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

I am a 40 year old woman that has recently had a surgery performed on my shoulder. I had to have some of the bones reshaped, which was done laparoscopically, and with no complications. Four days after my surgery, I awoke at 5a.m., and was having problems with shortness of breath. I than began to get a headache, and started having dry heaves. After 2 hours of suffering, my husband talked me into going into the ER. I did end up having a normal chest x-ray, but my D-dimer test was very elevated. The Dr. ordered a CT scan with contrast that was "grossly positive for PE in the proximal segmental branches to both lower lobes, but also present within the right upper lobe and the left upper lobe." Luckily things were caught in time, and I ended up spending a week in the hospital and not six feet under. Please be aware that clots can form, even if you have been told that "it's unheard of from the type of surgery you had!" If something just doesn't "seem right," PLEASE get it checked!

Comment from: river rat 46, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I am 63 years old. In late November, I developed a soreness in my right calf. Thinking I had pulled something, I didn't go to the doctor. After about two weeks with the pain almost gone, I started hurting in my left lung area. I went to work and right after lunch I started hurting very badly in my left shoulder and lung. The pain was unbearable. I could barely breathe. I drove 45 miles to the doctor, and he sent me for tests. I had deep vein thrombosis with a pulmonary embolism in each lung. I was told I was lucky to still be alive. I had shortness of breath for eight years before this, and they could not find anything wrong. If you get shortness of breath for no reason, insist on doing tests for blood clots.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I had chest pain which came first, then I became breathless and my lips became a little blue. I managed to still stand though I went light headed. The pain was like a burning stabbing type and some inflammation was evident. It was putting pressure on my lungs and lying down was painful. I had five days of Clexane 120mg and a perfusion scan on the six. All was clear and the pain and breathlessness was much diminished so I was discharged. I became breathless and the pain increased on lying down flat and when I bent over. My sats were normal although my FBC showed a high reading regarding anticoagulant. This and my symptoms pointed them towards PE. Scan was clear so I am on no medications, but am worried it may return. If there was a clot (small) would 5 days of Clexane clear this and if it was a clot can it return?

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 31

I am glad to see that all of you survived your pulmonary embolism episode. However my precious daughter Alexandra did not get the same privilege. I lost her on June 8th. She had just celebrated her 30th Birthday on April 1st. The reason why I am writing today is because I got her final autopsy report this morning. It took me all that time to gather the courage to go back to the hospital and get it. Alexandra had been in a wheelchair all of her life as she was born with spina bifida and was paralysed from the waist down. She had been hospitalized for a whole week and since the doctors could not find anything wrong with her even though I insisted on the fact that her right leg was more swollen than usual, that she complained about pain in the abdomen and that she was wheezing. She was sent back home and died one week later. I hope my story does not discourage you. Alexandra already had a long medical history and gone through so much in her short life. The odds were against her I guess. I miss her so much. Please listen to your inner voice and when you sense that something does not feel right, have it checked at once. Do not delay.

Comment from: Mim, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I was 37 years old when I was diagnosed with several emboli in my left lung. I went to the doctors for months with shortness of breath, pain in my shoulder and chest, and lightheadedness. I also was sent home from the emergency room with bloody sputum. When they finally did a CT scan and an echocardiogram, they found several in my lungs and my vena cava. I didn't have any risk factors, but I had bronchitis earlier that year and I traveled once (we stopped the car several times and walked around, too). I spent four days in the hospital and was on Coumadin for 9 months. Diet is extremely important - there is a book about Coumadin diets. The doctor just kept apologizing for missing them, but I am scared whenever I am short of breath or have any type of shoulder pain now. The most important thing is to be persistent - I asked several times if it could be clots and was ignored.

Comment from: SaraRN1980, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I had been Sweating like a pig for weeks, dripping sweat for an activity, like putting away dishes or making the bed. Two doctors ignored my complaint of sweating. Then, I developed higher blood pressure, up to 179/105, but my doctor told me to just take more of my blood pressure medications, and it came down to 140/100. Finally, I started having a low fever for 5 days, and blood pressure went back to 169/105 with the higher dose of medications. I persisted with a 3rd doctor, 1st she checked my blood for thyroid problems. When that came back okay, she did more blood work and a CT scan with contrast of my lungs. Sure enough, the CT scan showed a quarter size clot in my right upper lobe of the lung, and tissue had died. I had a chest X-ray incidentally 3 weeks earlier, for something unrelated, and that didn't show the clot or dead tissue either. So my advice is to PERSIST, if you FEEL something is wrong with you, don't take no for an answer because there are A LOT of incompetent doctors (I know, I am a Nurse)!

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