Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paging Dr. House

So. For four weeks I have been hacking my lungs out, with every muscle in my body aching and my nose running like a faucet. This cold and cough will not quit, causing me concern about my immune status. My left leg has been swollen again, which freaked me out on so many levels. Leg, ankle and foot swelling is a common symptom of congestive heart failure. So is shortness of breath, which I also had. Then on Saturday I noticed ominous red spots on my calf, each about the size of a thumbprint. I gasped. Venous stasis! This is where blood pools under the skin because of lack of circulation. It leads to horrific, non-healing wounds.

I dreaded going to the doctor and having my diagnosis confirmed. I cringed at the idea of hearing those words, getting that menacing sentence of imminent death. I am only 57!! I began picking out hymns for my funeral and thought about how sad everyone would be, which quite made me smile actually. And the thought of my eulogies perked me up no end.

At any rate, I finally dragged my miserable, doomed self to the doctor this afternoon and I sadly outlined my various dire conditions to him. I steeled myself for his alarm, for immediate placement in the telemetry unit (maybe even by ambulance, so perilous was my cardiac status), for tearful goodbyes with my children. Here is what he told me:

My “cold” is a sinus infection, which will be better in a day with antibiotics. It is all the coughing that is causing me to feel short of breath. It hasn’t gotten better because I need antibiotics.

My swollen leg is most likely a side effect of one of the medications I am taking. He is not concerned as it only happens occasionally and improves immediately when treated.

The red spots are…a rash.

He withheld comment on the fact I was a lunatic.


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Jane Turley said...

Oh dear, you poor, poor thing Marie - you have been unwell:( It's a classic case of "knowing too much" though isn't it?! Now, next time you get get a bad cold will you PLEASE go to the Docs straight away and stop getting your medical books out and sitting up all night making pie charts of the symptoms!

Sooo what hymns did you choose? Anything fancy at all? Bit of rock n roll perhaps??

Marie said...

What can I say Jane? I am a text book neurotic wacko. It is stressful, but keeps life so entertaining. :) And going to the doctor promptly is no fun! The drama is in the delay. lol

I have a whole list of hymns that I can't narrow down. Nothing modern, all classic rousing roof-raisers:

We Know That Christ is Raised and Dies No More

Ye watchers and ye holy ones

All my hope on God is founded

Come, thou fount of every blessing

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah

Praise the Lord! ye heavens, adore him

Going Home (based on Dvorak's 9th symphony)

I want people to weep buckets, none of that "she would want us to be brave and happy" crap. I'll be dead, what could be worse?!?!

Pricilla said...

I hope that you do indeed feel better soon.

Would you not rather they laugh than weep?

Lee-Anne said...

House would have called you a lunatic!! So your doctor was much nicer indeed! I hope you feel better soon.

Marie said...

Pricilla - Laughing is definitely good too, as long as it is not at me, as it would be if it were discovered I am actually 56, not 57, and I apparently cannot remember my own age. lol Thanks for the good wishes.{{hugs}}

Lee-Ann - Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving your comment. Thanks for the well wishes.:)

Boom Boom Larew said...

I'm suffering from the same malady... although I think my leg swelling is due to my broken leg. I think we should have a party to celebrate the fact that we're not dying today.
Can you imagine my angst, though, when I was being wheeled into surgery for my broken leg and the nurse asked me if I had congestive heart failure? WTF? Good night!

Marie said...

Boom Boom, I think we are leading parallel lives! That sounds like something that would happen to me. I've had three surgeries on my broken shoulder and I have a myriad of stories to go with them.

If my shoulder is anything to go by, I am so sorry about your leg. :(

I am all for a party celebrating a dearth of death. :) Too bad we live, what, 800 miles apart? It will have to be virtual.

Jane Turley said...

Seven hymns?? That's plain greedy Marie! You better grease your minister's palm well in advance if you think you'll get allocated time for seven! I suggest you bribe him with cigarettes, Doritos and a stack of French porn - you'd probably get an overnight vigil then:)))

Marie said...

Well, I don't expect them to play all seven, I am trying to narrow it down. And unfortunately thought of two more this morning, Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy & A mighty fortress is our God.

I do like the idea of an overnight vigil, though! Lots more crying and weeping time and time for my children, I mean people, to feel sorry for how mean they were to me while I was still alive and now they will be stuck with their regrets forever. I will have a word with the rector. :)

Margaret said...

Snort! I knew the outcome by the way you were building it up from the beginning, and almost forgot that regardless of the fact that you are not dying, you are still feeling sick. Hope the weather gets better as you do - that always nourishes the soul!

Marie said...

Margaret, you are so sweet. Thank you for your concern.

Of course, secretly I believe I am still dying but he is hiding the news from me to spare my feelings.

But interestingly enough, the cough is gone as though a switch had been thrown. And I do feel better. Antibiotics. Who'da thunk it? Maybe I shouldn't wait a month next time.

Thank you all for your get well wishes!! {{{hugs}}}

ArtMuse Dog and Carol said...

Love your blog ~ especially House! love him ~ great character ~ sending you healing energy to feel better soon ~ Dropped over from Blog Frog ~ come join my community and post a new topic ~ helps to get new followers for you and me ~ ^_^

Marie said...

Hi Carol! Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving your comment. I am feeling much better, thank goodness!! :)

Jen said...

Your diagnoses seemed spot on to me. Maybe you need a second opinion. Thomas from 101 things in 1001 days is great at diagnosing horrible ailments and even better at planning his funeral. You should talk to him.

I'm glad it is nothing serious and hope the antibiotics kick in soon.

Thomas said...

Have we discussed the afternoon that I had cancer for about four hours? Details at:


The Mother said...

You'd have to be very, very desperate to go to House. He always nearly kills his patients before he figures them out. Oh, SO not good.

Marie said...

Jen - well, I am not completely convinced I'm not dying despite the fact that I have stopped coughing, can breathe fine, have no more runny nose, swollen leg or spots on my calf and I feel 100% better. What does that doctor know anyway!?!

Thomas - that is too funny!! We are leading parallel terminal lives!! As a nurse, I know way too much about the horrible things one can get. No wonder no one gets out of here alive.

Mother - it is SO good to see you!!! I actually cannot watch House, it is so preposterous. But I do love Hugh Laurie and did way before his current fame.

Yeah, except that I thought I had something rare and fatal, I would not have consulted him. :)