Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Circulation Issues...

As I’ve gotten older I have noticed the circulation in my legs and feet had dissipated. I could literally put out cigarettes out with my feet and not feel it. A couple of years ago I had noticed that my right knee started “snapping”, “crunching” and the inside of it got bigger. My feet started to hurt no matter what shoes I wore. I figured it was because I’d gone from big, to bigger, then small to a bit bigger in 5 years. Maybe because I’m on my feet quite a bit or all the running I do.

In 2008 I decided to start training for a marathon. I ran 5.5 miles that day, got dressed and went to work. As I was working I felt a snap in my groin, then felt soreness, then pain by the end of the night. When I went home I noticed a bruise and swelling the size of a golf ball on my groin. It subsided after a couple of days but this kept happening every time I started to push myself. A bruise would show up on the inside of my knee, on my right hamstring, my calf, and again on my groin. So I gave up marathon training and just worked out. I’ve never had an issue with stamina. I have plenty and then some, but my legs have always been fine for the first several miles then get “sluggish” and I would really have to push to get to 5-6 miles. I just did it and didn’t think anything of it.

Right leg (around knee) noticeabley bigger.

About a year ago, I noticed that the inside of my right knee had gotten bigger; my right leg was becoming painful and there was swelling in my knee and ankle. Vein issues and circulatory problems run in my family so I had it checked out. I had a couple of veins that were “leaking” into my knee and ankle and some weren’t working at all. This surprised me since I’d had several veins removed/closed in 2003, and in 2007. Apparently the surgery I had in 2007 took to the left leg but not on my right. They “say” it was probably due to the fact that I started working out too soon (hours after surgery) which caused the procedure to fail.

So I had my “bigger” surgery a month ago, had the ultra sound last Friday (looked good) the second surgery (yesterday) and ultra sound next week, and then third part in November before I’m finally done.

Results of first surgery
 The first “bigger” surgery consisted of “spot cutting” my leg and cutting 1”- ½” holes to pull out the vein, cut it and put it back in then a cut in around the inside of my knee to drain the pooled blood and cut the vein there, before doing the same to my ankle. I end up with a series of shallow cuts and 20 1”- ½” holes in my leg. No stitches so it will heal up without any scarring.

The second part is the “kill” the veins in the back of my thigh and knee. We found a couple of veins from the back of my leg are moving to the sides of my knee so they made a few shallow cuts, put a needle into the veins and filled them with a fluid that kills them to be absorbed by the body. I end up with a 6“ shallow cut, and 3 holes at the back of my leg.

The third part is doing the same as the second but from the back of my knee to my heel. By the summer my leg should be of a normal size and all cuts, holes and swelling should be gone.

Then I start the second and third surgeries on my left, since the “bigger” surgery had taken in that leg back in 2007.

All of this is great and I will look a bit more normal (legs won’t be as big as they currently are) but unfortunately I have to have this done every 3-4 years because it’s in my family. You might be asking what the consequences are if I don’t do this. Well, less blood to my heart and eventually to my brain, pain and throbbing in my legs and feet; which is horrible by the way.

2 1/2 weeks after first surgery
 Now that I’m halfway through the process it’s odd to feel the blood surging through areas that were before semi-numb. My feet don’t swell and don’t hurt as much. My knee is 4” smaller and is almost the same size as my left. My recovery time between each surgery is faster and quicker. The Dr. mentioned that according to the results of the ultrasound 4 weeks’ worth of healing looked like 5 months. The bruising under the skin was practically gone and the dead vein about 50% absorbed. (Super healing powers activate!)

Yeah, getting old sucks..but there it is.

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