It began the Monday before Christmas. I woke up and my feet and ankles were swollen. I figured my sodium intake had been too high lately, because it has happened before, and decided to cut back on the sodium and drink more water than normal. It helped a little but 2 days later, the swelling hadn’t gone down much more and I started to feel some numbness in my ankles. There was no way I could get in to see my NP before Christmas so I waited.
After another day, the numbness had worked its way up my left leg, and the next day (Christmas Day) I was feeling numbness in my right leg, although not as bad. My legs were weaker than normal and I was sleepy as hell for the last couple of days. I knew what I was facing. There’s no way I was going to go to the ER on a major holiday, so I waited again. I have to tell you, I WAS WORRIED.
On Sunday, I did an online symptom checker. I was a CNA/CMT for several years so I knew what it would say: blood clots/DVT, PAD, among a few other things. That’s exactly what the checker told me, plus “GO TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT.”
I did. It’s not something I was looking forward to: a possible hospital stay with tons of tests, not to mention Covid-19 and a long ass wait with a bunch of dumb ass people who weren’t wearing masks. I was pleasantly surprised. There were no others in the waiting room when we arrived. (Dad insisted he go with me. He absolutely refused to stay home. Everyone was wearing a mask!) I was checked in and called back in less than 10 minutes. The doctor on call came in relatively quickly and ordered 60mg IV Lasix to get the swelling down. A technician came in and did an ultrasound on both of my legs. Blood work followed.
While we waited, I peed 6 times; the effects of the Lasix. I was getting impatient, although we hadn’t really been there for too long. I think we were there for 3 hours, give or take a few minutes. After a while the doctor came in and told me my blood work looked good, and there were no blood clots, signs of DVT, and I had blood flow to my extremities, indicating no PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) so that was a major relief! Oh, you just don’t know the relief I felt! He gave me a script for 20mg Lasix, orders to check in with my NP for a follow-up, and he sent me on my way.
Now 2 days later, my legs aren’t as weak as they were but I still have a little swelling and numbness which comes and goes. I couldn’t get an appointment with my NP until Monday due to the New Year’s holiday, but I will get in. She will most likely raise my Lasix dosage but we’ll see.
I’m worried because I can’t even tell you how many times my concerns and health issues have been swept under the rug over the years. Not by the NP I am currently seeing but by actual doctors/specialists! I have pretty much given up trying to find a doctor who gives a shit. The ONE doctor who actually tried to help me, got sick of the bureaucratic bullshit she had to endure at that particular clinic, and she left for a better job. Can’t say that I blame her.
Anyway, I’m doing alright. Taking it day by day; doing what I can, resting often, watching my sodium, drinking more water, and taking that little pill that makes me pee my brains out all day long!