April 30, 2001

Two weeks ago Wednesday I developed a horrible pain in my left leg. The pain radiated up to the knee and down to the ankle. By Wednesday evening my knee and lower leg were swelling. Since there was no improvement over night and the swelling was much worse the next morning, I made an appointment to see No Name later Thursday afternoon. No Name looked at my leg, poked it several times and informed me that I had a blood clot. He gave me a prescription for Warfarin and told me to start taking the pills as soon as possible. I spent the weekend resting the leg.

A week later, on Thursday, I called Squirt’s office to get a repeat for a prescription. I told his secretary that I could not drive into the city to pick up the prescription because of the problem with the blood clot in my leg. I told her the doctor at my home clinic had told me to stay off my feet as much as possible but also to sit as little as possible! Squirt called me right back and wanted to know how I knew I had a blood clot. I told Squirt that No Name had looked at my leg, poked it a few times and given me his verdict. Squirt had a fit! He told me that he would call my home hospital and make arrangements for me to have a venogram first thing on Friday morning. According to Squirt, no doctor worth his salt would ever prescribe Warfarin before an ultra sound was done to determine if there really was a blood clot.

So Friday morning I hobbled off to my home hospital for the venogram. I was put on an appropriate table and the radiologist put an IV into a vein at the top of my foot. This was for the dye they injected. I lay on this table while they tilted it up and down and took pictures of my leg. The radiologist told me that he would look at the pictures and have an answer for Squirt by lunchtime.

The radiologist was a piece of work. He was pleasant enough to me but his treatment of the nurses was shocking. He was rude, loud and gave orders to the nurses in a very nasty way. He kept implying that the nurses were stupid!

I decided that once he was done with the procedure I would say something. As soon as he had pulled the IV out of my foot, I said to the nurses, “Wow, Mr. Personality he is not! You should all get a medal for putting up with his rudeness!

Squirt called me at lunchtime to inform me that I did not have a blood clot in my leg. He told me to quit taking the Warfarin.

At 1:30 PM on Friday, I had a follow up appointment with No Name. He wanted to see how the blood clot was progressing. I told No Name about the venogram I had had that morning. I also told him that the venogram showed that I did not have a blood clot. No Name sat back in his chair for a moment and then told me that I must have had an inflammation of my leg. He told me that I should continue to take the Warfarin for at least six months.

I have chosen to believe the venogram and to believe that I did not have a blood clot. I have also chosen to stop taking Warfarin. Why in heaven’s name would I take a blood thinner if I do not need it?

This incident has reinforced my belief that many of these so-called professionals do not have a clue what they are doing. Imagine if I had not needed that refill and had not called Squirt. I would not have had the venogram and would still be taking Warfarin on a daily basis. The way I understand it, blood thinners are only to be taken when absolutely necessary.

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