Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DVT. Redux.

Shortly after Thanksgiving, I blew my knee out while walking up a flight of stairs. After a round of visits with the orthopaedist and my family doc, a knee brace, and a week of rest I started up on physical therapy.

PT was going pretty good -- I felt great improvement in the knee AND in both my legs. It was a pain in the butt to leave work for 2 hours in the middle of the day to go to the appointments but things were good and it was necessary.

I wasn't fully healing, even after a solid month of work. There was still a lot of pain, and it was .... all over the place. Outer side, inner side, under the knee cap, tightness in the calf and thigh.

And then, the calf started to swell. I thought it might be edema from not getting enough real exercise. I hadn't been to the gym since before Thanksgiving, so I thought the sitting in the office upright thing was just making me retain water.

My PT and I discussed it, she said that if it were edema, it would most likely be on both sides, not just the one with the injury.

Last Wednesday the pain in the knee and swelling of the calf was finally too much to take for me so we went to the doctor, told him that we thought I had a DVT, and got an ultrasound  which confirmed it.  Let that sink in. I have yet another damn DVT. Long time readers may recall that in February 2012 I had one after I'd had surgery in August 2011.

One DVT is an anomaly. Two is a pattern. And my doctor is sending me to a hematologist to try and figure out why my body is throwing clots whenever it is injured. He said he thinks the knee injury is a direct relation, that my body thinks it needs to clot to fix it.

There are a number or reasons and conditions that cause this. And we'll figure out why I am hyper-coagulating.

In the meantime, back on blood thinners. Shots and pills. Three times a week visits to my doctor's office to get a finger stick and blood test.

And most likely a lifetime of being on blood thinners. Which displeases me greatly for a number of reasons.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Polar Vortex, Snow, Warming Trend, Vortex, Wash... Rinse... Repeat

January is a cruel month. Bitter cold temps, snow, thawing and melting with birdies singing in trees and celebrating as if spring has risen. But Persephone teases us, walking past the window only to retreat to the bowels and let slip down a sheet of ice on our world once again.

My son is going camping this weekend with the boy scouts. It is his last winter camporee before he turns 18 and would have to go as an adult volunteer, not a Scout. So i pressed him into going. Just do it. One last time. We bought him all the super cold weather gear last year -- he is prepared. He will probably move somewhere very warm where he can camp and live in shorts and a T-shirt the rest of his life and not ever HAVE to use the 0 degree rated bag, or the thermals, or the 3 in one Columbia jacket, or the super boots or anything else ever again.

Today, right this minute, it is 7 degrees F out. by Saturday it is supposed to be a balmy 22. Geoff will probably be wearing a t-shirt and pants and running around out there. He claims his layers of fat protect him from the cold, like a polar bear or a woolly mammoth. Not exactly true. But at least it will warm up a bit, and he'll be alright.

The camp out is actually right down the street from our new place, it would be walking distance if our road wasn't so busy, narrow and dangerous. I'd send him on his way with his pack for the approximately 1 mile hike, which includes walking into the gate and going to the camp site.

I hope he enjoys himself. Last time he went, he bitched the whole time about going, and then really enjoyed it. So. Hopefully same result with less bitching on the lead up.

We were supposed to get a foot of snow last night. We got about an inch. Saturday we were supposed to get light flurries, we got 7 inches. January, not only is she cruel she's crazy. And forecasting her behavior is nigh unto impossible.

I'm glad they got a little snow though, because that makes the winter campout a lot more fun when you can do winter games.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"under the mercy and i'm okay..."

Yesterday morning, I woke up on time, got my shower, brewed the coffee, and got my shoes on with the intention of making the 6:30am train.  Two dogs out of the three stood by the front door, anxious and wanting. I opted to take care of them instead of leaving them to wait for Doug to get up. Jack has been especially  not holding it as well as usual.

I knew I would run the risk of missing  my train because of this, but standing out in the driveway, looking at the pre-dawn sky just barely lightening, and counting stars while my dogs aligned themselves with the magnetic poles gave me pause to relax and breathe.

It wasn't freezing.

There wasn't a foot of ice and snow out there trying to kill me.

My knee was feeling okay for the first time in a while.

It was all just right.

Pulling into the train station parking lot, I see the 6:30 departing... it was 6:33, so I could say they waited for me but I know that isn't true.

I played with my phone, made moves in my word games, completely crushed someone who usually beats the snot out of me. 3 tiles for a 53 point score? hell yeah.

The 7am train arrived and took me to Boston. I watched the sun rise, I felt how warm it was when it emerged from behind buildings and bridges. I looked at the harbor in Beverly. I didn't have anyone sit with me until Lynn. That's rare.

Making it to the subway, I walked right onto a green line train. Or, I limped right onto a green line train. Getting off at Park Street I came downstairs to "All Trains" and stepped on a train that was going the wrong direction.

"Next Stop, Charles MGH" is not what I wanted to hear.

Oops. As I was standing there a lady stood up and offered me her seat. She'd seen me limp onto the train. I explained to her that my PT wants me to stand, use the stairs, and walk as much as possible and I thanked her.

My PT would be proud of me -- the staircase to reverse direction at Charles MGH was daunting.

So while I am now  20 minutes even further off schedule and shaking my head at myself, and now my knee is starting to actually hurt, I get onto a train going the right direction, and meet a beautiful Australian Shepherd with bright blue eyes and a sweet pink nose and she loves me and leans on me because trains are scary.

things went wrong. things went right. and it's all okay.

Monday, January 13, 2014


One of my tasks at work is to take tech support "tickets" for changes to the website. They are called "mojo" tickets, for the platform upon which they're made. In the mornings I come in and check my "mojo queue." I do what is asked of me. Tickets come in through the day and I take care of them.

I feel like what I am doing sometimes is very low-hanging fruit, as it were but people seem genuinely overjoyed that their mojo requests are handled quickly. 

We currently maintain two versions of our website so I have to make changes in two places. After I make the changes, I write "The above request has been completed in the old website and the new." I chuckle to myself because it sounds to me a little like the Starks of the North referring to "the old gods and the new" in their swearing and pledging and promising.

I sometimes get into a little playful back and forth with people in the office when I take care of their requests. I misunderstood one request the other day so the girl wrote me back to apologize for being unclear and explained it. I told her it wasn't her lack of clarity, it was my lack of understanding, as it was way early in the morning. We had a lovely chat about Monday and coffee and alertness, and it made me smile.

Genuinely, I like the people here. I wonder if though I'm not behaving "professionally" enough at times. People seem to play back, which encourages me to be casual and kind and gentle and polite and sometimes silly. I have yet to get in trouble.

But I worry about where that line is.