An Evening in the ER

Well, this was definitely a different day and evening.  I’ll start at the end and say that my almost 6 hours in the emergency room came out fine, but it was a little nerve wracking in the meantime.  And, at the end of it, I got chocolate covered strawberries:


This all starts with my knee and my lower thigh pain.  Way back on February 8th, I was doing a strength workout and did some stationary lunges.  They were very mild ones since I don’t have a lot of leg strength.  Anyway, the next day my knee hurt.  Since I’ve had knee surgery (tibial transfer) many years ago, I’m super careful with my knees.  So, I waited a few days, then tried some low step ups onto a low stool.  Same thing.  So, I quit doing any strength training for awhile.  Around that time my allergies were bothering me so I didn’t do much walking either.

In this post, on March 13th, I mentioned that a couple of weeks earlier (so around the beginning of March) I noticed that it occasionally hurt behind the knee, really the lower part of the back of the thigh.  I thought it might be hamstring related because of its location.  At the time, I was starting to once again walk more steps after having made my treadmill desk.  I thought that might be aggravating it, so I took off 2 weeks from doing any fitness walking at all.  Finally within the last week, I’ve gotten back into some walking.  But, the pain on the lower thigh hasn’t gone away.  And, I noticed yesterday that it seems to be getting worse.  Maybe that was because I spent 40 minutes on the treadmill yesterday.  Although, really this place hurts more right when I stand up than when I’m actually walking.

I was of two minds what to do about it.  Internet research seemed to suggest that self-care is often all that is necessary for many hamstring injuries.  But, I recognized that sometimes medical care from a physician is needed.  I did consider making an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon since my daughter had recently seen one.  But, I knew from making her appointment that it would probably take a couple of weeks to get an appointment.  And, I thought that maybe going to see an orthopedic surgeon was overkill for this.  On the other hand, this has been bothering me for a month and isn’t getting better.

Finally, I decided to go to an Urgent Care Clinic that is nearby.  I was glad to see that I could check in online and wait to go into until they were ready to see me.  Around mid-day, someone called from the clinic and gave me a 5:00 appointment.  From her questions to me, it was clear that she thought this was likely either a hamstring injury or a blood clot.  If it was a blood clot, then I would have to go the emergency room for an ultrasound.  We talked about it and, basically, she said that I had to come in to be evaluated to know whether I would need to go to an ER.

I’ve never had a blood clot, but I’ve read about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and know that it can be very serious because a blood clot can break loose, and go to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism which can be fatal.  It is something that must be taken really seriously.

By this time, I was starting to be nervous about all this.  I went to my appointment at the urgent care clinic and found out that the person I had talked to on the phone was the physician on duty.  She examined my leg and immediately told me I needed to go to the emergency room for a Doppler ultrasound.  When she examined my leg, she did find where the pain was (I was actually amazed that she was able to zero in on the area so precisely) and felt that due to the location, it was possible that I had a blood clot. She said that if it was not a blood clot, then I need to see an orthopedic surgeon about my hamstring.

We (my husband was with me) then went to the Emergency Room.  The nurse on duty there quickly said that I needed to have the ultrasound, but that they were a little backed up.  Several hours later, I was told that the physician had ordered the Doppler ultrasound.  Finally about 5 hours after I got there, I had the ultrasound.  After the ultrasound, I finally saw the physician who said he thought this was more likely to be a hamstring pull than a blood clot, but he had to wait for the ultrasound results.

I have to say that I was super nervous about this and worried.  Thankfully, however, the doctor said that the ultrasound was completely normal.  So, I’m back to thinking that the problem is some sort of hamstring pull.  But, spending the evening in the ER certainly hadn’t been my plan for the day!

And, when we got home around midnight, my daughter had melted chocolate and made yummy chocolate covered strawberries.  I was good, though, and restrained myself to only having one. And, since I spent the whole evening at the ER, I actually had a very low day for calories (even with the chocolate covered strawberry)!


    • Kitty says

      Yes, it is certainly something to take really seriously and I learned that leg pain is one symptom to also take seriously.

  1. says

    Scary stuff! (The ER trip, not the strawberries!)

    I’m so glad you were ruled clot-free. Hamstring injuries tend to linger, but I’m hoping you can figure out a way through yours.

  2. says

    … found your blog after following one of your comments from Fit to the Finish.

    Scary situation … I avoid the ER if at all possible, hitting up the instacare (like you did). We’ve had to be referred to the ER a handful of times (for the kidlets), I’ve never really had any injuries myself (knock on wood). You’re very grateful that it was NOT the blood clot, but then such an expense in time&money to find that out. Better to be safe than sorry though.


  1. […] is that Wednesday and Thursday were really low calorie days.  I ended up unexpectedly spending 6 hours in the ER on Wednesday evening.  I hadn’t eaten anything after lunch on that day and didn’t get home […]

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