In summer 2003 I was taken into hospital with what turned out to be multiple blood clots in both lungs, after several weeks of shortness of breath and nearly passing out.
I was on blood thinners for 6 months and was deemed "clear" though I was not given any more VQ scans or actual tests.
No reason has ever been found for the clots - no DVT was found, and I had various blood tests (including genetic), and an ultrasound on my pelvis, but no explanation was ever found.
3 years later my lung function is still not best. I get breathless when walking uphill, especially if I am carrying a bag and my chest actually hurts. I don't feel like I can really take a proper deep breath, even at rest. Strangely, I don't get breathless when I exercise - I play tennis and badminton and can hurl myself round the court with no ill effects.
Despite the sport mentioned above, I would not consider myself fit. I am about 3 stone overweight, and because of a severe back problem, I am unable to do very strenuous exercise (ie aerobics). Consequently, I almost never do cardio-vascular exercise and when I play tennis and badminton I run in very short bursts and then there is a natural break between each point.
Anyone else experienced this residual problem years after pulmonary embolii?
I don't feel it's worrying enough to go back to my doctor (especially as I am worried they would refer me to the hospital and I'd end up being kept in for a week like I was 3 years ago!), but any opinions gratefully received.
Hi, my dad had the same problem in 2002 and also suffered from shortness of breathe afterwards. July 26th my dad went in for a hernia operation and his oxygen level dropped low now to find out he has pulmonary fibrosis at the ending stage of this disease. If I were you I would make sure you get further testing. Hope everything works out alright.
I had my heart checked (just with the little sticky pads) the day I was sent to casualty but it was all fine and nothing has ever been mentioned again.
As far as any follow ups are concerned, once I had done 6 months on Warfarin, that was that. I've never been invited back by the hospital for any check-ups and I've been to the GP a few times since (about other things) but have never been asked how I'm feeling now after the blood clots. I realise that I should have been more proactive and mentioned it myself, but I kind of dread doing that in case they send me into hospital again!
I've found in the past that asking a GP about further tests is usually met with resistance as it costs them money, and all of my GPs have always seemed to be rather insulted if I mention that I have done any research myself and think maybe I know what I need!
However, given the above, I'll make an appointment with my GP and see if I can get a PFT - if only I knew what that stood for!!! Pulmonary Function Test? Just guessing.
Too bad that they're insulted if you ask questions and are interesting in getting better! Yes, a PFT is exactly that - Pulmonary Function Test and it can tell the doctor a lot of things, so I would think your doctor would want you to have one! Good luck.