Oy! What A Day It's Been!
It started this morning when I got out of bed and noticed that there was a some redness and swelling on the shin of my left ankle … as in the same leg where my knee is still not healed up fully. It was slightly warm to the touch, but not “raging infection” hot, and it wasn’t sensitive to touch, and my leg otherwise felt good … well … better than yesterday.
A brief aside to update the condition of my knee. For the past couple of weeks my leg has continued to feel a little better each morning. I’m down to just using the cane when I’m going to be walking more than a few hundred yards or standing for more than half an hour . . . but I am still walking with something halfway between a limp and a hitch. Things have been so good, though, that twice now I ALMOST forgot the the cane while bustling out the door in the morning. But the hitch in my step reminds me before I even get to the lobby of my building. So, yeah … progress.
I decided to go about my day and keep an eye on the shin. If the redness or swelling or heat got worse, I’d go to urgent care … otherwise I’d count it as another little annoyance of minor illness & injury.
At work my schedule is to work 9 hours Mon–Thu and only four hours on Friday, which made today a half day. And that all went swimmingly. I got a bunch done and I got out of the office on time, which was good because I had to drive down to Tacoma so that I could teach a class on drawing as part of Atomic Comic Con. As I was leaving, I looked at my shin again and thought, “Yeah … the red area seems to be growing AND getting redder.” I touched it, and it was warmer than before, but still not alarmingly so. So I hopped in my car and drove south toward Tacoma.
I left to make that 40 mile drive with 90 minutes before my class was scheduled to begin … and I ran into traffic immediately … and it never let up for the whole 40 miles. It ended up taking me about 100 minutes to make the drive, so I was ten minutes late when I pulled up to the Tacoma Library, stepped out of the car, and felt a brief shooting pain lance from the area of my ankle straight up to the outside of my thigh. I looked down, and saw that the shin was definitely redder still.
But I was already hear, and an additional hour wouldn’t do any harm, so I went in and taught the drawing class. It was a lot of fun. The kids (and their parents) seemed to enjoy it and so did I … except that my leg hurt. So when the class was over, instead of sticking around and enjoying the convention, I hopped back in my car and drove back to north and straight to the urgent care.
I got in fairly quickly, and the doctor very quickly assessed that it was cellulitis and determined what course of medication she wanted me to take. But she also was asking me general healthvcare questions (like doctors do, this being the first time I’d seen her at the clinic) and she was particularly keen on the matter of whether or not I was diabetic. I told her that I currently do not have a primary physician … and it’s been quite a while since I was tested, so I really couldn’t give her a definitive answer. This vexed her some, and she asked if I would be interested in drawing some blood to test for warning signs (or smoking guns). Since I’d be foolish NOT to want to know the answer for sure, I agreed.
Then things got weird. Because while the doctor had been in the examination room with me, one of the nurses had gone home sick, and another had called in sick … so suddenly there was just one office clerk, one nurse, and one doctor … and a line-up of patients waiting to be seen. What the meant to me was when the doctor left saying that one of the nurses would be in shortly to draw blood, what ACTUALLY happened was I sat in the examination room waiting for about 45 minutes (it might actually have been more than that).
When the nurse DID come in to draw blood, we chatted pleasantly … but she had a hard time finding a vein. And after she tried one that failed to produce … the puncture wound decided to produce after the needle was removed. She found a better vein on the other arm, but now I’ve got cotton swabs and sticky tape on BOTH of my hairy arms.
Then, again because of the staffing situation, the “ten minute” wait to get the results of the test stretched into at least twenty. But when the doctor did return it was with a smile and news that my liver and kidney functions and glucose level were all solidly normal … so all signs point to me not being diabetic (though if I want to stay that way I do have to get and stay serious about watching my diet and exercising more). As a side note, my blood pressure was as good as it’s been in a year or more (upper end of normal rather than borderline too high).
All of this took so much time that after checking out of the clinic I had to hurry over to the pharmacy before it closed for the night. (Yes, by this time the whole afternoon and most of the early evening was gone.) Again, mission accomplished, but my leg was still aching … and I still had one more errand to run … oh … and dinner to get, because I hadn’t had anything substantive to eat since an orange at 11AM.
My final task was to go feed and spend some socializing time with the cat of some friends who are out of town. I brought some dinner for me, too, so the cat and I ate together, then did the usual “pet me … that’s enough … why aren’t you petting me?!?!” dance for a while. And when I finally pulled up to my apartment, it was 10:30PM … the “day” was well and truly gone … except for this last stretch where I’ve been kvetching about it to anyone silly enough to still be reading this.
So yeah. That’s how my day was. How about yours?