I 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.
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