Tag - blood thinner

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Wednesday, June 30 2021

Blood Thinners

Blood thinners can be a lifesaver for those of us that have had blood clots but I found a serious negative of their use. I felt pain that I, and the emergency room doctor, diagnosed as kidney stones. I ended up going to the E.R. three times before they realized I had an arterial bleed behind my pancreas.

The bleed was stopped after 3 days in intensive care using endovascular coiling to block blood flow into my aneurysm followed by a week in the hospital. I didn’t realize it was as bad as it was until I was told that I almost died.

The negative of blood thinners, in my case, turned out to be they can cause this type of bleed and I was taken off them so the doctors could stop the bleed. That’s something I had never heard of and why I’m mentioning it. Anyone on blood thinners should be aware of this possibility.

Since I had a couple of clots and couldn’t take the usual blood thinners again the surgeon installed a Vena Cava filter to catch any new clot before reaching my lungs.

On the positive side, I no longer have the excessive bruising and bleeding I had when on the blood thinners.

A side note: I told the E.R. doctor what I thought was the problem, kidney stones. Unfortunately, he agreed and treated me on my first two visits for that when it was something totally different. I'll never suggest the cause of a problem again.

Tuesday, June 29 2021

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is caused by a blocked artery in the lungs. The most common cause is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein in the leg and travels to the lungs, where it gets lodged in a smaller lung artery. Almost all blood clots that cause pulmonary embolism are formed in the deep leg veins. It can cause low blood oxygen levels that can damage other organs in the body. A large PE or many clots can quickly cause serious life-threatening problems and, even death.

I've had a couple of these, one single and one bi-lateral (both lungs), and is quite scary finding it very difficult to breathe. Having one is not fatal, though it can be. Treatment is blood thinners which help dissolve the clot and prevent others from happening. My first was misdiagnosed as an asthma attack and didn't get properly treated for 5 days but, obviously, it didn't kill me. I was told I'd be on blood thinners for life but chose to stop my blood thinners on the belief mine was a freak occurrence and wouldn't happen again. The point I want to make is that when I told my Pulmonologist I stopped the blood thinners and was aware of the risk but I refused to spend the rest of my life in fear of another. He surprised me by saying "good for you!" and told me that most of his patients did spend their time sitting home fearing another.

Fifteen years later I had the bi-lateral PE's and felt I would die, again I didn't and was put back on blood thinners.

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