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Old 12-04-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
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Unhappy Pulmonary Embolisms

Back in October when my family and I were away, I developed severe chest pains and went to the local hospital (London, Ont). ECG and Arterial blood tests, along with a VQ scan of my lungs indicated that I had a blood clot in each lung. My d-dimer count was 3400. 36 hours later, my d-dimer count was back to normal and a CT scan showed the blood clots were gone. Has anyone heard of blood clots disolving so fast??

I continue to be short of breath and feel like I got hit by a mac truck. Coming back to our own city, the doctors here are not sure they believe the other doctors conclusions of pulmonary embolisms despite the fact that my d-dimer count was 3400, ECG showed indication, VQ scan rated "high probability", and my arterial blood oxygen was 78 and my carbon dioxide level was high. The doctors were baffled saying they've never seen blood clots dissolve so quickly, but my blood work seemed ok again, so they discharged me and said to follow up with my own doctor. I don't know what to think and I'm still suffering from breathing problems and extreme fatigue. I am female, age 46 and looking for some answers. Doctors keep contradicting each other. Saw a lung specialist and I do not have sleep apnea and he says my breathing tests and lungs are normal. He said for me to now, once again, follow up with my own doctor. I have an appointment in 5 days but wondered if anyone here has had this problem or heard of it???? Any help would be so much appreciated! Other than this problem...I've been quite healthy. All this started with severe chest pains which came on very suddenly. Please help!!
Thank you!

 
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:00 PM   #2
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babsbunny62 View Post
Back in October when my family and I were away, I developed severe chest pains and went to the local hospital (London, Ont). ECG and Arterial blood tests, along with a VQ scan of my lungs indicated that I had a blood clot in each lung. My d-dimer count was 3400. 36 hours later, my d-dimer count was back to normal and a CT scan showed the blood clots were gone. Has anyone heard of blood clots disolving so fast??

I continue to be short of breath and feel like I got hit by a mac truck. Coming back to our own city, the doctors here are not sure they believe the other doctors conclusions of pulmonary embolisms despite the fact that my d-dimer count was 3400, ECG showed indication, VQ scan rated "high probability", and my arterial blood oxygen was 78 and my carbon dioxide level was high. The doctors were baffled saying they've never seen blood clots dissolve so quickly, but my blood work seemed ok again, so they discharged me and said to follow up with my own doctor. I don't know what to think and I'm still suffering from breathing problems and extreme fatigue. I am female, age 46 and looking for some answers. Doctors keep contradicting each other. Saw a lung specialist and I do not have sleep apnea and he says my breathing tests and lungs are normal. He said for me to now, once again, follow up with my own doctor. I have an appointment in 5 days but wondered if anyone here has had this problem or heard of it???? Any help would be so much appreciated! Other than this problem...I've been quite healthy. All this started with severe chest pains which came on very suddenly. Please help!!
Thank you!
When patients say "the doctors were baffled", that is not usually the case. Your case is nothing out of the ordinary. Often when one has pulmonary emboli, in the acute phase there are often large clots which are visible on chest CT; however, within a few hours it's possible for the clot to break in to pieces (even without treatment) and then shower to smaller vessels downstream in the lung.

You feel like a truck has hit you because you have had an acute injury to the vasculature of your lung, and before your lungs are able to adjust to certain blood vessels NOT being able to carry oxygenated blood anymore, the overall oxygen content in the blood is lowered, and well, you feel like junk.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the right side of the heart which normally pumps blood TO the lungs, does so against very little resistance. The lungs are just airfilled sacs with a lot of blood vessels around--not much resistance is there. As a reflection of this the wall of the right ventricle is very thin and wimpy. When you get a pulmonary embolus, all of sudden the right side of the heart has to pump against a lot of resistance that it's not used to. It's working a lot harder than it normally does, and in severe situations it can cause serious problems like fainting and cardiac arrest. In most cases, though, the extra work on the right side of the heart manifests as "feeling unwell" and very

Finally, it doesn't really matter what your CT scan shows now--when you went to the ER when you did, you had evidence of hypoxia (low oxygen in the blood), shortness of breath and a high probability of PE on a V/Q scan. That is diagnostic for a pulmonary embolus. Depending on whether you have a predisposition to clots or if this has happened before, you need at least 6 months of anticoagulation.

 
Old 12-24-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

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Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
When patients say "the doctors were baffled", that is not usually the case. Your case is nothing out of the ordinary. Often when one has pulmonary emboli, in the acute phase there are often large clots which are visible on chest CT; however, within a few hours it's possible for the clot to break in to pieces (even without treatment) and then shower to smaller vessels downstream in the lung.

