I woke up one morning with severe pain magically in my left thigh in back. Either someone beat on me while I was sleeping, or else I had one of those mystical events where you hurt yourself simply by resting. So, OK, I am not one to go to a DR every time something happens, but some 2-3 days later it had gotten much worse, was now bruising, and the swelling was both worse and moving down my leg.
Go to the ER, they check my INR (am on blood thinners) it was fine at 2.7, did a test looking for a "DVT" - a blood clot in the leg - nothing showed. So the Doc said go home and check with my PCP in 3 days if it doesn't feel better. What happened I asked? I could see it in his (young) 32yr old eyes, so I said, let me guess, a case of an old guy hurting himself while sleeping? (I'm 51) - He said he couldn't really comment and left. So home I went.
A few days pass, everything swelling, bruising, pain is getting worse - to the point of not being able to cope with it. Back to the ER we went. Redid the prior tests, and took blood for other 'standard' tests.
Bingo, we have a winner! No idea how it relates to my thigh, but turns out I am anemic and must be admitted post-haste!
I wrote the following on 12/31/2013 on my FaceBook page:
I was sent home late Tuesday eve. There are three issues
(1)-what is wrong with me? Anemic due to blood thinners and other meds being taken, caused me to score a very high INR a few weeks back While the INR is now at 'therapy' levels, I lost too much blood internally-score of 8.2 (11.5 to 12.5 is the goal for my age, sex, etc), so one pint of whole blood given, which by noon Tuesday brought me to '9.6' so to home I could go - must follow-up with my PCP of course
Downside - I can no longer take my two 325mg of aspirin daily, nor may I take my 200mg of Celebrex daily until such a time that my PCP will allow it-it's a *BIG* deal to me as while weak and lame, they are/were the only NSAIDs I was allowed to take while being on blood thinners - so my OA, etc will make itself more known to me-no other options at this point.
(2)-OK, but what about the swelling/bruising of my entire left leg? The 'bruising' itself is a simple by-product of being on blood thinners, and being at too high of a level. No one has explained to my satisfaction the 'why' or 'how come' of the massive ongoing swelling of my entire left leg (started with pain and mild tightness of back of left thigh when I woke the morning of the 19th [am bad on dates]) as it worsened (thinking blood clot) we went to the ER the first time. INR checked (2.7 - fine) scan for DVTs - none found, basically told "ya, you must have slept funny, it should start to feel better in a few days.".
So, again? Why? How come? What was the actual cause? How do we keep this from happening again?
(3)-I have a very cool PCP that I've been seeing for 20+ years now. He knows that I have neither health care or money, and tries very hard to order tests, discuss results, make needed changes, etc over the phone, inter-office message system, etc. All that said, cost cannot (his words) be a part of any diagnosis, or any health decision. So, let's talk long-term here? Putting me on blood thinners for life (for most/many people) is no big deal, but it really *IS* for me, as first off it limits way too many good low-cost drugs that successfully treat my constant pain. Pain meds is another way, as is surgery to the damaged/ruined joint (what about hands?? Anyone??)
When is "Quality of life" allowed to enter the picture? Yup, I know, I whine a lot, and there really are people worse off than me, and don't forget the staving children everywhere!
Anyhow, it's late, I hurt, I am whining, and just wasted 2-9 minutes of your time (depending upon reading speed) while crying about *my* lost,wasted, poorly managed, time.
So, now it's the evening of the 4th - Saturday. My lovely wife states the bruising is fading, and the leg is a bit smaller overall, but I can't *feel* any improvement. It hurts to sit or to stand, and laying only on my right side provides any comfort.
Sure, I can drug myself to sleep, but that isn't the point - I want to get better, and learn what the hell actually happened here??!!
Fresh blood work is scheduled for Tuesday, I also happen to see my Pain Doc on Tuesday - he's gonna be thrilled to hear they stopped the only NSAIDs I could possibly take. I've gotten a small taste of my future a day or two ago when the first knuckles of 3 fingers on both hands felt like someone was hitting them with little hammers all the time.
Right now my 'quality of life' is no where near where it ought to be, nor is my mindset. Very much into the poor pity me stage at the moment...
"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."