So, just over a week ago, doctors found a blood clot in my leg, blocking one of the veins in my calf. Only partially blocking, I think, and it’s not a very big clot. No one seems to be deeply worried about it, so I’m trying not to be either.
It does, however, mean that two things have changed: I have to wear compression stockings all day every day for somewhere up to 2 years (I’m going to seek specialist advice on this in a couple of months; 2 years is a ridiculously long time, surely not everyone with DVT wears these daft socks for 2 years!) and I have to have daily injections of blood thinners for the next 3 months.
The sexy, sexy stockings the hospital gave me are, frankly, hideous. They’re white, and they don’t really fit well (they don’t stay up, which kind of defeats the object, really) and they’re hot and sweaty and ugly. Luckily, the private sector has stepped up to the plate here, and I have found some nearly skin coloured, open-toed versions that fit properly and mean I can wear flip-flops. So things are looking up on that front. I just need to buy a second pair, and then I’ll be set.
For the injections, well, they’re a bit of a hassle. They are pre-filled syringes that need to be injected into my stomach, changing side each day. I had been going to the nurse up the road so she could do them, and a nurse had been coming to my house at the weekend to do them. But that’s a bit of a hassle, and not really convenient for the next 3 months, although everyone has assured me that they don’t mind at all and are happy to help, which is lovely. In fact, everyone’s been lovely – my doctors have called and emailed me to check I’m ok, the nurses have been so helpful and nice, it’s been reassuring, given how terrified I’ve been of getting a DVT. (In my head, if you got DVT, you were going to die because bits of it could come off and go into your lungs and kill you at any moment. This is possible, but I’m told it’s only really a problem if you don’t know you’ve got a clot, and so aren’t taking the blood thinners. The blood thinners are supposed to stop new clots forming, stop this one moving, and give my body the time it needs to dissolve and absorb the clot.)
So, given the hassle of going to the nurse every day for injections, I’ve been super-brave and learnt how to do them myself. Today is the 4th time I’ve injected myself, and the second time I’ve done it unsupervised. I’m sure this will get easier with practice, and I’m assured the injections are pretty much idiot-proof, but I’m still kind of terrified that I’m fucking it up somehow and might accidentally kill myself. I know, rationally, that this is extremely unlikely – they wouldn’t let me do it, if it were likely (or even, really, possible) for me to fuck things up like that but still. Anxiety kicks in every single time I inject myself, and takes a while to dissipate afterwards. Hence this post, which is trying to write it all away…
I am proud of myself for being able to give myself the injections, even if I’m all anxious about it afterwards. That will presumably fade as I don’t, in fact, die as a result of injecting myself. I’m not great with needles at the best of times, so this is quite a big step for me. And it will make my life a lot easier to manage, now I have proper socks and can do my own injections. I shall be so very glad when they can stop though – which, all going well, should happen just before my wedding anniversary. So that’ll be a nice present, at least!
Wish me luck, and if anyone has any suggestions for making life easier with deep vein thrombosis, or dealing with anxiety and general freaking out, please do share!