You feel like a truck has hit you because you have had an acute injury to the vasculature of your lung, and before your lungs are able to adjust to certain blood vessels NOT being able to carry oxygenated blood anymore, the overall oxygen content in the blood is lowered, and well, you feel like junk.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the right side of the heart which normally pumps blood TO the lungs, does so against very little resistance. The lungs are just airfilled sacs with a lot of blood vessels around--not much resistance is there. As a reflection of this the wall of the right ventricle is very thin and wimpy. When you get a pulmonary embolus, all of sudden the right side of the heart has to pump against a lot of resistance that it's not used to. It's working a lot harder than it normally does, and in severe situations it can cause serious problems like fainting and cardiac arrest. In most cases, though, the extra work on the right side of the heart manifests as "feeling unwell" and very

Finally, it doesn't really matter what your CT scan shows now--when you went to the ER when you did, you had evidence of hypoxia (low oxygen in the blood), shortness of breath and a high probability of PE on a V/Q scan. That is diagnostic for a pulmonary embolus. Depending on whether you have a predisposition to clots or if this has happened before, you need at least 6 months of anticoagulation.
Thank you so very much for your help in answering my questions. You've truly helped to put the puzzle pieces together. In your reply to my thread to mentioned something about fainting. Just 2 weekends ago, I was walking to turn off a lightswitch and fainted. My doctor made a note of it, but he says all my tests show normal and he put me back on 3mg of estrogen but said to keep taking 325mg of aspirin. Is this enough aspirin dosage for the anticoagulation that I need?

 
Old 12-24-2008, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

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Originally Posted by Babsbunny62 View Post
Thank you so very much for your help in answering my questions. You've truly helped to put the puzzle pieces together. In your reply to my thread to mentioned something about fainting. Just 2 weekends ago, I was walking to turn off a lightswitch and fainted. My doctor made a note of it, but he says all my tests show normal and he put me back on 3mg of estrogen but said to keep taking 325mg of aspirin. Is this enough aspirin dosage for the anticoagulation that I need?
It sounds like you've had a pulmonary embolism diagnosed at an academic hospital in London, Ontario. Am I right? Pulmonary emboli (assuming this is a first episode with no predisposing factors) are generally treated with FULL anticoagulation for about 6months. Full anticoagulation usually means something like warfarin. Additionally, any patient who has had a pulmonary embolus or a deep vein thrombosis should not be on any estrogen supplements (including the oral contraceptive pill) because they can increase your chance of clots.

Of course, I am just speaking of pulmonary emboli in general. Your doctors are the ones who have your full story and they are the ones who know how to treat you.

When you were diagnosed with the PE at UH (or was it Victoria hospital?) did they start you on anticoagulation with injections of heparin (perhaps Lovenox or Fragmin?) or warfarin?

Also reading your first post more closely, you had a V/Q scan which was high probability. V/Q scans aren't able to actual visualize clots....all they do in the case of a pulmonary embolus is show you a general area of the lung where there is air flowing in, but no blood flowing in. When this "mismatch" follows a certain stereotypical pattern, the nuclear medicine doctor will call it a "high probability" scan. The emergency physician or internist then must take the "high probability" scan and put it together with the clinical picture. In someone who has pleuritic chest pain, ECG signs of R venticular strain and a high probability scan, it's fairly diagnostic of a PE. The CT scan can be confirmatory, but just because you can't see a clot on the CT scan doesn't mean you can't have what they call "subsegmental" pulmonary emboli...i.e. emboli which are present but too small to catch on a spiral CT.

In any case, when you saw the lung specialist, what did he say in response to the V/Q scan and your symptoms?

Last edited by harka; 12-24-2008 at 10:27 PM.

 
Old 12-28-2008, 04:44 PM   #5
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

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Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
It sounds like you've had a pulmonary embolism diagnosed at an academic hospital in London, Ontario. Am I right? Pulmonary emboli (assuming this is a first episode with no predisposing factors) are generally treated with FULL anticoagulation for about 6months. Full anticoagulation usually means something like warfarin. Additionally, any patient who has had a pulmonary embolus or a deep vein thrombosis should not be on any estrogen supplements (including the oral contraceptive pill) because they can increase your chance of clots.

Of course, I am just speaking of pulmonary emboli in general. Your doctors are the ones who have your full story and they are the ones who know how to treat you.

When you were diagnosed with the PE at UH (or was it Victoria hospital?) did they start you on anticoagulation with injections of heparin (perhaps Lovenox or Fragmin?) or warfarin?

