I don’t want to tell this story, really, but I will anyways.
On Wednesday afternoon I felt a strange burning on my left calf–in the area where my wound was from 10 days ago. Later that night after being on my feet for a few hours at some meetings, as I got undressed I realized that my lower leg was raw and swollen. I passed the night feverish and in increasing pain. By Thursday morning I realized that I needed to see a doctor, and soon.
It’s hard having just one leg, to have something go awry like this. Ambulation became nearly impossible, I couldn’t drive, I was getting increasingly scared about the hot red swelling spreading up my leg.
Long story short: I am on some antibiotics and I haven’t left the couch since returning home from the doctor. We are watching carefully for signs of further problems but so far all seems okay.
This incident has caused me to consider many things: the problems of antibiotic resistance, my vulnerability to infection, and my dependence on John & the kids. I find myself continuingly grateful for a spouse who keeps a job that he dislikes so I can have good health insurance.
But the overriding emotion for me, in all this, has been fear. I am scared of pain, of being bedridden, and of having my body be out of my control. Even as I write this there’s a big knot in my stomach. Because I remember another time when my leg was red and swollen and I started spending most of my days on the couch. Since then I don’t think there’s ever been a day that I have not felt afraid that it could happen again. To me. Or to one that I love.