Friday, March 8, 2013

Grumble Grumble

In late 2011 I had "Saddle Pulmonary Emboli." That was scary, expensive, and launched me into many medical tests, second and third opinions, and, finally to acceptance that I have to be on Coumadin/Warfarin for the rest of my life. (If you weren't reading The Writing Vein at that time, I was hoping to get off the medication after  6 months, which is what the medical providers originally projected. Some of the blood work was checking hereditary factors and, voila, a genetic mutation was found. And that particular mutation is exactly the condition that Warfarin/Coumadin treats - this even according to a top Naturopathic Physician in this field; with my regular ND, the specialist ND, my regular MD, and a specialist MD all telling me I need to be on the medication, I gave up the quest to final alternatives; if alternatives were available for my particular set of mutant genes, the specialist ND would know - there were none.)

So, about seventeen months later and here we are. Two and a half months ago my INR (which measures the medication in my blood) was finally declared stable enough to go down to being only tested every six weeks. I'd been at four weeks for a while; but before that it ranged from weekly to biweekly.

On Thursday I sprained my knee. A simple and minor sprain. The sprain was not - is not - the problem. The problem? Internal bleeding in and around the knee joint caused by - yes, you can guess it - the Warfarin/Coumadin. It was (is) very painful. I couldn't walk earlier in the day on Thursday. 

And for those who know: yes, indeed, I was scheduled to interpret a play that very same Thursday night. Which I did. I hobbled in on crutches and my team and I sat while interpreting; there was no way I would be able to stand for 2 1/4 hours to interpret the play. 

After going to the doctor's office. 

I met with a PA I'd never seen before (one plus about Kaiser, there is usually someone available to see you in the office if your regular provider is busy or out of the office). He was great. I felt immediately comfortable with him. And he did good work. He aspirated blood from around and in my knee, which was extremely painful. But there was some instant relief, so the pain was worth getting through. 

Now we're waiting and hoping the internal bleeding doesn't return. He ordered xrays which cleared up once and for all that there is no break or fracture in the knee; good to have that confirmed.

Oh  - and a bonus. I remember my mother telling me when I was a teenager that I had double knee caps in my right knee. Yeah, right. Well, guess what - I do! I saw it on the x-rays today. There is actually another name for it - but that is one common name. And when the provider listed some of the periodic symptoms this condition can cause, I was nodding my head with relief.

This is not a good time to be getting around very slowly on crutches. I am also scheduled to interpret poetry recitation competitions the next two weekends - which I will also do. And I have another play next Thursday. I am planning on being there for all of them. The poetry this weekend will obviously be from a seated position; the play next Thursday might unless my knee is recovered enough to make standing a viable option.

Okay - there it is - my grumble for today. A truly minor sprain and very painful drug-induced internal bleeding. On the mend and looking for patience with the crutches issue.

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