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MEDICAL: I’ve Fallen, But I Totally Got Up

Yesterday I was walking to coffee shop when I noticed that I could save myself half a block of walking by hopping down from a foot-and-a-half retaining wall into the parking lot. No problem, I thought, that doesn’t even count as a jump. Well, I wish I’d ever stopped and re-thought that at my age, weight, and history of knee problems … sometimes an eighteen-inch hop is too physically demanding. 

Down I went.


I roughed up my palms catching myself, and jarred my shoulder slightly … but more significantly, I cracked my shin across a decorative rock. No blood as near as I could tell, but my leg was already starting to bruise and swell. 

Ouch! … But I really felt like the embarrassment was the worst of it. My leg ached a bit, but that was it. The bruise was starting to turn purple in a couple of spots, but again, that was to be expected.

Later that afternoon, when I got home and looked again, I saw that a good part of the ache was coming from the swelling. So I took put my leg up, placed an ice pack on it, and felt even more sheepish.

The leg continued to ache, which really is to be expected, so I stayed off it and continued to ice it several more times during the day.

Overnight, it ached enough to mess with my sleep. I knew from past experience that sometimes the swelling itself can hide a good deal of the discoloration, so at 3AM I found myself thinking that if the bruise looked worse in the morning, I’d go to the Urgent Care. 

It looked MUCH worse in the morning … so off I went.

You know you’ve got a whopper of a bruise when an urgent care doctor looks at it, winces, and says, “Yow! That’s nasty!” She examined it and sent me off for an x-ray, just to be sure. The x-ray tech ALSO blanched and made comment about how bad it looked.

Looking at the x-rays, the doctor said that she didn’t see anything that looked even a little like a break, but she’d send the pix to the radiologist for confirmation. Then she told me that I needed to spend a lot of time this weekend with my foot elevate to prevent the swelling from cutting off good blood flow to muscles in my ankle and causing REAL damage (and could actually be life threatening if not treated, should it happen). “Thankfully” the main symptom is sharp, shooting, extreme pain in the affected area, so I’ll KNOW if that’s starting, and I promised the doctor that I’d go right to the E.R. if that happened. 

So I’ve spent more time today with my foot elevated, and I’ll be spending many hours over the coming long weekend that way. 

A few minutes ago, my medical history app pinged to say that a new test result was in. The radiologist had looked at my x-ray and determined, “No fracture. Masslike soft tissue density may represent a hematoma. Correlate clinically” 

Good call, radiologist. “MAY” indicate a hematoma? It sure does … a massive, ugly, weeping hematoma. Just be thankful all you saw was the soft tissue density!

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