I knew I had to see a doctor; my mother had told me, my husband had told me and one evening while visiting my husband’s family, his grandmother even mentioned it (which was so embarrassing but I played it off like it was no big deal).
I had lived with it for serveral years and had been “okay”, sometimes bothersome, but no real changes, that is until I got on the truck with my husband.
My right leg was just fine, sure my calves have seen better, more defined days, but it was always normal looking.
My left leg, on the other hand, looked like it belonged to the elephant man. And once I started wearing business attire to work, which included flats, my foot began to take the same shape, but on days I wore socks and sneakers, my foot was normal but my ankle had a deep indent from my sock line. My leg never hurt, but it looked terrible and I was embarrassed by how it looked, even around my husband.
As I said, it seemed to get worse once I got on the truck; sitting for hours at a time with my legs at a ninety degree angle, feet on the floor. The swelling got to a point where my foot and leg felt so tight, it was uncomfortable to move around. I made a doctor appointment (finally) and hoped I would be okay.
As the doctor went over my symptoms (which only included red, swollen leg but no real pain), she mentioned DVT. Deep Vein Thrombosis, a possible blood clot in my leg. That thought had crossed my mind, but hearing a doctor say it made it all the more possible.
As she set up a visit to diagnostic imagining, she told me I could not stay on the truck, I’d have to find somewhere else to stay in case it was a blood clot. I didn’t have someplace to go and since it was a Friday, we would not get the results until the following week. I thought I would break down, until her assistant walked in and said I was just going to the second floor instead of another city.
I gave my husband the news in the elevator and he became worried, “you are staying on the truck with me, I have to take care of you,” he stated.
I lay on a table in fear while the ultrasound technician looked at my leg. She said it so important to move around and regardless of one’s weight, all truckers (and their passengers) needed exercise throughout the day to prevent clots.
As I stood and dressed, the technician said she could not give me exact results, but also she would not let me leave the room if it were a blood clot. I cannot tell you how big of an impact that made in me.
I absolutely love being on the truck and couldn’t imagine what that would have done to me, had it been a clot.
The technician said my results were instant and to go back up to see my doctor. I couldn’t wait to tell my husband the good news as we rode back upstairs in the elevator. We had to sit in the waiting room for nearly a half of an hour until my doctor could squeeze me in. Prior to going to do the ultrasound, the doctor has written me a prescription for Lasiks to hold onto it until we found out the results. While myy husband and I sat in the waiting room, I decided to Google exactly what Lasiks would do to me. I was shocked to see the words “do not take if allergic to sulfa drugs” staring back at me. Just over a year ago I was hospitalized for a week after passing out, my heart stopping for several minutes (my husband had to preform CPR and ended up puncturing my lung with a broken rib) and needing an ambulance ride to the hospital because I had a severe anaphylactic reaction to sulfa drugs. I do not know how this was not flagged when the doctor input the prescription into the computer, but I made sure to remember to tell her, after all, I just got the clear for one thing, I could not go through that again), finally I got into a room and the doctor walked in and exclaimed “you are one lucky girl! There’s no blood clot, but you need to be moving around every two hours,” and she prescribed a different medication to take for 30 days. She said the medication should reduce the swelling and I should be fine, so we will see what happens in a month. My husband and I know will take more seriously the warnings of lack of movement in the legs.
I am writing this to share with you all, especially for those in the trucking industry or any other jobs with limited mobility, it is so important to keep moving. The health and wellness of a truck driver is so important, in part because we leave our families and friends for extended periods of time it is like we lose time with them and it would be such a shame to cut our life short and miss out on kids growing up or what time we have left with our spouses or parents. In addition, because drivers are behind the wheel of such large powerful vehicles, if one should pass out or suffer from a blood clot while driving, it could impact many more lives of people innocently driving around us.
If you have any questions or have the same symptoms, firstly, ask your doctor, but also feel free to message me. I am all for supporting others in the industry!