One Year Later

I have not mentioned it here before, but last November after we got home from our amazing and wonderful Hawaii trip, I had a very large Pulmonary Embolism which could easily have killed me.

After we got home I felt like I had a flu, I couldn’t catch my breath. But I didn’t have any of the other symptoms you get with flu. My doctor suspected PE and sent me for a V/Q lung scan and in doing so he saved my life..

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They put me in hospital for 24 hours – they wanted to keep me for many days to monitor me but I refused because the other half can nurse me better than anyone else can, we have an oxygen monitor right here at home, they needed the bed for much sicker people than me, and I wanted to be with my cats because a cat purring on you is the best medicine anyone can have.

So, they sent me home with some hospital charts that the other half could keep all his observations of me on, and I had the longest shower ever. Ick. I am a germophobe, so not a big fan of hospitals at all. I was back at work the next day, o2 monitor attached set to alarm if my blood oxygen went below 90.

In speaking with the doctors I know exactly when the clot formed – probably 3-4 hours into the flight home, one of my legs went to sleep and when I got up to try and wake it up, there was this pain in the back of my thigh. It felt like a muscle cramp, so I asked the other half to pummel and massage that spot a little – and he did. This may have been an excellent thing breaking up the clot into smaller pieces. It might have actually saved my life.

The doctors put me on a wonderful new-ish medication called Rivaroxaban which is the alternative to Wharfarin and does not require constant blood tests and monitoring. Anyway, enough about that – all this just to say I have been getting some tests done to try and determine why this happened, and if it is likely to happen again, and so I can get off the medication and be cleared to snorkel this summer. ;)

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10 thoughts on “One Year Later

  1. Glad you discovered it in time and that you are not doing things that might cause another (some people really, really don’t). I hope you get to snorkel and maybe get/rent an underwater camera. Cherish and enjoy life. :-)

  2. Wow that is so scary! So glad that you were able to get treatment quickly. Good luck in the search to figure out whether it could happen again and that it leads to the ability to snorkel!

  3. Wow, I am glad the beating up a muscle cramp is also a way of helping break up blood clots! Very scary, I am glad you are doing well now. I hope you can get back to snorkeling!

    PS: My cat appreciates the idea that he is the best type of medicine. Totally is!

  4. That must’ve been very scary! Glad you discovered it and came through okay.

    I’d read that Pulse Oximeters don’t respond very quickly to low O2 levels. But this complaint about them was discussed in the context of using them in place of Sleep Apnea remedies such as a CPAP mask.

    If your doctor suspected a PE, I wonder if he recommended that you immediately start a regimen of aspirin while you waited for your test results?

  5. That is scary.. However I am glad that you are doing better, and looking forward to your snorkelling activities in the summer. :)

    Thank you for visiting my blog :)

  6. A small update – I had my final appointment with the lung specialist and now have the all clear to snorkel! YAY!

    @Thebluestbutterfly – They wanted to rule out genetic causes and other factors so I was sent to get a shedload of blood tests, 15 vials of my awesome blood went various places, and everything came back normal. So that was good news, especially the genetic thing because my sister is totally freaked out by what happened to me.

    @Denise from According To Denise – Women are getting pulmonary embolisms more and more these days, it is becoming a bit of a deal. There was one birth control pill called Yasmin which was causing a lot of PE’s and there were lawsuits. For me, the thing that they suspect caused it was a lack of hydration on the plane. I did not drink very much in flight – forgot to get a water bottle, and they would only give you tiny cups of water. Never again will I travel without a water bottle!

    @Denise from Beaut-Tree – We call it pummelling. When I ask him to pummel me I really mean hit me super hard and he knows that, so I think it saved me big time.

    @ Elyse – knowing my luck I’ll go and snorkel and get eaten by a shark! :)

    @Square Peg Guy – I did not go home, I did not pass go, I went straight from the scanning place to the hospital. They obviously could tell right away it was bad, and they got on the phone to the doctor, who then got on the phone to me via the scanning place to tell me what I had. The scanning place called ahead and I was taken right in and given drugs to try and break up the clot and thin the blood – very painful injections they were, too.

    @Yvan – I was feeling much better within a week of the drugs they gave me, but when I went back for a second scan a few months later the clots were still there – they took a really long time to resolve entirely.

    @Sephyroth – You totally do need to get back in the water. You did so amazingly well snorkelling!

    @The Fearless Scribe – Well, I couldn’t walk up a slight hill without huffing and puffing, so it was pretty obvious something wasn’t right. But some people are not so lucky and get no symptoms and die right away from the clot.

    @Nicole – It was pretty scary. I’m glad I am allowed to do stuff again now, and I’ve been walking 5km each day which is awesome.

    Thanks for your lovely comments all, and thanks for dropping by. :)

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