Well, I guess that depends on which second you’re asking me?
I go from ‘everything is normal, what are you talking about,’ to ‘Oh my God I could die at any second!’ Often in the span of the same 60 seconds…
To catch you up to speed, I had ‘routine’ surgery just less than a week ago. Arthroscopy of the left knee to be specific, the third time I’ve had such a procedure done on my knees. It IS routine, and I suspect that a year from now I’ll look back at this moment in time with a bit of an attitude of ‘what were you really worried about?’
Yet it wasn’t routine either. Just as the surgeon had cautioned, no surgery is ever completely without risk, and so far, I’m living proof of that. Pain. In the left calf. Symptom #1 on the sheet of post-op instructions that say “call us immediately” if you experience this. So I called. Had another test which confirmed what I was already pretty certain existed:
A blood clot.
Or is it: A BLOOD CLOT!?!
Depends on which second you ask me. Most of the time, it’s ‘a blood clot.’ Yeah, it exists. Yes, it’s a concern. Yes, take it seriously. Yes, there are treatments, and yes, you’ll be fine.
Yet I’ve never dealt with this before. And it sounds SERIOUS. And by the reactions of those closest to me, it sounds REALLY SERIOUS. And from what I know of this life I’ve lived so far, a blood clot DOES sound serious. It’s killed people before, hasn’t it? Hell yes, I’d say that qualifies as cause for concern!
It’s this ‘space between’ that I find really fascinating. You see, I have an appointment with a doctor in an hour. But so far, nobody that I’ve seen in the medical community has reacted with any sort of increased fear or trepidation. Until such time as I meet with the doctor and he tells me that I should be worried, I’m not gonna worry. Or at least try not.
It’s the concern and support and reactions of my family and friends (some of whom DO have medical background or experience) that make me feel like I should ‘Take This SERIOUSLY.’ Ok. Thank you. Like how? What am I supposed to do?
I feel as if I have this ticking time-bomb sitting in my leg, just waiting to explode. Sneeze. Bump your leg. Fart. Any or all of them could dislodge the clot and send it immediately on its path to your brain or lungs and THAT IS ALL.
So what? Sit home and worry? (Ok, I’m kinda doing that). Go on about your day as if nothing is different? (Really, that’s what I’m doing because other than what feels like a cramp in my leg, I FEEL fine.)
How am I really feeling?
If I’m honest, ‘terrified’ isn’t far off. But of what? Death? Life perhaps? That’s a fun and interesting proposition. ‘Afraid of LIVING.’ What are you here for? Are you DOING it?
Newsflash: If you’re reading this, YOU’RE GOING TO DIE. We just don’t know when. Is that a blessing? A curse? Both more likely?
I’m thankful. I’ve lived a great life to this point. I hope and expect to live many more productive and happy years. But I may not. And if you’re given a diagnosis or a time-frame, what will you do in that time?
What WILL YOU DO?
I’m scared. And I’m happy. A blood clot helps me to think about my life and how I want to live.