What I did after my holiday

This week has been somewhat eventful.

While in San Francisco, I managed to bark my shin on the metal step of a streetcar. A queue of people were boarding – those in front of me stopped, those behind didn’t, jostling me forward.

It hurt like hell for a good half-hour, but then it quickly dulled to an ache – nothing to worry about. The skin was broken, so I found a chemist, and applied antiseptic. I then got on with my holiday – it didn’t stop me walking or otherwise hold me back.

Just before I flew back, I noticed that my shin felt warm, and the skin around the cut looked red. I applied more antiseptic, and put ice on it, which calmed it down. Again, I considered it only a minor annoyance. The day after I got back, my shin was still inflamed, so I made an appointment with my GP, just to be safe.

So I went into the doctor on Tuesday, explained what had happened, and that I thought I may have cellulitis or something similar. He agreed, and gave me a week’s antibiotics. He then started talking about DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). I said I didn’t think that was a problem, as I had no history of it, I always wear compression socks when flying, and the pain was in my shin, not the calf or thigh muscles. Nevertheless, he insisted.

Which means that on Tuesday, I had to have two blood thinning injections to the stomach. On Wednesday, I returned in the morning for blood tests, and in the afternoon for two more injections, also to the stomach. This morning (Thursday) I spent at Peterborough’s shiny new hospital, answering the same questions my GP had asked, having further blood tests, and having my leg scanned by ultrasound.

During the morning, I think I was asked by 3 different people how long had I had calf pain – each time, I patiently said that I thought there was nothing wrong with my calf, my pain was in my shin, because I had banged it against a step. It didn’t seem an unreasonable diagnosis to me.

Finally, they let me go – no DVT, no problem. “But that cut looks inflamed – you’d better see your GP about it.”

3 Comments

  1. It could have been worse. If you ask for a “chemist” in the US, you’re apt to be sent to a university chemistry department.

    • Avatar
      chris
      March 26, 2011

      Oh, I didn’t need to ask, I just walked into a place I passed that looked right. Of course, it was a pharmacy, but my mind was thinking “chemist”.

      Generally speaking, we do use the word pharmacy over here, but it tends to be the *department* of the shop we call the chemist, for the prescription only medicines. So you would go into a chemists, and then go to the pharmacy counter.

      (Although I am always wary of saying “this is what we say here”, as there is so much variance across the country)

  2. Avatar
    chris
    March 26, 2011

    As an aside, up until yesterday, I was wondering why it was taking so long after my flight back for me to stop feeling tired all the time.

    Then the penny dropped – I have been on high-dosage antibiotics since Tuesday. That will do it.

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