The doctor did tell me to come back if it got worse but I can’t really tell. I woke up this morning because I rolled over in my sleep and it was excruciatingly painful but I hadn’t taken any painkillers for six hours. I can’t tell from the outside whether it looks worse or not and now the painkillers have kicked in again.
To look at, it’s a smooth area, like a gently rounded hill, without all the usual undulations people normally expect of knees. It’s bigger than the other one and a rather attractive dusky rose colour. Shiny, not matte. I poked it tentatively to find out ‘Holy hell, that hurts!’ and was interested to see that my finger left a slowly filling-back-in dent.
Dispassionately (the painkillers), it looks, well, interesting. Would I reccomend to somebody else that they go back to the doctor, if it were their leg? Well, yes. But my decision is coloured a bit by the fact that I know he will want to stick needles into it and I am an abject coward. Yes, he will give me local anaesthetic but having a very sharp needle stuck in numerous places, just for the anaesthetic, into an already hurtie knee is not fun. It looks a bit like a balloon that might pop, too, and I always hated the sound and sight of that at children’s birthday parties.
Plus which, he might send me to hospital and I can’t drive there, can’t afford an ambulance or a taxi and there isn’t anybody to take me. And I do have an appointment tomorrow. And nobody dies of advanced sepsis in 24 hours. Mine isn’t even advanced, according to google images. (Note to self: stay away from google images)
I am passive aggressively making my decision, I think, by not calling up the doctor’s rooms for an appointment until I know that there won’t be any left. The thing is, I don’t know how many of these symptoms are real and how many of them are just appearing because I now know that they are symptoms of sepsis. Like the fever thing. And the heat in the knee thing. The mind is a powerful tool and mine is more fucked up than most people’s.
When it comes down to it, I think the real reason I avoid seeking medical care is because I am extremely paranoid about being seen as a Munchhausen Syndrome person. Or worse still, a drug seeker. I am aware that this isn’t a healthy way to approach it but I want to see litres of pus trickling out of my leg or at least a very high fever. Something tangible and unmistakeable.
But the tipping factor in why I have ultimately decided that it isn’t worse, and therefore I don’t have to go back in as an urgent case? My legs are hairy and my kneecap looks like a lump of raw pork with bristles still attached. Not fair to inflict that on the poor doctor.