Monday, March 30, 2015

Some Odds-and-Ends on an Orangish Afternoon

What would otherwise be a bright blue sky on a beautiful Spring day has instead turned to a rather peculiar orange-colored sky because the smoke from a 100-plus acre controlled burn started by the Conservation Department southwest of town is billowing into the air and is obscuring the sun, which is headed in that direction.

A friend who reads this mentioned when I spoke with her last night that all she sees is the “I am not a robot post.”

Well, that is because since Monday last I have been operating on a back-up Windows 7 computer because the motherboard on my XP workhorse died. True, I should really not be using the XP for a variety of reasons, but I prefer the way Word is configured on that operating system. In any event, the Windows 7 computer was not quite set up for blogging or Face Booking, and I was too preoccupied trying to get up to speed on Word 2007 that I did not feel like tackling social media too.

Over the weekend I just about finished Friday...

the 1982 novel by Robert Heinlein. This novel happens to be about a woman who is also not a robot but is instead is what is referred to as an artificial person, she is human and even has the capability of reproducing in the normal way, but did not come herself into the world in the usual way, and so faces certain discrimination because of her status.

What continues to amaze me about the science fiction writers is that they had such good imaginations that the things they invented in their novels often came to pass in real life.When Heinlein wrote this novel, the Internet existed but not in the format it is today and not with the graphic interfaces and speed that we currently enjoy. Nevertheless, his character is able to access libraries and watch concerts and videos of events that happened “10 years earlier ” (her time, which is appears to be rather far in the future).

Which leads me to the real reason for this post. When I began having trouble with my back in January and it gradually became apparent what was wrong and what might be done about it, my sweet sister-in-law Donna, wife of my youngest brother,  who has had some trouble with her back...
warned me not to go on the Internet and look up stuff about it. I did not exactly follow her advice at first, and then realized she was "spot on."

Well, most recently, last Tuesday in fact, I started having a problem with my lower leg. Unfortunately, I have spent years (years, I tell you) editing medical manuscripts for a vascular surgery journal and for a group of vascular surgeons at a teaching hospital in The Netherlands. How many manuscripts have I worked on outlining problems with deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, peripheral arterial disease, critical limb ischemia, claudication, and aneurysms of arteries in the lower leg? More than I can count. Does one have a tendency to become a hypochondriac in those circumstances? You betcha.

To back-track a bit, some years ago a bulgy lumpy thing formed at the back of my knee. It did not hurt and it did not bother me in any way, it was just there. By this time I had developed a very cordial relationship with the supervising vascular surgeon in The Netherlands, and so I sent him an e-mail in which I described the lumpy thing and asked his opinion. He said it sounded to him like it was a Baker’s cyst and did not suggest that it needed treatment. And I promptly forgot that exchange, until today.

Between Tuesday night, when I discovered my lower leg just didn’t hurt (I thought it was a strained muscle from overdoing the chair exercises at aerobics on Monday) was also swollen and yesterday, I was fairly convinced I had a blood clot or an aneurysm and was going to end up in the hospital undergoing some sort of bypass operation or and perhaps I'd even be dead from a pulmonary embolism, except I wasn’t convinced enough to go to the emergency department. And of course, none of the possible explanations for the symptoms I was having mentioned what I no doubt probably have.

I did, however, present to Not-a-Doctor Bob this morning and I described the bulgy thing that used to be in the back of my leg and he felt my leg carefully and said, “I think you have a ruptured Baker’s cyst.” The only way to tell for sure is to do an ultrasound. We have a guy that comes here or you can go to the hospital.”

I decided I would see the ultrasound guy at the clinic and forgo going to the hospital for the scan. So, I am going to assume that Not-a-Doctor Bob is correct and that I am not going to drop dead between now and next Monday from a pulmonary embolism.

Stay tuned!


Linda Kay said...

Goodness, that's a scary thing to have going on with your leg...but self-diagnosis is probably not the best route. Glad you are going for the scan. I'm not a fan of sci-fi stuff, and my hubby even finds a friend to go to those movies with him, as he is crazy about it.

Cloudia said...

Those PA "Not a Dr"s can be real good!

ALOHA from Honolulu

Far Side of Fifty said...

Possibly you will live to see another week or two:)