Finding Out – Part I

Finding Out – Part I

Of course once I was diagnosed with leukemia I immediately understood why I had become so tired so often beginning sometime around the end of July 2009. Physically, the year started out great. I had ankle surgery in 2007 for a dislocated tendon on my left ankle so I had not really worked out since then. But at the beginning of 2009 my ankle felt pretty good and I began running and working out. I kept it up until mid-August when I had to stop because I just did not have the energy to work out any more. I assumed it was because of Lyme disease. I was infected with that garbage way back in 2005 and had been suffering from its symptoms–lethargy and achy joints–ever since. As a result, I was not too concerned about my health at that time.

It was not until mid-November when my body made some physical alterations that forced me to take note. I was out mowing the grass, typically a three-hour project, when suddenly all of my energy drained from me. I was only about an hour into the job but I had to stop. Football was on so it was not too hard to convince myself to take a break. I made it to the TV room, put on the game and kicked my feet up. Because I was so exhausted, I fell asleep almost immediately but was soon awaken by severe cramping in my left calf and foot. My feet and ankles occasionally cramp up when I sleep so, again, I did not think much about it, even though the cramps continued through most of the afternoon.

When I woke up the next day I had what I thought was a big charlie horse in my left calf. Also, my left ankle was swollen and sore. I wrapped them and off to work I went. This went on for a week when I went to the doctor’s for a check up. I still thought I was suffering from a muscle cramp so that was how I articulated the symptoms to my doctor. He checked out my leg and told me to come back in a week if the condition persisted. The condition persisted and by a week later, my entire calf and ankle had swollen to what seemed was double its size. Back to the doctor I went. My doctor was not available so I was seen by my wife’s doctor. By this time I knew I was not suffering from a muscle cramp. I thought that perhaps I got bitten by a bug or some other poisonous critter and that is what I told my wife’s doctor. She took one look at my leg and without hesitation told me that I was suffering from blood clots.

Blood clots!? What the–! What is a healthy, forty-four year-old guy like me doing with blood clots? I do not eat too much junk. I do not smoke. I drink too much wine and coffee perhaps, but is seems that they should thin my blood, right? And what the heck did I do all that working out practically all year for if I still ended up with blood clots? I did not have too much time to reflect in the doctor’s office because she immediately sent me off to the emergency room. On my drive over, I did reflect. More accurately, I stressed out on the fact that I may soon be on blood thinning medicine, perhaps even the same medicine that my father is on. I was still battling with my current state of affairs when I limped my way in to the emergency room.

9 thoughts on “Finding Out – Part I”

  1. Hi Kurt!

    Just to let you know that with Jodi I am sharing this adventure with you. Your writings seem like we are there in person and this brings you so close to us.

    Stay strong!

  2. This should make everyone reflect about their own health. Your symptoms are ones that I wouldn’t have thought anything of.

    • Definitely. Luckily, I was able to find out about the disease relatively early–at least before it hit the nervous system. Usually I am very resistant to going to the doctors, but I got lucky this time. Please get regular check ups and blood tests.

  3. Kurt,
    Thank you for sharing your feelings and thought with us. It is good for you, your friends and family, especially who lives a little bit far away from you. I really wish we can visit you soon. Thanks for the Internet which connects us so close.

    • Hi Chihi,
      I too am thankful for the internet to keep us close even though we are so far away. Please give Naomi and Jouji a big hug and kiss for me. Love kurt

  4. Kurt,
    I have been following your blog and though we have never met I feel like I am getting to know you. You have to be a great guy because your parents are two of my favorite people iin the whole world. Stray strong and know that our prayers are with you Kurt.


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