My latest leg ultrasound was done a week ago at the vascular doctors’ office. The tech spent a very long time looking at the top of my thigh, which hasn’t happened before and made me nervous. When it was over, the PA told me that the scan showed something called “pulsatile flow” at the top of thigh, up above the very long chronic thrombus. That means there’s a pulse of sorts, except veins aren’t supposed to do that. Arteries do, because the blood is pushed as the heart pumps. But it just flows back to the heart without pulsing. Except mine apparently does.
The ultrasound report, which I asked for, includes this statement: “AVM cannot be ruled out.” Okay, what does that mean? When I got home I looked up the big words one at a time and went down a rabbit hole of rising stress.
AVM is arteriovenous malformation or an abnormal connection between arteries and veins, In general, an AVM causes your tissue to enlarge because your arteries and veins expand and your affected tissue grows faster and larger than normal tissue. Which could explain the still swollen leg and foot and even more swollen upper right thigh, where they found this thing.
So if it an AVM, what then? Not sure because no one is talking about that. My primary care doctor said, “Don’t panic, I think it’s okay” which really was not all that reassuring. The good news is that this is in my leg and not my brain or my spine, but it’s in the leg that already has other problems, including two blood clots, swelling, frozen ankle, spasms, and neuropathy from toes to my knees. What’s one more thing at this point?
After back and forth between the hospital and the cardiology center, I’m scheduled for an angiogram with some other component to check the veins. I explained that I’m a hard stick and will take a while to get the IV started, which no one will pay attention to until they are experiencing the delay. Their description of the procedure and timing doesn’t match what I’ve read online, but let’s face it: not everything online is accurate. Maybe most of it is wrong or slanted. Maybe they’re discover that something completely different is going on, which will give me something else to research.
I don’t much trust medical people to tell me things. At least with this test done at the hospital, I’ll see the results quickly in MyChart instead of having to wait for another appointment to learn what they found – and what we do about it.