Also reading your first post more closely, you had a V/Q scan which was high probability. V/Q scans aren't able to actual visualize clots....all they do in the case of a pulmonary embolus is show you a general area of the lung where there is air flowing in, but no blood flowing in. When this "mismatch" follows a certain stereotypical pattern, the nuclear medicine doctor will call it a "high probability" scan. The emergency physician or internist then must take the "high probability" scan and put it together with the clinical picture. In someone who has pleuritic chest pain, ECG signs of R venticular strain and a high probability scan, it's fairly diagnostic of a PE. The CT scan can be confirmatory, but just because you can't see a clot on the CT scan doesn't mean you can't have what they call "subsegmental" pulmonary emboli...i.e. emboli which are present but too small to catch on a spiral CT.

In any case, when you saw the lung specialist, what did he say in response to the V/Q scan and your symptoms?

I can't thank you enough for answering my questions. I've gotten no answers until I posted my "story" on this message board. To answer your questions now, I was diagnosed with 2 pulmonary embolisms at St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario. The technician told us nothing. He said it had to be seen by the doctor and THEN we would get the results, which we did. I had originally been admitted to the Hospital in Exeter, Ontario, but they sent me to St. Joseph's in London for the tests and then I'd be sent back to Exeter. It was at the Exeter hospital that they gave me needles twice a day of heparin as well as oral medication. The doctor at St. Joseph's Hospital said I had a PE in EACH lung.

As for the lung specialist that I saw back here in Oshawa, Ontario, he said he didn't think I had a blood clot at all. He said my CT scan was normal and when I asked him about my arterial blood oxygen level being low and my carbon dioxide level being high, he said he couldn't explain that and I should follow up with my doctor, but as far as he was concerned, (his words) my lungs were fine. They had done breathing tests on me as well as a sleep apnea test and all showed normal. Being weak and tired, I started to cry and he told me I should be overjoyed that I didn't have a blood clot, and I told him that it doesn't explain then why I constantly feel like I've been hit by a mack truck. I am slowly improving, but it still doesn't take much activity at all and the color is gone from my face and I'm feeling lightheaded and dizzy and need to rest. The lung specialist saw the report regarding the VQ scan that was done in London AND a 2nd one that was done in Oshawa and he said that they are not conclusive scans and just told me that he feels I didn't have a blood clot at all. I've been left with so many questions and no answers and still feeling so weak and tired. I just keep getting told to "follow up with your family doctor", and when I do, he said he's baffled and dosn't know what more to do for me and felt that I would be fine going back on 3 mg of estrogen but keep taking 325mg of ASA. I'm afraid of there still being a problem and then ending up with lung damage, or getting another blood clot. I don't know what to do now. My family doctor told me to go to emerge at the hospital if I have any more problems.
My greatest fear is that the doctors here are not taking this seriously and I'm afraid that I may have problems again sometime and having my teenagers find me on the floor sometime. What should I do????

 
Old 12-28-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

Hmmm weird. So did the VQ scan result say high probability of a PE or intermediate probability. If it was the latter the respirologist's reaction makes a bit more sense because that is definitely NOT diagnostic of a PE. When you say your oxygen was low but carbon dioxide high was that from blood they took from your wrist or earlobe?

See the respirologist obviously has a lot more information to allow him to come to the conclusion of being able to rule out a PE. What were his actual words to you? Sometimes patients come away from a doctor's visit saying the doctor said "nothing is wrong" when that's not what the doctor said at all.

Were your oxygen levels back to normal when you saw the specialist? Also after being seen in London it sounds like they started you on anticoagulation--how long were you on blood thinners before they were stopped and which doctor stopped them?

 
Old 12-29-2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

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Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
Hmmm weird. So did the VQ scan result say high probability of a PE or intermediate probability. If it was the latter the respirologist's reaction makes a bit more sense because that is definitely NOT diagnostic of a PE. When you say your oxygen was low but carbon dioxide high was that from blood they took from your wrist or earlobe?

See the respirologist obviously has a lot more information to allow him to come to the conclusion of being able to rule out a PE. What were his actual words to you? Sometimes patients come away from a doctor's visit saying the doctor said "nothing is wrong" when that's not what the doctor said at all.

Were your oxygen levels back to normal when you saw the specialist? Also after being seen in London it sounds like they started you on anticoagulation--how long were you on blood thinners before they were stopped and which doctor stopped them?

