Around the first of October, I was experiencing a lot of swelling and pain in my legs and feet. It was so painful that it hurt to have a sheet on my legs when I went to bed at night. Even putting a washcloth on them when I was in the shower hurt so bad! So, of course, the first thing I did was consult Dr. Google. You know, that whole search the symptoms thing in google, where you find out you are dying soon of congestive heart failure or leprosy. After a couple of days of being in this hot, burning pain, I called and made an appointment with a cardiologist, because I really did think I had a problem with my heart.
As you can see in the photo above, my legs were swollen from the knees down, as well as my feet. My shins were red, and felt hot to the touch. My toes were also red, and were hurting a lot. I felt like chopping them off with an ax. I had been taking my regular pain reliever, percocet, as directed by my doctor, but even when I was fully dosed with it, my legs and feet still hurt. So, I had been taking one Aleve twice a day for the break through pain. None of the pain meds touched the pain I was in with my legs and feet.
The cardiologist, Dr McFarland, was very thorough. She asked me tons of questions about my health and the symptoms I had been having. She also ask Fabgrandpa a lot of questions about me, my sleeping habits, and his observations of me. When she was through asking the questions, she told me that she was going to schedule me for a few tests, then I would come back in to discuss the results and go from there.
The first test I had done was a sleep study at the Sleep Center at the hospital. They attached about a million wires to me, on my head, chest, back and legs. Then, I was supposed to sleep for the night, and all those wires would record whether or not I experienced REM stage; if I snored; or if I tossed and turned in bed. The room where the did the study didn’t look like a hospital room at all. It was more like a hotel room with nice furniture, cable TV and a Sleep Number bed, so that you could get as comfortable as possible. Even with all that, I felt like I didn’t sleep a wink while I was there. When it was over, I went home and slept most of the day in my recliner.
Next, I had an EKG and was given a shot of radioactive dye so they could take a bunch of x-ray pictures of my heart. After that, I had a Nuclear Stress Test. They put another bunch of wire all over me in the doctor’s office, and then gave me a shot that made me feel like I had been running for miles. As soon as they gave me the shot, it felt like my head was going to explode, and I had pain shooting down my left arm, and my fingers on my left hand felt numb. I had to walk slowly on a tread mill for a few minutes, then they let me sit in a chair until the effects of the shot wore off.
After the stress test, I got into a hospital gown, and laid down on an exam table for them to do an ultra sound of my heart. That part wasn’t so bad, except for the goo they use for the ultrasound wand. I thought that was all, but I still had to go back to the x-ray table and get some more shots of my heart. Finally, I was done.
All of this happened in the last week. I am so glad all of that is over with. I have a follow up appointment with Dr. McFarland next week to hear all the results of the tests, and to decide what to do next. Yesterday, the nurse called from the doctor’s office to tell me that all of tests were normal, showed no abnormal heart problems, except for a leaky valve in the left ventrical, but that was nothing to worry about. I’ll let y’all know what the doctor says next week.
In the meantime, has anyone experienced swollen, painful, red legs and feet? What was your diagnosis? Have you found a treatment that worked for it?