It started the day after Christmas. For a week or more I had been having trouble with my left leg…weakness, pain…and by the day after Christmas I could barely stand on it. Pulling my pants leg up, I examined the offending limb and was shocked to realize that it was roughly twice the size of my healthy right leg.
“Honey, I think I may have a problem.”
Mel walked over, took one look at my leg and gave me the ultimatum; “I’m taking you to the emergency room.”
Oh hell no! I purposed an alternate solution: “Call the doctor and see if they can see me and I will go in there.”
Now I have a great doctor. He is set up in a large medical center and he will take patents who have no insurance. All you do is pay fifty dollars up front, when you walk in, to cover the office visit and he keeps the tests to a minimum.
She didn’t like it but she agreed and made the call. I figured it would probably take a week or more to get an appointment this soon after Christmas so I was not going to have to endure his poking and prodding for awhile. Imagine my surprise when the nurse told my wife: “Get him in here within the hour and we will work him in.”
So, trapped by my own devices, I had no choice but to bundle up and head to the city to see the doctor. Once there, it only took minutes before I was ushered into an examination room and before I knew it the doctor came bustling in wanting to know the problem. I explained as best I could, then I showed him the leg. He poked and prodded…it’s what they do. He asked a few questions and I answered them, then a funny thing happened. I actually saw panic in his eyes.
He told me that it was possible that I had a blood clot in the leg and if that clot broke free, which it could at any minute, it would travel to either my heart or lungs and kill me.
In that moment I stared into a very deep and dark abyss.
The doctor informed me that he was sending me downstairs to have a test done to find out if it was indeed a blood clot.
“Hold up doc,” I said. “How much does the test cost?” He told me and I nodded agreement. I figured the bank account could cover that one.
“If it is a clot we will need to get you right into the hospital and start you on a blood thinner and you may need surgery.”
I closed my eyes and gave a loud sigh. I guess I knew a day like this was coming and a decision like this was going to have to be made. I just wish it wasn’t now….this day.
“Doc,” I replied, trying to keep the emotion out of my voice. “You and I both know there’s not a hospital anywhere that’ll take an old man with no insurance and perform the costly procedure it would take to fix a clot. If there is a clot, just let me go home and do whatever I can there.”
I could see it in his face; he knew I was right. “Let’s just get the test done,” He said. “Then we will go from there.”
I agreed. So I was loaded into a wheelchair and with Melinda pushing, we began the long journey to the labs. Down two floors and across two long hallways that seemed to stretch on forever she pushed and I rode. Neither of us could find the courage to talk.
The test…an ultra-sound…was done quickly and we were told the head Naboo who determines the results would be back within a couple of hours to give his determination on what the test showed. So left with no other option but to wait, I told Mel we should go and have lunch somewhere to pass the time. We had a nice lunch. We laughed and talked about the ranch and the animals and anything but what we were both thinking about….the damn tests.
The longest two hours of my life.
But, as hours are prone to do, these two passed and I found myself back in the exam room and confronting the doctor.
The News: It was not a blood clot. Bullet dodged. It was a couple of weak veins that allowed blood to leak into the leg and the blood was pooling and causing the infection. This could be treated with antibiotics and bed rest…two weeks minimum. There was also the matter of wearing a ace bandage on the leg and keeping hot packs on it. No problem. No hospital.
So that is where I am today and it is why I have not been around the blogs much lately if anyone has wondered.
Now the Hillary part: I heard yesterday that the Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton has been diagnosed with a life threatening blood clot. Wow, me and Hillary ALMOST had something in common. Of course she, being the Sec. of State and a fairly rich white lady, has an army of bright young doctors standing by to move heaven and earth to get her well whereas if I had of had that clot….well…let’s just say I wouldn’t be making any long range plans.
Health Care in America? Oh yeah, it’s reformed isn’t it. I’m old, I’m sick, and I find myself just not caring anymore. Bring on that Fiscal Cliff and let’s all go over it together…Me, you, Hillary…everybody and maybe, when we hit the bottom and are blasted into pieces, we can pick ourselves up and start to put the pieces back together again. Maybe we all need to stare into the Abyss in order to see what is really important…or…maybe not. What the hell do I know, I’m just a sick old farmer who almost had something in common with Hillary.