Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Oh for fuck's sake

I just can't catch a break.

For the last 10 days or so I've had this mild cramp in my right calf. I stretch, I eat bananas, I do all that stuff, but it just hasn't gone away. Since it's not serious, I've basically been ignoring it to the best of my ability. It hasn't interfered with my life in any way except to make falling asleep a tad difficult.

Until yesterday.

So there I am, in the bow of a double scull with a world-class athlete stroking me. (Not as much fun as it sounds.) She's hot shit, she's giving me pointers, it's all going fairly well. (Except I can't steer for shit, so we keep having intimate experiences with the trees on the bank.) We do about 40 min worth of technical excercises and then get into some pieces. Our first piece is 12 min at 26 spm full pressure. Cool. My kind of piece. A controlled head race, effectively. Whee! After 6 minutes my right foot was getting tingly. After 8 min my whole leg below the knee had pins and needles. After 10 minutes it went completely numb and I called "easy oars."

Took my feet out of the shoes, moved my leg around, tried to get some sensation back. It was very wierd, not painful like when your feet go numb in the winter from cold and you try to walk on them, but sort of disconnected and rubbery like. I tried touching my right foot and massaging it and I couldn't feel my hand on my foot. I stuck my foot in the water because it seemed like it might feel nice and because the position of dangling one's foot over the side is rather comfortable. I was surprised at how warm the water was. So I draped my left foot over the other side just for kicks and went "yikes! the water's freezing!" Reduced sensitivity to temperature then, too. Getting a little too wierd for me.

My stroke paddled me back to the boathouse. The guys put the boat away for me. Captain Herbie gave me a lift home. (I left my bicycle locked up inside the boat shed.) Home, shower, nap. Wake up 3:00. Eat, blog. Calf still sore, foot still pins and needles. I called the doctor.


I have discovered the super special mystery key word to getting the NHS jump to attention. It is: numbness. For future reference, all you have to do is utter the sentence, "I'm experiencing numbness in my..." and before you can get to your fullstop you've got an appointment with a nurse, one with a doctor, and one with a vampire to draw 8 phials of blood for various tests. And this all happens within 30 minutes time. The receptionist on the phone actually asked me "How soon can you get here?" Holy shit.

It was revealed during the examination that I have no reflexes (you know the little hammer tap thingy they do?) below the right knee, and deminished tactile response.
"Can you feel that?"
"Feel what?"
That conversation got old fast, I can tell you.

The blood tests are to rule out the (highly unlikely) possiblity of some sort of infection in my nervous system. After the tests come back I go back to see the doctor and discuss the results and then get referred to a neruologist. My mom's freaked out that it's MS, but I think the more likely possibility is that it's just a pinched nerve behind the knee. That's what coach thinks, anyway, and I'm inclined to agree with him.

So it's hurry and wait for the bloodwork. Meanstwhile I still have a leg cramp and a tingly foot.

At least it happened after Henley.


hendrix said...

Hoping it is just a pinched nerve - well I'm hoping its not anything at all apart from overtraining but from the list of other things it could be, a pinched nerve is the lesser of the evils. In the meantime try drinking Indian Tonic water for the leg cramps and the tingly foot.

First Nations said...

oh crap.
how dare this happen with me one ocean and an entire continent away? i could give you much needed advice. i could flump pillows. i could wring my hands and pace.
i think i will anyway.

sounds like a pinched nerve. very very similar to the sciatica i get.
let the hairy one massage it!
take care!

ZB said...

Take off and nuke the foot from orbit. It's the only way to make sure.

rockmother said...

It's your lower back I'm sure. Go to a chiropractor - they'll sort you out. Good luck and hope it gets sorted.

SBB said...

I know this is going to sound weird... but can't hurt to try - it worked for a couple of other ladies I know.

Stop eating meat products for a while.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

intersting idea. um, why?