This watery reflection is a statute of a famous author, Dante. I took the picture in Florence, but thought about him last week in Athens. He is the author of the Divine Comedy, it’s not a book many have read, but one of the most influential. In the book, Dante describes a journey to Hell in a section called the Inferno. His imagery influenced people from the 1300’s to the present. In the book, he describes a long descending journey of pain and suffering.
Monday was just such a day. I went to bed on Sunday night with a mild scare. I looked into my eye and saw what I thought was a worm. I was horrified. I steeled myself and swished it out of my eye. I realized it was not a worm but a long mass of eye goo. I thought I must have gotten a hair in my eye and snuggled in my bed thankful it was not a worm.
I woke up on Monday too early. I’m still not back in Central Time Zone, so I tried to ignore being awake and go back to sleep. I tried not to move, I did not open my eyes. A deep piercing pain made itself known from deep within my right calf muscle. The very first thought I had was, “I have another blood clot.”
My eye shot open. My left eye opened. My right eye stayed glued shut. I crawled out of bed and went to the mirror. A crusty eye residue had woven itself through my eye lashes. I woke Cindy up to look at my eye (isn’t that a great way to wake up, “Hey honey, look at this goo'“). We both agreed I had Pink Eye. I laid back down waiting to call the Doctor for the inevitable appointment. My leg ached.
Cindy wake up an hour later and the goo was in her eye. She had it too. We both went to the same Doctor’s appointment and the eyes were easily diagnosed, and prescriptions ordered. Then I broached the subject of my leg. The pain had been unrelenting. I was sure it was a blood clot. The exam in the room was inconclusive, but due to my history I was hustled off to the hospital for an ultrasound exam on the leg. It confirmed what I believed that I had a blood clot in my right leg. Now both of my legs have had a blood clot in the same place.
I can tell you I felt frustrated and embarrassed. The questions people almost always ask are very blaming, “Do you drink enough water?” No, but there is no direct link to this and clots. “Do you walk around on those flights?” Yes, I’m so worried about this that I rarely rest well on planes and get up and walk around ever 2 hours. “Do you wear support socks?” Yes, every day, all day. “Are you on blood thinners?” Yes, I was on an aspirin regime, but now am on Xarelto. I hate that my body is betraying me.
I left the doctor very discouraged. I went to visit a friend who lifted my spirits. Then I went home and got the stomach bug that is going around. The waves a nausea were debilitating. If I had had the courage to expel the contents of my stomach it might have helped, but mostly I curled into a ball and spun in the darkness. The next day was lost in a fog of illness.
Why do I tell you this? Because I don’t want you to pat me on the back and make sweet eyes and nod your head in sympathy. People have heard of my ails already and I want everyone to agree to ignore them! If you need to say anything to me, just shake your head and say, “Bummer.” I’ll know that means you feel my pain and are on my side. Say it real quiet so that my leg will not hear it. I don’t want to give my leg too much attention because it might just try this behavior again.
I praying for better days this week.