So, about two and a half weeks ago, I sprinted to catch the bus on a Monday night and my leg just went NOPE. Just this stab of extremely sharp pain and then it was extraordinarily hard to put weight on it. It wasn’t traumatic or anything, but definitely an embarrassing reminder that I’m getting kinda, well, old. It was hard to walk on for a few days but the pain went away after a week…
and then a week after that, this happened-
A map of Norway, Sweden and Iceland miraculously appeared on my leg.
That’s not good. Not good at all. See, one of the fun parts about being a trans woman is this thing called Deep Vein Thrombosis. Usually you don’t have to worry about it if you don’t smoke, which I don’t, (lol triple negative) but as an estrogenated trans lady of a certain advanced age that spends the vast majority of her day sitting down, I’m still a contender.
So I went to a nearby clinic, hoping beyond hope to be called a silly drama queen scared of a yoga injury or something. Except the nurse took a few looks at it, poked around and handed me this-
WELL THIS IS… UM… WHAT IS THIS
That’s an imaging request for an ultrasound of my leg. One of those nice humbling times that it sucks to be proven right, having a doctor pretty much say YEAH GURL THAT DOES LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE KIND OF THING THAT COULD FUCK YOU UP BETTER CHECK FOR SURE. The rest of the weekend was dominated with stories and stress about things like strokes and pulmonary embolisms and, even worse, possibly having my HRT halted. To be honest, I’d rather spontaneously choke to death on my own blood than quit HRT (because we know how that turned out last time). I even considered seriously how well I could pull off a sort of Phantom Of The Opera/Vanilla Sky look if my face wound up paralyzed. I was going kind of bonkers because I was literally scared half to death at this point.
Funny thing about trying to book an ultrasound on a weekend, tho:
After calling dozens of places, I finally just went to the emergency room because I was going to completely lose it if I had to wait any longer.
And here’s the part where I pretend I watched anything but Spongebob.
Emergency Room Selfies: Probably a thing I guess.
Because I’m so brilliant and much observant, I wound up in the ER of a Christian hospital. They even had a little disapproving Jesus fellow to watch me in disappointment as I “disrobed from the waist down” per doctor instructions.
The staff was actually hella cool about everything, all things considered. I mean, thank Jesus (so to speak) for gender identity protection legislation, but they seemed to be genuinely eager to get chosen name/pronouns right and acted as though making someone comfortable whose life is at stake and literally in their hands was part of their job or something. A really pleasant surprise, to be honest.
Look how thrilled I am.
The thing about deep vein thrombosis tho is that if you haven’t died on the way to the hospital, once you’re there it’s fairly easy to treat. It was almost anticlimactic. They brought in the ultrasound (which they wouldn’t let me take a pic of, spoilsports) and they spread some goop around my leg and waved a wand on it while the machine made Darth Vader noises. Half an hour later it was clear that what I had was a bloodclot in the deep muscle, not in the deep vein. But of course, there was no way to find that out without the ultrasound. So the ER visit was necessary, but ultimately I turned out ok.
So, like I’m not gonna die or whatever. Not like whatever spiritual force that is keeping here isn’t doing it out of spite anyway.
Seriously, look how thrilled I am.