Posted by: cg00n | August 23, 2008

That was interesting

Went out to watch a “hand mowing” competition today, where contestants have to scythe a chunk of field.  I felt fine initially but after standing in the sun (hot day but wearing a hat) I suddenly started to feel shaky and a bit nauseous.  It still seems as though the hypnotherapy is doing some good because I didn’t feel panicky at all.  I sat down in the shade and got my head between my knees.  That helped a bit.  After an apple, a PowerAid drink and some ginger snaps the shakiness had more or less gone along with the majority of the nausea.  That all took maybe half an hour.  A couple of hours later I am home again still feeling quite woozy with a slightly elevated pulse rate (not much) and that sort of sensitive skin one gets (well, I do anyway) sometimes during a cold or flu.  I have drunk a little more salt water but that doesn’t seem to be helping.

Most of what I was feeling a week or so ago seems to have its origin in the physical symptoms.  Now the big question is: WTF is it?  Could it be:

  • heat stroke or sun stroke?
  • the water I drank last night at the concert in the church?
  • a shortage of some chemical(s), possibly induced by a longish day sitting in quite hot places yesterday?
  • some combination of the above?

My learned friends, bring me your wisdom.  It is at least comforting to know that whatever this is may be a little easier to overcome than I had thought.  For now I’m going to go and lie down in a cool place.

Update 1, 24 hours later:

I think most of that stuff I wrote yesterday was a load of dingo’s kidneys.  Probaby what I have is some kind of 24-hour ‘flu.  My temperature is more or less normal again now and the rest of me seems to be coming around.  It is still comforting that my brain didn’t start interpreting yesterday’s symptoms as anxiety but I don’t think it bears much on what happened a week or so ago.

Update 2, 2 days later:

P called the surgeon’s office this morning about the red patches on my right leg (I didn’t mention those, did I?) and was told it could indicate an infection, quite common in conjunction with lymphedema.  She promptly packed me off to the family doctor.  He couldn’t decide whether or not it might be a blood clot, so he sent me for a D-Dimer blood test.  Having specified he wanted the results “stat” (what is the etymology of that word?) after a half hour wait back at his office he was able to tell me that the results were inconclusive and sent me off to an emergency room for an ultrasound scan to try and find the purported clot.  I spent the rest of the day waiting there while P took the groceries home and came back to make sure I hadn’t expired from boredom.  I finally saw a doctor there at about 8:30pm by which time it was too late to get the ultrasound scan done anyway.  As a result I have been given both an antibiotic and a blood thinner and told to come back tomorrow to get the scan done.

I really hope this isn’t going to set the pattern for the rest of my life!

Update 3: 3 days later

The ultrasound scan revealed nothing sinister and the red patches are rapidly disappearing, so it seems likely that this was a cellulitis infection. cellulitis

I still have to go for one more ultrasound in a week just in case the purported clot was lower down my leg and manages to float up, but I don’t think anyone believes there is any more to be learned.  I have learned a lot about the care and tending that will be required by my poor, much misused leg!

Update 4 (final): 1 week later

Had the second ultrasound on Sep. 2nd which revealed no indication of a blood clot.  So, with the red patches all gone we assume that what I had was, indeed, cellulitis and that there never was a blood clot.  Works for me.



  1. Hmmm … if it is feast or famine with medical personnel and tests it seems you are in the feast mode. Waiting takes up a lot of time. When you are in the middle of things … tests, treatments and medical appointment can define the structure of your life.

    I trust all will be well when you get the test results.

  2. The OED says that “stat” is an abbreviation of the Latin word “statim”, used on prescriptions to mean “give it to the patient right away”. The Perseus Project defines “statim” as (my phrasing)
    a)firmly, unyieldingly, constantly, unceasingly
    b)steadily, regularly
    c)on the spot, instantly
    d)just after another thing
    e)only just now, newly, recently

    The OED’s ealiest instance is Victorian, 1875. An interesting word.

  3. Rick had cellulitis in one leg about a month ago, and we have no idea how it got started. I had to convince him to go to Emergency, where we sat for about 5 hours while he got xrays and blood tests and the like. They had him in for 2 I-V antibiotic sessions (one was the following morning at 5 a.m.), and then oral antibiotics for a week. It cleared up quickly, but I was rather freaked when I read up about the “worst case scenario” of cellulitis, being flesh-eating disease.

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