To help you understand the problem I've been having, I'm having tons of lymphatic fluid build up in my body and pool in my ankles in particular. This causes my legs to "weep" out this fluid because there's no other way to get rid of it. Over time, this has destroyed the tissue between my ankles and my knees, which is now torn, raw, bloated and severely damaged. It actually looks a lot like burn victim skin and it feels like my lower legs are covered in blisters. The pain from this can be overwhelming, which is why I need the pain pills, which keep me from writing, which is why I'm having a hard time getting articles done.
About a week ago, my doctor gave me a steroid cream he thought might help. I put this cream around the ankle, where it looks like someone yanked out chunks of flesh with a pair of pliers. At first, it seemed to help. Then it seemed to increase the pain and make things worse. I decided on Friday that I would stop using this stuff. Unfortunately, that was too late.
(Warning: Now it gets graphic!)
After a nice, but medicated Thanksgiving, I decided to just rest on Friday. So I sat in my favorite chair. I pulled up an ottoman, put a down blanket on the ottoman as a cushion, and then placed a bath towel on the blanket because my bandages are always wet -- the weeping makes them wet after about twenty minutes. I put my foot up on the towel. A few minutes later, I realized there were three drops of blood on my other leg. I asked my wife if she could see a source. I thought I might have cut the back of that knee, which feels sore. She didn't see blood there. Then she noticed something red under my left leg, on the towel. When I raised my leg, we saw that the towel and the blanket were drenched in blood... drenched to the point of dripping blood everywhere when you picked them up.
At that point, my wife pulled off the bandage to see what was leaking. As she did, a cartoon-like scene occurred as a stream of blood shot over her shoulder across the room. It didn't stop until she plugged it with the bandage again. Needless to say, I called 911. Fortunately, they arrived about a minute later and took over. They were great -- professional, calm and friendly. They were also very worried at first, until we got the bleeding stopped. The ER staff were not as great, but we did get it all sorted out and the bleeding stopped.
What had happened was that the steroid cream had thinned the already damaged skin and it just broke open right at an arterial point. (It actually broke on two places -- front and back).
I don't know how much blood I lost, but it was a lot. The bath towel and the down blanket were soaked and ruined. The carpet was drenched too and filled the steam cleaner three times before I got it all out. I would guess we are talking two pints for sure. And this was all in about 5 minutes. Worst of all, as there was no pain, it was pure luck that I even noticed. Had I fallen asleep, or had my wife been out shopping as was her intent, I would not be here today... I don't doubt that. And the thought of my wife and kids coming home to find that honestly makes me sick.
Anyway, I wanted to let you all know this so you know that I really am not just being lazy when I can't get articles done. The stuff I've been dealing with has been very serious, debilitating and at times rather scary. And I want to thank you all again for sticking with us as I sort my way through this. I do believe things are getting better, but sometimes there are setbacks like this.