No big surprise there. Unless, of course, Dr. C. is wrong. But I doubt that. Nothing is more valuable in medicine than being able to have a face-to-face – or, in my case, face-to-ankle – consultation in order to make a diagnosis.
I have a superficial vein thrombosis, which causes almost exactly the symptoms I have. I'm on a prescription anti-inflammatory and I'm to rest as much as possible, but I can still take a daily walk. Just don't push it, he said. And don't run for a while. The Merck Manual also says hot compresses are beneficial.
The symptom that can't really be accounted for is the numbness, but he told me that the vein might be pressing on a nerve, and that can cause my foot to tingle and then go numb. I feel certain it will go away with time; after all, the other one did.
Our hospital cuts their fees in half (I had to have a blood test) if you pay cash on the spot, which I did. I figured I'm not going to make it to my $3000 deductible before January 1, 2010, and if I let them turn it in to Aetna, I'd end up paying twice as much out of pocket. Isn't it lovely to send the insurance company an obscene amount of money every month and then still pay for your own office visit and lab work?
We had a little excitement when the phone rang in the early afternoon. Dr. C. himself was calling to report the result of the blood test. This test (a D-Dimer) would, if the number were normal, rule out a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Normal is 550. Mine was 657. If I had a DVT, the number would have been 3000 or more. Dr. C. wanted me to have an ultrasound just to be sure; I declined. Eventually he said if it were his wife, he would take the wait-and-see approach as well.
I understand that he was covering his ass in urging me to come back for another test. He's being prudent and practicing good medicine. If I do end up with a DVT, I can't sue him for negligence, nor would I. I made the decision.
So there you have it. A couple weeks (I hope it's not longer!) of lying around the shanty and I should be good to go again.