Comment from: Mom of 3, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

A few weeks ago after a trip overseas, I noticed that my shoulder hurt. I woke the next morning with a severe pain in my left shoulder and breast/chest area. I was short of breath and my husband rushed me to the hospital. It was a pulmonary embolism (PE) in my right lung. The pain in my left shoulder was referred pain. In hindsight, a few months before all of this, I had charley horses in both legs, off and on. When I was overseas, I had numbness in my calf and, a week later, in my hip. But, who thinks, "Hmm, I must have a blood clot traveling up my leg?" I am very blessed, and after three days in the hospital, I am home and taking Coumadin. Smoking is no longer a pleasure, as it contributed to this PE. The pain I felt was as if someone was trying to put a shovel through my skin/chest. Do not wait and see if this pain goes away; it will kill you.

Comment from: Josie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I suffered for 2 weeks before I was diagnosed with PE. I woke up coughing in the middle of the night, with a feeling of having something caught in the center of my chest. I would have to set upright and wait for the feeling to go away. Next, I had started walking again, and part way through my walk, my arms and legs would ache so bad that I didn't know if I was going to make it home. (this, as I found out later, was from lack of oxygen). For the three days just before I was diagnosed, I felt like I had pneumonia - with funny little pains through my chest, rib cage, down my sides, and through my back and under my shoulder blades. The day of my diagnosis, I was driving on the highway at 100km/hour, holding on to my chest, hardly able to breathe, telling my husband that I think I had better go to outpatients, to get this pneumonia checked out. It turned out to be a Pulmonary Embolism - one large one and multiple small ones. I am now on Warfarin for the rest of my life.

Comment from: Denese, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I am 38 and was diagnosed years ago with pulmonary embolism. I had chest pain and a little bit of shortness of breath for 7 months. I had blood work showing an elevation of a cardiolipin antibody. I showed it to my cardiologist and he said it wasn't high enough to worry about putting me on blood thinners. One and a half months later I went to the ER because now the shortness of breath was worse. Chest pain was still the same. They reluctantly tested me for blood clots. My left lung was totally full and the right was half way full. There was even a big one. Turns out I have a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome which is a condition where you clot easily. I am on life long blood thinners now and when I go in with chest pain or shortness of breath, they immediately test. Please don't mess with those symptoms. I was told that if they sent me home that time, I would not have survived.

Comment from: christine, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

I was diagnosed with pneumonia, and was in the hospital for one week. When I got home I still wasn't breathing normally so I went back to the ER they told me that my oxygen level was not good to do some blood work that they did. The doctor ordered a CT scan of my lungs and they found two blood clots in my lungs. Now that I have read information on Pulmonary Embolism it has become apparent to me that the chest pain that I was having for years was not anxiety. The lightheadedness and lack of energy wasn't depression, so it took them 5 years to figure out what was wrong with me. Don't let your chest pain go as anything because it would come and go never consistent, but very sharp pain when you breathe. The embolisms have affected my lungs so bad that I now Suffer with COPD I am 33 with four children.

Comment from: concerned friend, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 17

I am concerned for a co-worker, who has had chest pains for a week. She is still able to work, but only because her family is depending on her. She is about 30, African american, over weight, but, steadily losing after having a baby last year. Last week she was taken to ER from work. She complained of major chest pains. I think she said something of shortness of breath and a little on and off fainting. Stairs are a part of her job and the climb is hard. She said that right side of chest is inflamed, noticed when touched, and nausea. My aunt died of similar symptoms plus a few more that I am unsure of, don't want to ask and upset my mom. Aunt was 50.

Comment from: Bonnie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I am a 44 year old mother of 4. I run a small restaurant and antique store. I lead a water exercise class 4 nights a week. I am on my feet for quite a few hours a day. I developed a cough the beginning of June that has lasted all summer, just a dry nagging cough which for awhile worsened if I tried to lay flat. I often sleep propped up on pillows. For most of the summer I have experienced shortness of breath while exercising. I passed it off to weight gain and being out of shape from a long winter. This past weekend (Aug 9th) it seemed to get worse. I was easily winded and my heart would start racing when I walked or worked quickly. I didn't have any sharp pains, just a heaviness in my chest. Right now it almost feels like a marble rolling around in there. I broke down and went to the doctor who sent me to the emergency room. I thought maybe it was exercised induced asthma. The chest x ray seemed clear, but some blood work done indicated that I probably had a blood clot. After a CT scan I was told I had a clot in my left lung and several in my right lung. I was started on Lovax injections and warifan orally. My oxygen sats were 93 to 96, my blood pressure is low. I spent 2 nights in the hospital. I still don't know where these clots came from since an ultrasound of my legs showed nothing. I was sent home because Blue Cross and Blue Shield would not cover more than 2 nights for this. I have no real answers yet, but just want others to know that I was active the whole time and this happened. The only time I had leg pain was in the winter, I kept getting Charlie horses in my right leg. I did go to my doctor then wandering if it was a clot but he said no, it was probably from shoveling. Now I wonder if I wasn't right and it did travel to my lungs over the course of the last 6 months.

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Pulmonary Embolism (Blood Clot in the Lung) - Diagnosis Question: Describe the exams and tests you received that led to a diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism - Venous Doppler Question: Did you have a venous doppler study, or ultrasound? Please share your experience.
Pulmonary Embolism - Thrombolytic Therapy Question: Did you or someone you know receive thrombolytic therapy for a pulmonary embolism? Please share your story.
Pulmonary Embolism - Experience Question: Please share your experience with pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism - Symptoms Question: Please share your experience with symptoms of pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism - Treatment Question: What treatments did you undergo for pulmonary embolism?
Pulmonary Embolism - Risk Factors Question: Do you have risk factors for pulmonary embolism?

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