Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blood Clots

My ankle has been hurting so bad and my lower calf on my left leg. Well it quit hurting and I never thought any more about it. However, on Sunday evening when I was talking to Johanna she noticed that something was wrong and I told her "I was a little short of breath". Never thinking anything of it. Monday evening same thing when I was talking to Betty. I gave her the same answer not thinking anything of it. Tuesday evening after changing the cat boxes and vacuuming I could hardly breath at all. So on Wednesday, September 13th, I called the oncology department to see if it was okay to do chemo on Thursday if I was short of breath. Well, needless to say I got the third degree and finally the nurse said is there someone there with you "no". Then she asked if I had someone who could take me to the hospital, "yes". Then she asked how soon could I get to St Joseph ER - "an hour". She said to get there ASAP. I called Laurie because I knew she didn't have classes on Wednesday afternoon. It was 11:30am and she came immediately. We got to the ER at 12:30 where I got the third degree. Then they finally said they were going to do a CT scan to look for blood clots. Now I am sitting there calm, relaxed, all test results are normal, B/P, temp, oxygen level all normal. I am totally expecting them to say, so is Laurie, that there is nothing wrong. The ER doctor sat down by the bed and said you have pulmonary emboli - "your are shooting blood clots". (A blood clot (thrombus) in the deep venous system of the leg is not dangerous in itself. The situation becomes life-threatening when a piece of the blood clot breaks off (embolus, pleural=emboli), travels downstream through the heart into the pulmonary circulation system, and becomes lodged in the lung.)

I had no chest pain, no cough, nothing that would indicate that something was wrong except for the occasional shortness of breath. Since I live alone the ER doctor wanted to admit me overnight to watch me. They started me on Arixtra immediately. The overnight stay was without event. However, lots of doctors were talking to each other, especially about taking the chemo on Thursday. My oncologist came to the hospital and the decision was mine. He said that chemo and blood clots are two completely separate issues and that it was okay to do the chemo if I was up to it. I was discharged from the hospital and walked over to the Franklin building just in time for my chemo at 11:00 am.
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