In Mental Denial about my Physical Condition

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Okay, I’ve sort of been in denial. I’m a mess physically. I’m usually pretty optimistic about physical ailments, but maybe I’ve been too much so in this last case. I’m definitely tweeked.

I don’t think I jumped the gun racing last weekend. It’s not like I went to a NRC criterium or something. But, I did learn something. That I’m trying to compensate for my lack of left shoulder usage, by riding strangely. Strange enough that the rest of my body is rebelling. My neck is hurt. My lower back too, but not like my neck. I’m nearly worse than the day after I fell.

Now, I’m kind of thinking I might have a major problem with my right leg. I know this sounds like something coming from a hypochondriac, but it’s not, really. Yesterday, I tried to go and have an ultrasound done on my right calf muscle to see if I have a blood clot. Without much success I’ll add. Today I’m going to try much harder. I woke up about 10 days ago with a super stiff leg/calf. It sort of got better through the day, but whenever I was sedentary, it started aching again. I didn’t ride for those few days and didn’t have any issue. Now, it aches all the time. When I was driving to Arkansas on Friday, it hurt pretty badly, along with my foot. So, I looked it up on the internet and a blood clot/Deep Vein Thrombosis/DVT is all I could come up with.

Now, isn’t it funny how on one hand I want to be all smart and just get my diagnosis confirmed and have a blood clot in my leg, but in reality, I want to be proven completely wrong and have a small tear or something benign as the problem. That is strange. Anyway, it hurt all last night and I’m limping around this morning, so it is something that should be done pretty quickly I guess.

A clinical pharmacist at the race told me that I was the perfect storm for blood clots. A little older, super low heart rate, dehydrated often, plus a major trauma. And lots of driving after all that. He convinced me I should check it out, plus even if this is just a scare, I need to be more cognizant about the potential problem after races.

Half the reason I put off medical treatment is the stupid procedures and prices of the whole deal. Like, I don’t understand why I have to pay a radiologist to read a x-ray the day after an emergency room doctor read it. I also paid an orthopedic surgeon to look at the same x-ray two days later. This seems redundant to me because that is all the guy in the emergency room did, read my x-ray. If he wants his opinion confirmed by another expert, then he should pay the dude. I don’t know why it stops only at two? Maybe the 2nd guy wants another opinion on his diagnosis and he could send it off to a super-duper radiologist and then I could pay him also. It could go on and on.

And while all this is going on, my insurance always denies everything the first time around. I got a letter from the hospital today and I stupidly thought that is was going to be some sort of apology for cruddy treatment I received, but to my surprise, it was a letter saying that my insurance was not going to pay the claim because of incorrect filing status, or something like that. The hospital were the people filing the thing, not me. My filing status is on solely, in my opinion, that I pay the premium and my filing status is good for that year. Case closed. It is stupid. Once they denied a physicians bill at an emergency room as NOT medically necessary, when the physician put the stitches in. I most likely could of done it myself, but you would think that most insurance would call that medically necessary treatment. It is like that NO guy on the insurance commercial on TV.

Okay, enough of all the complaining. I’m going to go through the procedures. I’m going to call my primary physician and have him schedule me an appointment at the ultrasound place at the hospital that he is associated with. And then have the radiologist read the ultrasound and have them tell my physician the results. My guy is pretty okay, so I don’t mind him being in the loop really. I hope I’m wrong in my own research. If I’m not, this is going throw a wrench into racing for quite a while.

13 thoughts on “In Mental Denial about my Physical Condition

  1. KurtS

    Steve, go in and get your body straightened out. Its tough from a competitive standpoint to be down, but you got years of racing ahead once your recovered.
    Maybe we can get more Bromont updates while you recover!?!

  2. Touriste-Routier

    Steve if you look at insurance in this simple (albeit cynical) manner, all will make sense:

    You are in a bet with the insurance company- you are betting something is going to happen; they are betting something is not going to happen. When you win, they do whatever is possible to welch on the bet.

