Sunday, June 12, 2005

dependent edema

Yesterday at my parents's house I happened to stroll by a mirror, and stopped mid-stride. And turned to the right, then to the left, all while keeping an eye on my reflection. Something was different.

"Guys, does this uterus make me look fat?" my sister said, making fun of my self-scrutiny. But it wasn't that, exactly. I mean, yes, my mid-section looked large, but I was used to that by now. Something else was different. Something about my legs and feet. Not to dwell on physical appearances, but...they looked fat. Looking straight down, my feet even looked strange from that vantage point. They looked bigger somehow, and strangely smooth and contour-less, unlike the usual mess of bones and veins usually on display. I reached down and pushed on the dorsal surface firmly with an extended index finger. When I withdrew a few seconds later, a finger-shaped indentation remained.

"Oh my god, I have pitting edema. I have 1+ pitting edema!" I nudged Joe and repeated my trick. "Look!" This time I made a new indentation next to the first, which had yet to re-inflate. "I'm like one of my own patients!"

Joe probed the skin up to my calves, which was similarly puffy, though not quite as impressively as my feet. "I would call it trace," he said loyally.

"Trace? Look at my feet! They're huge! I need some freaking compressions stockings over here!" I couldn't keep my hands off myself. (No, not like that, you pervs.) I kept pushing and prodding at my own third-spaced fluid like it was a damn video game. I felt like a fascinating science experiment. "Maybe because I was on call last night."

"Probably," Joe agreed.

"You know, on my feet all night."


"Anyway, I'll diurese all of this off after the kid is born."

"Of course."

"Either that, or you're going to have to write me for some Lasix."


"Or maybe I'll just have a couple of beers."

Currently eating: Doggie bag leftovers from the party yesterday. Lobster tempura is surprisingly tasty even when cold.

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