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How Quizzify May Have Saved My Life (Again)

Updated: Feb 13

You may be excused if you don't remember the first time Quizzify may have saved my life, thanks to one specific question:

After my dentist did some extensive dental work, I was certain I had an abscess as a result. My dentist kept insisting I didn’t, but I kept writing and calling her insisting the opposite.  The story is right here, and actually kinda funny, assuming you weren’t the one with the abscess.


I would not have trolled my dentist absent this Quizzify question. I would have assumed she was right and just kept taking Tylenol until the pain went away, as she recommended.  (I won’t mention the name of the practice, but here’s a hint: it rhymes with Dewton Nental Associates.)


Well, history just repeated itself.  On December 27th I got this sharp pain in my oblique, as though I had cracked a rib. I had a hard time breathing, so I went to urgent care the next day. Before Quizzify taught me not to and offered safe alternatives, I had been taking Prilosec (those days, by prescriptions which were auto-renewed) daily for a couple of years. Prilosec may weaken your bones, making it possible for simple pressure or even a sneeze to crack a rib, so I thought that’s what happened. That’s exactly what happened to this guy before he found out about Quizzify.


The x-ray revealed my rib was likely intact but there was this curious incidental finding:



I figured it was because I couldn't breathe all the way in due to the oblique pain, and couldn't clear my lungs as a result.


That brings us to December 30th, when I felt a little twinge in the back of my knee. So the next day, I did what I always do when something is wrong, which is go climb some nearby stairs a zillion times to work it out. Only instead of getting better, it started to swell. How swollen was it? Here's a picture:


You might say: "That doesn't look so bad." But this picture was taken more than two weeks later.

That night, New Years Eve, we attended a wedding. You know that awkward time between the ceremony and the reception where you have to stand around talking to people you don't know and, worse, who may not have even heard of Quizzify?  Well, I couldn't do it after a while.  We went downstairs to sit in the hotel lobby.  Then at the reception, once I got seated, I kept getting up to try to shake some life into my leg. The next day I was hobbling around even more.


Doctor Visit PrepKits

Before I continue, you need a little bit of background re our Doctor Visit PrepKits, the "left shoe" to Classic Quizzify's "right shoe." Whereas Classic Quizzify teaches health literacy between clinical visits, Doctor Visit PrepKits teach you health literacy before or during one.

The PrepKits give you exactly what you need to approach and maximize the value of your visit, in an intuitive order:

  1. Overview

  2. Preparation

  3. Questions to ask the doctor

  4. What the doctor may ask, do, test, or prescribe

  5. Links to reviews for the most likely drugs

  6. Links to the relevant Quizzify quiz

  7. Curated Learn More links to authoritative sources

The PrepKits are designed to curate the best information on the web into a much more user-friendly format, so people don’t have to search the web itself. The feature is included with Quizzify and couldn't be easier or more intuitive. You can look up a symptom, procedure, test, etc.


Putting the PrepKits to the test

Watch what happens when you pull up: "Swollen Calf."

Yikes! The "Overview" says it all:

Swelling of one calf is likely more serious than swelling of both. And if it's sudden or you have other symptoms, visit urgent care now. It could be blood clots, which can easily become serious if untreated even for a short period. 

It needed to be dealt with right away. Fortunately, I didn't just search the web because, incredibly, sometimes the web is wrong! Googling "swollen calf" takes you here as the top "hit" in big bold letters:

"No reason for concern"??? I think not. And indeed if you scroll down you get the right answer...but you have to scroll down.


And I did have that mysterious incidental finding in my lung, along with shortness of breath.  Urgent care being closed for the long New Years weekend (the irony no doubt lost on them), I contacted my PCP. She was quite skeptical that I had self-diagnosed a blood clot. News flash: doctors prefer to hear your symptoms rather than your self-diagnosis. That's why they all drink from the same cup:

This is a PCP I’ve had for 25 years so I had a “relationship” with her, but in this case the relationship was a detriment.  Knowing me well, having seen me play ultimate frisbee on a field near her house, she checked off the boxes of family history and long plane ride (nope and nope), and concluded it was probably nothing, likely just a Baker’s Cyst.  But, as a good doctor would, and to forestall additional whining (perhaps she knew my dentist), she agreed to see me the next day (Jan. 2) anyway.


The exam couldn’t rule out a blood clot, so she sent me for an ultrasound that night.  On the way home, I got a call in the car: “Where is the nearest pharmacy that is still open?  You need to start on Eliquis tonight.”


Wait. What happened to “It’s probably nothing”?  The answer became clear when I looked at the ultrasound report posted to Epic:

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?  “Extensive”??? All those veins occluded?  I didn't even realize I had that many veins.


That finding would also explain the shortness of breath – a clot had likely traveled to my lung.

Given the extensiveness of the calf DVT and the lung embolism, I was probably 24-48 hours away from an emergency hospitalization.

How could this be happening to me? The subset of ultimate frisbee players getting DVT is represented by this Venn Diagram:

Or, as my wife said when she researched DVT: “Hmmm…looks like you’re going to have to quit smoking, lose weight, and start exercising.” 


Happily ever far

Fast forward to February. The good news is that Eliquis works like a charm and has no side effects, other than the bill raising your blood pressure.

You saw the "Before" picture. Now check out the “After” one. As mentioned, the “Before” was actually January 18th, after the initial swelling had already decreased by about half. (I didn’t think to get a picture January 2nd, having other things on my mind, such as surviving.). The "after" is really more of a "during" because it will still be a month or more until I can play ultimate frisbee again.

They still have no idea what caused this to happen, despite my having undergone every test known to mankind, and paid every copay known to mankind.


The Doctor Visit PrepKits prevented a major hospitalization for me...and could possibly do the same for your employees. Here's what's much more likely: it will do exactly what the name says – facilitate preparation for over 200 clinical encounters.

It is an added feature of Quizzify, or may be purchased separately.



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