As with all things, there are always a few loose ends left to tie up, and such is the case with my recent hospitalization. In my case, they came by the way of a follow-up appointment with my primary care physician.
I got lucky in that the hospital had sent him a copy of their records concerning my visit. He was able to work with those to rule out the possibility of a heart attack. Instead, he believes I had a problem with my ulnar nerve. He said it can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack at times, thanks to its location. That explains why the paramedics didn’t pick up any of the stabbing pains I experienced on the night I was admitted to the hospital. In other words, wonderful—no heart attack.
If you’ll recall, I picked up a couple of injuries during my stay at the hospital, from the blood pressure cuff and from nearly blowing out my IV line trying to get out of bed. Well, it turns out that I also injured the back of my right leg, and I wouldn’t have caught it if my wife hadn’t noticed it. It started out as a two-inch bruise and has mutated into the monster you see on the right. It now covers practically the entire back surface of my calf. My doctor diagnosed this as a hematoma. I’m supposed to sit on a heating pad to make the main lump break up so that the whole thing can dissipate.
There was one other issue that my doctor dealt with which was not related to the hospital. I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but I have been dealing with an itchy, peeling bump on my right ear since around December of last year. It’s just a couple of millimeters wide, but it hurts. My doctor thought I might have a basal cell carcinoma (a form of cancer) and sent me to a skin cancer specialist to get it biopsied. The results came back the day after I got out of the hospital, and it’s not cancer (whew!). Instead, it’s a spot with the unfortunate name of a picker’s nodule. A better name for it, which my doctor used, is neurodermatitis. Because of the delicate location it’s in (right on a piece of cartilage), I’m supposed to put lidocaine on it, cover it with a liquid bandage product, and most of all, resist every urge to scratch it. I’m even supposed to put a cool compress inside my pillowcase to keep me from scratching it in my sleep.
It’s a lot of loose ends, like I said. I’ll find out if I have any others when I go to see my hematologist on Monday.