect that there were probably earlier signs that I had a clot that I missed because of my stupid high tolerance to pain. One does not just wake up and spontaneously have a blood clot in their leg that runs the entire length of their thigh, from groin to knee. Something had most likely been brewing there but I didn’t notice until my leg was fucking purple from lack of circulation. 
At least I caught it in time and before it went to the scary, scary land of pulmonary embolism. (Though, one of the many doctor appointments I have is a follow-up with a PE doctor in a couple of weeks just to be sure. But over the weekend I walked from my house to the local art fair in downtown Lakewood and walked all around without any breathing issues. I’m pretty sure when the surgeon was doing his thing in my leg he put something in there to prevent anything from traveling up. I vaguely recall a pre-op conversation where he described a tiny umbrella type thing but I was so overwhelmed with information it’s hard to say for sure).
One good bit of news though: NO MORE BOOT. At my last appointment two weeks ago, my bone doc gave me the go ahead to switch to the air cast on this date. YAY! I was supposed to make a follow-up appointment for around this time but, y’know, then I ended up in the hospital and my week is busy this week and he’s gone next week so it’s going to be another week and a half until I can see him but it’s okay. If nothing else, the air cast gives me so much more mobility — not even just with regards to walking but being able to move my leg around even while just sitting at my desk. 
I’ve started setting the alarm on my phone to go off every hour so I can get up and walk around the building: I have a desk job and I can get so into a project I shut the world out which leads me to sitting for long stretches at a time. Not good so add that to my growing list of “new normal.” But, like a friend who has a history of blood clots told me, this at least is a good incentive to maintain an active lifestyle. 
Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

2 thoughts on “my new normal”

  1. Scientists might want to study you for your incredible pain tolerance! I read recently that redheads are the most sensitive to pain because of a gene mutation MC1R.
    Love your blog! Glad you're on the road to recovery!


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