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pulmonary embolism
Old 05-26-2009, 04:44 PM   #1
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pulmonary embolism

End of march I noticed an ache in my right calf, like I had strained it. It endured for a couple days and then I ignored it and when hiking in eastern oregon for a long weekend. During the weekend I experienced shortness of breath. At 5000 feet a desk jockey can expect a little of that for a little while but it got worse. After resting for a few minutes it would disappear. Being a couple hundred miles from even basic healthcare I decided to drive home. When a doctor examined me diagnosed DVT, deep vein thrombosis. I was immediately put in a wheelchair and taken up to the lab for an ultrasound. They found a clot in my right groin. Chest xrays disclosed most of the right lung in bad shape. After a week in the hospital I was put on Cumiden and expect to take it for six months. The leg swelling is down to about 20 percent above normal. Can anyone tell me how long I should expect to see swelling or tenderness in the lower leg, and anyone have any experience with this problem. I have a history of vascular disease but have never had a clot. I am 63 and fairly active as in hiking and biking. This has been way more difficult to deal with than the prrevious two heart attacks.
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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Lloyds- congratulations on still being alive. You were on the ball to go home when your shortness of breath didn't go away.

I have no knowledge about your question, but perhaps your Doctor could try? Also there are doctors and nurses on this forum that may be able to help.

Ha
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:13 PM   #3
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Can't help you out, all I can suggest is that you go and buy a lottery ticket as you seem to be a lucky person.

As Ha said, good job using your head and turning back when you did.
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input Ha. I know the doctors are the final word, at least for direction in the future, but I am hopeful others on here have had a similar experience ( now that doesn't sound very nice, but you know what I mean) and can offer suggestions and maybe prime me for questions I can ask. I have done a lot of research on the internet but haven't found much with concrete conclusions. And I really don't want to continue the rat poison any longer than absolutely necessary. The first week I was on it I started bleeding internally and they never did find the leak. After they cut the dosage the bleeding stopped.
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:18 PM   #5
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Coumadin is not the best drug to be on. My DH had to take it for Warfarin for some months due to a heart issue that could have caused clotting. The biggest pain was getting the dosage right and the time wasted waiting around for blood tests.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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Here is everything you need to know for starters.

You dodged a bullet; glad it worked out OK. This is a huge problem I see every single day working in a large referral hospital.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:08 PM   #7
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Rich, your link says "The page you requested is available only to UpToDate subscribers".
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Rich, your link says "The page you requested is available only to UpToDate subscribers".
Rich fixed it and it is working now.
Ditto on dodging a bullet.

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Old 05-27-2009, 12:12 AM   #9
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Good on you, Lloyds, for listening to the symptoms. Most "guys" would've grunted on through like the "I'm good!" commercial until it was too late.

When I was taking elevated daily amounts of vitamin C (1000 mg), vitamin E (800 IU) and a quarter-aspirin, it was taking a long time for my blood to clot on a cut or a scrape. I halved the vitamins and stopped taking the aspirin; clotting isn't so problematic now.

Guess this is the other side of that issue. I'm not complaining anymore about a little slow clotting.

And Rich, thanks for that most informative website!
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:42 AM   #10
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My niece had a PE during labor. They initially thought that both mother and baby were going to die. Both of them ended up living, but the baby was without oxygen too long and was born with multiple problems. She lived for 8 mos and spent the majority of the time in the hospital and had feeding tubes. My niece recovered, but has had panic attacks.

My mother was in the hospital and was sent home with medicine for a blood clot. Next thing I knew I was called and told that she had died. An autopsy was not performed and she did have heart trouble also. She was sitting up and had been reading the newspaper, when her DH found her. I have always suspected that the blood clot moved and killed her.

I would treat your condition with the upmost seriousness and do exactly what your doctors tell you do. Taking medicine can be a pain, but do it anyway. Best of luck to you. I hope this is a one time thing for you. By the way, that happened to my niece 18 yrs ago and she has had 2 other children since that time and she is very healthy.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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And don't go and get a massage at all.....it may move the clot and kill you on the table.
I am so glad you are ok.....take extra rest and good care of yourself
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:42 PM   #12
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Great article Rich. And thank you all for the feedback. I talked to a friend yesterday that was treated for a broken leg several years back and when the cast was removed he had severe DVT. He was placed on anticoagulants and still to this day experiences swelling of the leg. It was his understanding that there is a valve type system in different parts of the body that prevents backflow of blood. In his case it was damaged, which allowed blood to settle in his leg. I am assuming that is what I am experiencing and will expect it to be with me in varying degrees from now on. He felt as I did that exercise was good, when in fact putting the leg up when he could during the day kept the swelling down. I am finding the same thing.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:31 PM   #13
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Lloyds, you are lucky to be alive. Congratulations!

My dad had a DVT after surgery. He was on Heparin initially, then Warfarin (Coumadin) for three months. By that time the swelling was gone.

My uncle died suddenly of a PE after minor surgery. No warning symptoms.

What Rich said.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:49 AM   #14
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Lloyds,

Welcome to the world of PE survivorship!

I had a PE diagnosed a week after the birth of my second child. Two clots in my lungs. I spent two weeks on Lovenox (an injectable anti-coagulant -- gave myself the injections twice daily) and another six months on Coumadin.

I found that being very careful with my diet really helped me stabilize my Coumadin levels. DH found a list of foods that increase the propensity of blood to clot -- these foods are high in Vitamin K. If I ate the same amount of these foods every day, my clotting factors stayed relatively stable and it made it easier for my doctor to manage my coumadin dose. This was not easy, but helped me a lot.

After you're off coumadin, keeping your intake of Vitamin K low might be something that would (along with other factors) reduce your risk of another clot. It's certainly worth talking to your doctor about.

Good luck, and glad you listened to your body and came back when you did!
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