The Hematoma

I love yoga, the more the better. The retreat was fantastic. What could be better than devoting a weekend to something you love? Today I’m sore all over in a good way.

I was planning on attending a similar retreat 6 weeks earlier, but unfortunately I created The Bruise To End All Bruises (hereafter, The Hematoma) below my knee. I cried when I had to withdraw. Many yoga positions are challenging if you can’t put any weight on one knee. Child’s pose, anyone?

Woman in child's pose


I wish I had a dramatic story for you, perhaps a spectacular outdoor fall this Year of the Icy Sidewalks, but no: I fell at home trying to stop my dog from stealing my lunch off the counter. (A Basset may have short legs but her body is as long as your Labradoodle’s.) Unfortunately, said dog had just soaked the floor after a sloppy drink. And I’m a klutz, so I slipped and fell, hard.

No big deal for most people, but for me it is, for several reasons. I’m on blood thinners to prevent the ugly clot outside my liver from getting any bigger. Blood thinners make people more prone to bruising. Add to that a lack of platelets common among us CMLers. Platelets help us stop bleeding. Oh, and remember the klutz factor. No wonder I’m always covered in various shades of black and blue.

This bruise didn’t look like much at first, but over the following week or two it revealed its splendour. The worst part of bruising is knowing my initial pain is only going to get much worse before it gets better. Think of that tickle in your throat prior to the full-blown cold: you can anticipate feeling crappy soon. But by the time your cold is over a few days later, my bruise is still getting worse. Poor me.

A previous hematoma (dubbed The Uberhematoma) followed a botched dental procedure.  (Couldn’t you have botched someone else’s, dear dentist?) Once the U.H. grew so large that I could not swallow and breathing became difficult, I landed in Emergency. The specialist who looked inside me said, with reverence: “I wish I had a camera.” Had it ruptured, I would have been sunk. I remained in hospital, initially on 24-hour watch, for 6 days. As it healed, thanks to gravity, for days I looked like I had been strangled.

So in comparison, except for the pain and inconvenience, this knee bump was nothing. It was merely the size of a golf ball but so painful after a week that I sought relief from the doctor. Getting into bed, walking down stairs and, of course, yoga–anything requiring bending or putting pressure on my leg–were all very painful. And I get pretty cranky when anything interferes with my yoga. (Just ask J.) Now, almost three months later, the swelling is down and my knee is just (just?) black and blue.

My newfound fear of bruising rendered me a little cautious on the mat this weekend. Call me a wimp, but I was just not up to another Big H. so soon. I trust my yoga teachers understood.


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