    I hope you get to the bottom of what is wrong, and it turns out to be nothing of concern.

  3. DanG

    Steve, I am a cyclist who has had two DVT’s. Based upon my research, what the pharmacist told you is correct. Low heart rate, low blood pressure and generalize dehydration is the perfect storm for a DVT because you have thick blood moving slowly. My initial symptoms were slightly different than you described. Upon exertion, my lower calf felt like it would explode with pressure. Upon rest this pressure went away. I certainly hope you are wrong on your self diagnosis because taking coumadin and riding bicycles can bring about some potential risks, although I chose to take those risks.

  4. John

    Steve….see a physician you trust. Lots of things can cause leg pain and a DVT can be very simply diagnosed, especially on someone lean like you. You’re right, it may be a local musculoskeletal injury or it could be something going on in your back like a herniated disc. Best wishes on a full and quick recovery.

  5. channel_zero

    [i]I don’t understand why I have to pay a radiologist to read a x-ray the day after an emergency room doctor read it. I also paid an orthopedic surgeon to look at the same x-ray two days later.[/i]

    Welcome to privatized health care. You can smell the capitalism in the air!

    The country with one of the highest cost health care systems in the world and everywhere one turns economic efficiencies were supposed to bring costs down. Could it be that this is another failed privatized promise?

  6. Tim

    I fell just over 6 weeks ago. Sep shoulder similar to yours on right and minor sep on left. Like you lower back was a real issue on hills, intervals, and 4+ hr rides. Also like you I got a really tight feeling in my left calf that never really stopped me from training but felt like it may. The calf problem went away after about 5 weeks. The back is better but don’t know if I could do longish climbs in a race situation. My shoulders are better but I still wake up at night with pain from trying to sleep on my side and the mornings still bring pain to my shoulders for the first 30min or so that I get out of bed. Driving aggravates the shoulder pain and I still wear the sling for a short while off and on while driving. Hope this helps as to what others are going through. I, too, got really bummed after 5 weeks. I was expecting to be over it all. Good luck, Tim

  7. Gary Crandall

    Steve – all the best on your medical review and recovery – take care of yourself first and the rest will follow – we send you good wishes from Chequamegonland

  8. Paul

    Steve, we just got back from Mexico. Medical/dental seems to be about 15 years behind the US, with the benefit that they also have taken some drugs off the market that have been found to cause problems. Many US physicians will concur that 15 years ago was the golden age for medicine in the states up here. Consider med evac options to Mexico or another country that will not make you part of their feeding frenzy. Also, radiologist$ miss shit all the time but they help spread out the liability for all the people that fail to communicate your issues to each other as they drain your bank account. I had a major injury the radiologist$ missed once, fortunately I have a good friend that is a paramedic fire fighter that was able to diagnose and treat the injury correctly. You should also probably consider seeing an LBD, you should be able to find one in Topeka somewhere.

  9. another DVT person chimes in

    2x on the dvt issues. About your age, ride and drive a lot, plus after doing the tests found I’ve got a genetic factor that make me prone to blood clots. Not something to mess with– if you do have a clot and it breaks lose it could be lights out. Get the ultrasound.

  10. jrem


    Two painful encounters in the last 10 days. I will take the stress associated with an encounter with a police officer any day, over the stress associated with dealing with the debt collectors attempting to collect the medical, hospital, and radiology bills.

  11. Jed Schneider

    Steve, hope its not that serious, but if it is, you are always welcome to recover on the beach down here. Hope you feel better soon.

  12. Dan

    Steve , you probably have some alignment issues with your spine we all do . I was pretty depressed with back pain and stiffness . It was affecting the power I could put into the pedals. I started lying backwards on a exercise ball and the results were amazing . I felt relief the next day. Laying backwards stretches the muscles and spine allowing the disc to rebound and align. Give it a try while you are sorting out the other stuff . Best wishes and Michigan would love to have you back at Iceman


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