Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Valve Failure

Well, at forty-five years of age, physiological failure has finally begun. This evening as I was ushering for the Shoreline Ringers benefit concert, I experienced my first leg vein valve failure. In other words, I now have a varicose vein in an appendage, my left leg to be exact.

I was standing by the door to the sanctuary when I felt a momentary pain, much like a horsefly bite. The spot began to itch almost immediately, feeding my idea that the pain was from a bug. Yet, when I reached down to scratch the itching spot, I felt what was a developing hematoma just below, behind, and to the left of my knee. I kept an eye on it during the concert and, when I got home, made the decision to visit the Pequot Health Center to make sure nothing serious had happened.

I suspected a burst blood vessel and, sure enough, that’s what it was. My father had numerous varicose veins in his legs, so I guess I am genetically predisposed to them. Short-term medical treatment: compression bandage, ice, elevation for a few days, and watch for the development of phlebitis. Long-term medical advice: lose weight and exercise daily (preferably swimming or biking to ease pressure on the legs during exertion). I forgot to ask about weight training.

So now I am home with an ace bandage around my leg and ice below/behind my knee, with my leg elevated on a bunch of pillows, watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Not where I had planned to be at 11:30 PM on a Tuesday night. Oh, well. I’m just glad it wasn’t anything more serious and complicated.

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