Simply walking down my own hallway last Wednesday morning, I felt what I could best describe at a guitar string snapping within my calf muscle. It HURT! If I tried to bear weight on the right leg, it felt like I would crumple onto the floor in a heap.
“What The Fructose?” Is a term I got from a cool guy on Twitter, Mike Durbin (@MyDiabeticHeart) and he coined that “Fructose” to not use the USUAL word in “WTF?”. After a bit of hopping along and leaning on my walls, I remembered a VERY cool cane I was given about 11 years ago. The cane looks like something from Middle-Earth! It is very old, and I don’t want to break it or anything, but I used it about the house. It’s apparently made from a bit of wood on someone’s property and the guy made it into a cane.
I never thought I would ever really NEED it, but I did.
I know enough to stay off the leg, I grabbed an ice pack, and elevated it through the day, I have a wedge for elevating from when my fellow broke his own leg last year. He’d gotten a pretty tasty Tib/Fib fracture at work on the 7th of December 2011. We still have a walker, commode chair and that wedge. I mainly rested and waited to see if it was any better the next day.
On Thursday morning, I thought I should at least call my general Practitioner and tell them what happened. If they wanted me to come in or whatever, fine. I have had insulin-dependent diabetes for a little over 28 years now, so it’s always best to be cautious in matters of ones’ legs, unexplained pains or such. At 9:20 AM I phoned their office.
I reached their Exchange (Answering service). I asked if the office was open and the operator said they were open. He didn’t know why I was reaching them. “I’ll take your number and fax it to them. They should call you back very soon.” … I never got called back. This is not the first time this has happened either. I really like my PCP, but no one should have to go through applying for a Papal Audience to set an appointment, especially if its an unexplainable leg injury to a person with diabetes. No one.
My ‘Ire’ was up, and I sought out a new PCP. I called their office to make sure they could accept new patients, and they could. I made an appointment with them and then called my insurance to clear the move to a new PCP. By Thursday night, my leg would still hurt if I walked normally, but felt a bit better, so my fellow bought me a collapsible cane to use at work. As he’d taken friday off, he drove me to and from work. My concern was playing in my head, so we went to a couple of ‘Urgent care’ centers listed in my Insurance’s iPhone/iPad app. Thinking they would at least say ‘Nothing to worry about, do this, keep it elevated and see your PCP in a few days.’
I have insurance through OneCare, which is a mix of Medi-Cal/Medicare, and my network is a well-known insurer. *I* thought I could be seen at the urgent care centers they listed but I couldn’t! NONE of them would see me because of being on OneCare. The second place on Barranca was very nice about it, saying I had every right to go to ER over on Sand Canyon (About 5 minutes away) and the ER would have far better diagnostic tools. Ultrasound, to name one, in order to rule out possible blood clots etc. *I* felt it was nuts to make me go to an ER for over a thousand bucks cost as opposed to an urgent care for $166.00.
We went to the ER, I felt like a hoser, making a big deal over nothing. The ER itself was quiet and calm, I was seen in 10 minutes, Given an ultrasound and no clots or anything evil was found. P.A. and others all said it is a common problem called a “Plantaris Rupture” In other words, a torn calf muscle. When I expressed concern based on the fact I wasn’t running, playing soccer or performing feats of Derring-Do, they said it’s very common. This is also called “Tennis Leg” … Another sport I have not taken part in in years! “Sally” wrapped my leg in a light ACE bandage and they said that ideally, one should take a week off and rest, elevate and ice it.
We got home at 10:30PM and I decided to take Saturday off. I had Sunday off, so 2 days of resting it should help. I came back to work on Monday and Tuesday, so it will be OK. I used my cane and did take a taxi to work. My guy picked me up after work.
So, today, I am sitting at my blog posting about this. I am still being gentle on the leg, because if I do walk normally on it there is light pain. I do not want to cause a relapse. I want to be well and back to my normal ability. Plans are to take it easy this week, then try to be ‘normal’ by Sunday/Monday.
Other content in here is how it was wrong to have NO ACCESS to my PCP with a simple phone call! How I could NOT be seen at Urgent care centers based on being a Medi-Medi patient, yet these centers are listed in the insurance’s “Care Finder” App. This made me feel like -I guess- an Undesirable or Pariah of sorts.
Yes, it was good to get the diagnostic done. Yes, I’m relieved it is common, but the fact I got this while doing a simple act of walking in my hallway got me pretty scared. I am by no means any “Hard-Body” athlete, but I’m not 96 years old, either. This little episode scared me. Blood glucose has been pretty good, considering my activity level is stemmed a bit.
I do hope that this is not a frequent occurrence. I will not be doing any ‘stretching’ for another week or so, and then it’ll be slow and steady.
I hope you have a great week, and a sane Holiday season 🙂