Patient Story: What the heck is happening?! by John Walker

walker-john-photo-editedI had just secured my dream job of all time, and finished my first year with glowing praise. Life was awesome for the whole family! Now, with good medical coverage, it was time for checkups and even a look at that hernia. So after a few consults, I went in for a hernia surgery. It went well, and after a few days, the pain and anesthesia began to wear off, so I was beginning to move around. In my left arm, I noticed what looked like a long dark, red rope where my vein should be, and a golf ball size lump in my lower bicep. I thought it was IV complications, and I didn’t think about it much. On a recent physical, I was told I was healthy as a horse. I wasn’t even thinking about my mom’s blood clotting issues.

After a few more days of my arm getting stiffer and more sore, I went in for an ultra sound with orders from my primary care physician (PCP). After the ultra sound, I was admitted to the ER with several DVTs – or blood clots – in my arm.

Next came three days in the hospital with all sorts of tests, blood thinners, visits from a hematologist and other doctors, all with me having a hard time taking a deep breath and feeling miserable, not really comprehending it all. Then came the CAT scan and the hematologist told me I had a clot in my right lung or pulmonary embolism. That word went right through me. I had recently lost a friend to a blood clot and suddenly wondered, was this my time? Alone in that hospital bed all night, I went back and forth on the idea of dying, for both my family and myself.

After three more days, I was sent home with Xarelto and warnings to come right back if there was chest pain, difficulty breathing, nausea, sweats, fever, etc. I was wheeled out to my car with a follow up appointment in a few days to the same hematologist.

Home has been weird. Yesterday I was dizzy and weak, but today I am breathing better. The cramp-like pain in my right side went to my upper right chest, and now is back to my right side again. No chest pain, and breathing better. So now I sit and wonder, what the heck just happened?! What will happen next?

Thanks to Blood Clot Recovery Network and all of your stories, I have an idea of where this is all heading. I have hope. I thank all you for telling your stories and offering so much advice. I feel much less alone with this now and a little less afraid.


Share Your Story SQEditor’s Note: Thank you, John, for sharing your story with BCRN. Connect with John, or share your thoughts, in the comments below.


Read more Patient Stories from BCRN.


Visit How to Share Your Story to share your story with Blood Clot Recovery Network.

That one thing about blood clots everyone should know.

1-sq

When I was diagnosed with a blood clot and as I went through recovery, I was surprised how much I – and other people I knew – did not not know about blood clots. There was so much I wanted to share with people as I recovered – blood clots hurt, recovery took a long […]

Continue reading...

Patient Story: My Blood Clot Story by Denise Watrous

watrous-denise-photo-sq

In August of 2006, I was 32 years old. I woke up on a Tuesday morning with some mild shoulder pain. It was a dull ache. It hurt in the front, right above my clavicle bone, and all the way through to my back. I thought I must have slept on it wrong so I […]

Continue reading...

The Patient’s Playbook Review & Giveaway

patients-playbook-cover

I have been given this product as a part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network. Although this product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own, and I was in no way influenced by the company. Often times throughout my recovery, I wished for a guide to get me […]

Continue reading...

Patient Story: Not Ready to Go by Theresa Grinstead

theresa-grinstead

The pain in my knee and calf was excruciating, but I am not the type to go to the doctor unless I’m dying (I’m sure you can tell where this story is headed). Maybe my new high heels were the cause – being a woman is painful sometimes. After about a week and a half […]

Continue reading...

How to Enjoy Travel After a Blood Clot

Travel after a blood clot

For nearly as long as I have been writing this blog, I have talked about living your best life post-blood clot and on blood thinners, and I try to do that myself by trying new things, even in spite of my diagnosis (although falling off a cliff is not something I would recommend). My husband […]

Continue reading...

Patient Story: I Never Thought it Would Happen to Me by Victoria

Tovell, Victoria_Circle Pic

It’s true, I had heard of pulmonary embolisms. I’m a pharmacist after all. The main thing I associated with having blood clots in your lung was that there was a very good chance you could die. When I chose to have elective knee surgery – a simple day procedure – little did I know six days […]

Continue reading...

Finding Support After a Blood Clot

Share Your Struggle Cover Image

A support network is really important to help you through what can be a difficult and often overwhelming recovery from blood clots or other serious illness. It is important to have a person – or better yet, people – you can rely on to help you process what you are going through, listen to your […]

Continue reading...

Patient Story: Occlusion in the Pathways of Life by Jordan Stonehouse

Stonehouse, Jordan Circle Pic

It was spring 2014 in the beautiful state of Michigan, and I was entering the final week of classes before I could apply to the program of my dreams. Following a painful colposcopy procedure that had me bedridden for a few days, I sat for hours and hours studying for final exams. On a Thursday […]

Continue reading...

Patient Story: Taking Charge of Your Life with a PE by Megan Weisgerber

Blog Photo Weisgerber, Megan

On a cold February afternoon, the pain in my legs and ankles was unbearable. After standing on my feet all day at work, I thought the pain was just from that, but it did not go away. I went to the local Urgent Care, they ran an EKG and since I had started birth control, […]

Continue reading...