As mentioned in the last post, I had been dealing with some off and on again swelling in my left calf since last Friday. Due to my history of DVTs this was very troublesome of course. Despite taking a blood thinner, swelling and slight pain mean one thing to me–another f*cking blood clot. I was hopeful that I just aggravated a muscle during my Memorial Day dirt fest ride, but since it remained for a few days with that familiar tightness, I finally broke down and went to the emergency room.
A quick check by the doctor, some blood drawn, and I was soon off to have a doppler scan of my legs. I’ve been down this road before and found myself instinctively assuming the position needed for the tech to start the scan of my leg. Up and down one leg, up and down the other, and then my micro hospital gown wearing self was being wheeled back to my curtained room in the ER to await the results.
I sat alone in my curtain cubicle, prioritized my responsibilities in case an overnight stay was required, and tried to get all the “KY Jelly” off myself 1 About ten minutes later the doctor popped in and said they did see the old clots in the legs, but there was no sign of new clots and I was good to go. The swelling was probably due to the decreased circulation in my legs from the prior clots. He suggested a relatively easy surgery to remove the old clots if the swelling and pain increases or if I develop any sort of blisters on my leg, but for right now I should just carry on.
This was great news, and I couldn’t get out of that gown, into my clothes, and out of that place fast enough. I was happy and relieved… until I wasn’t. I still had some discomfort, I was still getting swelling. “What if they’re wrong?” I thought. “Is this something I have to deal with the rest of my life?” F*ck. How is it possible to be relieved yet pissed and depressed at the same time? F*ck it, I’m not in the hospital, what happens happens. I’m going home, hugging the boy, and planning on a Thursday morning ride.
And that’s what I did. On Thursday I gathered the Boone, my camera, a couple of bottles, and headed out for a 30 mile square of Michigan farmland to get a sweat on, take some photos, and try to forget about my leg as much as I could.
I hit some pavement, then some dirt, dealt with some unhinged dirt road dogs, and rolled past Doc Pol out taking care of a horse in the parking lot of his office (I waved, not sure if he waved back, he had a hoof in his hands), and then was back on dirt for nearly all of the remaining miles.
It felt great to be out rolling dirt on my bike under the sun and not in the hospital linked to an IV bag full of Heparin. I was happy, but I wasn’t. It might take a few days until I get back to not obsessing about my leg, learn to have faith in an experienced medical doctor, and possibly embrace the idea of wearing compression socks more and more like I’m some sort of burpee loving, CrossFit™ zealot (except a fat cyclist with shit circulation in his legs).
Taking my Friday free time to head to the shop to pick up some tires, and plan my weekend which will include a trip Traverse City for soccer on Saturday and a quick trip to Pittsburgh on Sunday and Monday for a graduation party. Hopefully, there will be no trips to the ER involved.
Looking forward to next week, embracing my summer schedule with B-Man off school, and getting back to riding and working out regularly.