Thursday, July 14, 2016

Medical Digression

As briefly referred to in my last post, I began having problems back in Ohio with a swollen left foot and lower leg. The right was also swollen but no where near as much. I've had problems with the left leg for a while now primarily due to significant arthritis in the left hip joint. At first I just figured it was the lack of exercise and too much sitting so focused on trying to move around more often and get my foot up as much as I could.

It doesn't look too bad in this photo but the toes weren't at the little sausages point when it was taken. The skin would be all tight and stretched feeling and the ankle was too stuffed to move reasonably.

But all across Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado and into New Mexico and Arizona it persisted, as stubborn as can be. Not being near any of my own doctors we procrastinated going to an emergency center but by the time we reached Camp Verde, Arizona, we were both getting concerned about it.

My sister lives near there and so I called asking her about the quality of local possibilities and she was most encouraging about the Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood. I have been in and out of that area much of my life so felt more comfortable there than some where totally strange so Sunday morning we showed up at the center.

The personnel were very nice and spent most of the morning running various tests. The x-ray went smoothly, making sure there was no hidden underlying injury to the foot or ankle.

The blood tests that followed were a bit more of a problem as my veins decided to go into hiding or something like that and refused to part with any amount of blood. Finally the lab worker used a pediatric needle and a syringe to scoop up my recalcitrant blood for three or four tests.

Not sure what all they were looking for but infection was one of them and as it turned out, they found nothing.

From there it was off to get an ultrasound of the veins to look for the other likely problem, a clot in one of the veins. My leg did not like some of the positions this required but good news, no clots.

What did it all come down to? None of the dangerous problems existed, no infection, no clots, no internal issues ... diagnosis? Probably mostly heat related and the best thing to do was try to exercise it some, keep it elevated as much as possible, stay hydrated, and take it easy.

So now I try to minimize how much I get in and out of the coach as that seems to aggravate the whole leg, spend time several times a day laying down to get the foot elevated enough and drink plenty of fluids. It also seems to help to simply sit and exercise the ankle and foot by moving them like one would rocking a chair or working a pump.

Final opinion of both the medical people and myself is that the hip replacement scheduled for August 23rd should help a lot both in clearing up issues but also in allowing exercise and such that are currently difficult.

A few more days in this hot area and then we move northwards hopefully into cooler weather!

PS, a note from some days later up in the northwest: the foot and ankle are a lot better, not all gone but much improved and seem to be slowly continuing to improve.

No comments:

Post a Comment