I'm not really all that mysterious


You would think that being a trained medical professional would make me immune to supratentorial disorders.

Calvin playing doctor from “Calvin and Hobbes”

Be that as it may, I’ve tried my damndest to ignore this pain in my back and right leg. Sure, I’d had had to escalate my dose of OTC pain-killers to Tylenol 1250 mg every eight hours and Alleve 440 mg twice a day, but since it was doing the trick, I figured it was just some inflammation, and that it would eventually go away. Or I would get a bleeding ulcer or maybe fulminant hepatitis. Whatever, same difference.

But what really freaked me out was when the stuff didn’t touch it.

That’s when having a medical education starts becoming a problem.

You start thinking about all the random things you learned and wish you hadn’t.

Of course, it’s not cancer. As the esteemed governor of the State of California might say, “It’s not a tumor!” I mean, there is no mass in my leg. And it’s not really bone pain. (I don’t think.) I haven’t been losing weight. Sure, I’ve been getting night sweats (and maybe this is more a manifestation of my guilty conscience more than anything else), but I haven’t been spiking any fevers or having any chills. And sure, I’ve been having numbness and tingling down my right leg, but I haven’t been having any bowel or bladder incontinence. Besides, I’m like 30 years too young to be having prostate issues, much less bone metastases to my spine.

And I don’t think it’s a DVT. Even though I do get swelling around my ankle, it’s not like it’s a huge amount. And while my calf is killing me, it isn’t this point tenderness that I would expect if I had a clot blocking up my veins. It’s more of a gnawing sensation, really. And, as sedentary as I am, it’s not like I’m bed-ridden and completely immobile. I do get up to walk around once in a while. There aren’t any clotting disorders that run in my family.

So what could it be?

The logical thing would be to go and see my primary care physician. Barring that, I could probably ask anyone at work about my symptoms and maybe even have them look at my leg.

But, like the bastards who show up at the emergency room with horrific diseases that could’ve been prevented had they seen a doctor every year like they’re supposed to, I figured I would just wait.

The epilogue to all this is that I figured out it’s my stupid ankle that I ruined once and for all in 2001. To put it in medical mumbo-jumbo, the laxity of my anterior talofibular ligament has affected my gait, and because of the resultant abnormal body mechanics, it’s been affecting the more proximal muscles of my leg, eventually resulting in some impingement on my sciatic nerve, and causing muscle spasm in my paraspinal muscles. In other words, my ankle sprain has never healed, and it’s caused me to walk all funny, so that all my leg muscles are starting to hurt, and now my back muscles are causing problems too, not to mention my sciatic nerve.

So for the past week I’ve been hobbling along. Ever since I started wearing the ankle brace, the back pain has (mostly) gone away, the sciatic nerve pain has eased off, and I’m not having to gulp down fifty pills every morning, noon, and night like I was 60 years old.

The sad thing is that I only have guaranteed health insurance for the next nine months. You would think that I’d take advantage of it, but like must Americans, I guess I must be afraid of seeing doctors.

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