What an amazing day in the heart of Edinburgh yesterday! I hope you can follow my attempt to try to capture it, here.
First, I met two wonderful women who share my incredibly rare heart condition — congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries.
That’s Vicki and Andrena, posing with me after we shared a heart-to-heart-to-heart about our similar and yet unique experiences. Over my heart in that photo, I’m wearing my “Expert on my own experience” t-shirt. I had enough of a heart to bring along a similar t-shirt for one of my new heart buddies.
I am speaking straight from the heart when I tell you that I have NEVER met anybody else with my rare condition. It was heart-warmingly amazing to share experiences and reassurances with those two lovely ladies, who are Really Scottish in their hearts (and elsewhere).
Minutes after I left the good hearts of Vicki and Andrena, I saw this:
Next I was following my heart through the heart of Edinburgh, noticing other hearts:
Soon after my heart was considering getting the above gift for my sweetheart Michael (who is heartily taking care of our two cats near the heart of Boston USA), my heart sank into my feet when I fell off a high curb and felt fear in my heart that I had damaged my ankle.
at a nearby dispensing chemist and put it on like this, back at our hotel room:
I also followed my heart to rest in my room and to NOT take this ibuprofen pill
despite assurances at the chemist that it was okay to take with my anti-coagulant medication, which I need every day for my heart. I also followed my heart to email the most accessible heart doctor ever — Boston’s (and my) lion-hearted Doctor Deeb Salem.
Here’s the heart of our email exchange yesterday, which dispelled fear in my heart about a possible heart-rending sprain to my foot:
About an hour ago, I stepped down wrong (twice!) and felt a fair amount of pain in my ankle. I am now back at my hotel room, elevating the ankle after wrapping it with an ace bandage that also applies cooling. (Europe is ahead of us in certain ways.) The clerk at the pharmacy said I could take Ibuprofen with Xarelto, but I’m assuming that is incorrect.
I was googling “sprained ankle on vacation” and noticed some scary stuff about blood clots so I thought I would write you and get your take on how I could best stay safe. I would rather not go to hospital as they say around here, if possible.
Also, earlier today I had breakfast with two lovely women in their 40’s who have cctga. They both thought you sounded like a wonderful doctor.
I am not using a cell phone for calls here, but I do have Wi Fi so I can check email.
As usual, Dr. Salem had the heart to respond within minutes, as follows:
Sorry to hear about your ankle sprain:
- Do NOT ibuprofen. It will increase your chance of bleeding when you are on Xarelto
- Blood clots are very rare with ankle sprains and since you are on a heavy duty anticlotting med (Xarelto) your chance of a blood clot is exceedingly low.
- Having had over a dozen sprained ankles myself you are doing all the right things. Did they put you in a boot? Did you get an x-ray to rule out a small fracture (not that the treatment is much different)?
I followed my heart to write back, like so:
I didn’t get a boot. I was thinking of just keeping it wrapped and getting a walking stick. I’m also wondering how long I should keep off of it. I didn’t get an X-ray and would really rather not. There is a lot of walking involved in the Fringe Festival here. We have tickets to things every day.
Thanks for being my consulting doctor from many miles away.
Dr. Salem, heart doctor extraordinaire, then followed:
If you are not in too much pain and can wrap the ankle well it is probably OK to give it a try. If the bruising is excessive (which means you have bled a lot into your ankle) you should keep off it or at least get a boot.
I followed, happy now in my heart, with this:
Brilliant (as they say here in the UK)!
Then, I followed my heart to hobble around and look for a real Scottish walking stick. I got one that worked its heart out for me last night, so I could follow my excellent ex-sister-in-law and my son Aaron to a heart-felt production of the musical Rent.
The production was so amazingly brilliant, that I cried during this number, my heart exceedingly touched:
“Will I Lose My Dignity” gets to one of the many hearts-of-the-matter in that incredibly heart-felt musical.
Soon after that number, I followed my heart to realize that one of the original cast members, Anthony Rapp, who had worked closely with the late Jonathan Larson — the show’s genius of a writer — was sitting in the row behind me. During intermission, Mr. Rapp was kind-hearted enough to allow me to take his picture.
Then, after the show was over and I was openly weeping, Mr. Rapp and I had a heart-warming discussion about the untimely death of Jonathan Larson, who died the night before Rent opened in 1996, of an undetected, congenital weakness of his heart.
I’m not sure how to end this post, except to follow my heart to the final two photos I took last night, after a most amazing day:
If you have any questions or comments, please follow your heart to express them, below.
Heart-following thanks to the people who put on a kick-ass production of Rent last night, to Anthony Rapp, to Andrena and Vicki, to Dr. Salem, to my son Aaron and my excellent ex-sister-in-law Deborah, to the late and great Jonathan Larson, and to you — of course! — for following your heart, here and now.