Saturday, March 19, 2011

Veins and other things

As some of you may remember, a few days after Thomas was born, I got a bloodclot in my right leg, landing my postpartum, swollen, emotional self back in the hospital for a few days.

It ended up not being a DVT (deep vein thrombosis); it was in the superficial vein system, strictly caused by the pregnancy and birth. After three months of twice daily Lovenox shots in my stomach and iron pills for 11 months, I have been given the all-clear from the hematologist. I don't have to go back there anymore.

But my right leg is damaged.


I'd put up a picture but I'm afraid some of your children might walk by the screen, and it would scar them for life. Plus, even I have a shred of dignity.

Let's just say that being overweight anyway and having three babies of substantial size (8-11, 8-6, 9-7) really, really, really did a number on the veins in my right leg. Forget your Garmin, I've got your roadmap right here. And the sad thing is that it's mainly on the front of my lower leg and behind my knee.

You know, the parts that everyone sees?

In an effort to not have to live in pants all summer (esp considering I'm training for a half marathon), and on the okay of my OB and my hematologist, I went to the vascular surgeon and had a big vein test done to determine whether there is something vascularly (is that a word?) wrong with my veins, specifically on my right side.

So I had to go through this testing process where I was standing in a dark, warm room with a (female) technician. Good thing it was warm (and dark!) because I was standing there in my socks and shirt and panties.

It was a scene, man.

First, I had to lie on a table and she did an intensive and lengthy ultrasound on all the veins in both legs. It's like when you have an ultrasound during a pregnancy except instead of seeing a baby, you just see a bunch of red and blue. It takes a really long time, and the small talk is torture.

Then I stood up and she strapped this huge thing, one leg at a time, to my thigh and then my calf. It was like a giant blood pressure cuff with several large hoses that connected my leg to a rather large machine on a rolling cart. The tech would count to three and then push a button. The cuff immediately tightened (BOOM!) and "tested" my veins and the blood flow, then releasing it and almost sent my scantily-clad bum crashing on the ground.

I felt like Westley, hooked up to The Machine. I kept waiting for Prince Humperdinck to rush in, push up the lever, and for Count Rugen to shout, "NOT TO 50!"

But, alas, after all the testing, it turns out that in a vascular sense, my legs and my veins are perfectly normal. So if I want my legs to look like those of a woman in her early-to-mid 30s instead of those of Grandma Moses (RIP), I will have to pay the $160 per 30 minutes of laser shocking (or whatever it is) to get them fixed. Umm..yeah, not in the budget right now.

So anyway, I went to the hematologist's office a week or two ago, and I got the all-clear to not have to go back! I no longer have to take iron pills, and I no longer have to go for check-ups!

That's a-okay with me. I certainly spend enough time in doctors' offices. This one was depressing because 98% of his work is oncology, and the other 2% is hematology. So there were cancer patients and their families, lots of labwork, chemo, comfortable chairs, etc. Sadness, really. Not a reality I'd like to have to face right now.

Never, if you please.

Anyway, all that is a set-up to a post tomorrow where I will share some random thoughts that I had on the way to the hematologist's office, while I was there, and later at Walmart.

Wow, I must be really bored. Or out of my mind.

Or both.


Steven Hrpopolis said...

Vascular? Hardly knew 'er!

Christi said...

Hugs on the hematology office. I've been there as a pg lady due to a blood disorder and I felt the same way.

Check some groupon/living social/etc in your area because in my area (OHIO) I've seen some deals on the vein work.


Amber said...

I had radiofrequency done in Dec. on my left leg! It was so not fun. SO NOT FUN. But my bulging vein - she's gone! I was determined to have reflux, though.

Mary Jo said...

Wow you and your family get to go do all the "fun" medical things... so sorry. And sorry about your leg! Since you live in a warmer area, I'd imagine shorts or capri wearing is essential much of the year. HUGS