The doctor at St. Joseph's hospital reported that there was a "high probability" of PE. He reported this back to the doctor at the Exeter hospital where I returned after the test. It was the doctor at the Exeter hospital who gave us the news after he spoke with the St. Joseph's Hospital doctor and then proceeded to tell me that there wasn't just one, but two PE's. The blood they took was from the main artery in my wrist. This arterial blood test was done once in Exeter Hospital and once at St. Joseph's hospital. I was told in Exeter Hospital that my arterial blood oxygen level was 66. Then, St. Joseph's hospital reported it to be 76 2 days later....while being on the anticoagulents...injections of heparin twice a day as well as cumaden orally. I was in hospital in Exeter going back and forth to London for tests and then sent home after 5 days being told to follow up with my family doctor and to take 81mg of ASA and stay off the estrogen. It was the doctor at the Exeter hospital that pulled me off all anticoagulation and said to take the ASA. When I followed up with my family doctor, that's when the 3rd arterial blood test was done, from my wrist, and he told me the blood oxygen level was 86. I was never told by anyone what the carbon dioxide level was...just that it was too high. My family doctor said he was baffled even after receiving the reports from Exeter hospital which included reports from London hospital. Doctors at the Exeter hospital had pulled me completely off the estrogen in October. My family doctor actually told me he was baffled, but to be safe, he said he wanted me to be taking 325mg of ASA a day...up from 81mg and stay off the estrogen. I was sent home and still felt like I got hit by a truck several days later. I went back to my family doctor and he, himself, called an ambulance because he could see my breathing was so laboured and I had no color. I was taken to Oshawa hospital by ambulance where I underwent all the tests again, VQ scan, CT scan, x-rays, and also the arterial blood test from my wrist. The doctor in emerge said he was baffled because my blood oxygen level was low but he never told me what it was and also that my carbon dioxide level was high. Then he said he wanted me to see a respirologist. He was in and gone again from talking with me because emerge was so busy. A few hours later while still at hospital, a respirologist came to see me and she ordered some tests and then came back and told me that she didn't know what was going on so she referred me to the lung specialist. She told me to stay off the estrogen but keep taking the coated asa. The lung specialist, after having all the breathing tests and sleep apnea test, and seeing the reports from all doctors and hospitals, outright told me, "you did not have any blood clots at all..ever!" He said all the tests were "normal". That's when I asked him why I feel so very tired and weak all the time and he said he "didn't know, but that it's not from any blood clots." He told me I "should be happy" and if I "continue feeling fatigued, I should follow up with my family doctor." He also told me I was "fine to start taking the estrogen medication again". Once again, I went back to follow up with my family doctor. He already had the report from the lung specialist. (My normal dosage of estrogen per day use to be .925mg. I had started out at .625 but that wasn't working so the doctor upped it to .925mg.) After my family doctor receiving the report from the specialist he agreed with the lung specialist that I could start taking the estrogen again, but told me to just take .3mg of estrogen and continue taking the 325mg of ASA..."just to be safe".

Only once, at the Exeter Hospital, was blood drawn from my earlobe and they told me my blood oxygen level was still low and to follow up with my family doctor.

I feel like my body is very slowly getting better, but it scared me when I fainted a couple of weeks ago..which my family doctor just made a note of but didn't change anything in my medication. I continue to feel lightheaded and dizzy and lose my balance often and have to grab hold of something to steady myself. Family members are aware of this and they watch me very closely. It's because of these reasons that I have made the decision NOT to drive a vehicle so as not to endanger anyone's life. I'm fully dependant on my husband or my daughter to drive me where I need to go but I don't go out often because of the dizzy spells and lightheadedness. I'm mentally confused at times and forget things on bad days. On good days, I can last longer doing household activities before having to stop and lay down for a rest.
May I ask....what IS normal for a person's arterial blood oxygen level?

Last edited by Babsbunny62; 12-29-2008 at 09:19 AM. Reason: add another question

 
Old 12-30-2008, 11:26 AM   #8
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

Usually an arterial concentration of oxygen is around 100 or so.

I still don't understand why the doctors in Exeter took you off the anticoagulation, and also don't understand how the respirologist who saw you much later in your course of illness says "there was never a clot".

What's actually baffling is that you presented like you did with hypoxemia (i.e. a low blood oxygen) and chest pain, had a high probability scan and then you were pulled off of warfarin by a doctor who hadn't even seen you originally. I think I'm missing something here. Also, there is no real difference between 81mg or 325mg of Aspirin.

Did you ever get a doppler ultrasound of your legs?

 
Old 12-31-2008, 09:37 AM   #9
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

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Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
Usually an arterial concentration of oxygen is around 100 or so.

I still don't understand why the doctors in Exeter took you off the anticoagulation, and also don't understand how the respirologist who saw you much later in your course of illness says "there was never a clot".

What's actually baffling is that you presented like you did with hypoxemia (i.e. a low blood oxygen) and chest pain, had a high probability scan and then you were pulled off of warfarin by a doctor who hadn't even seen you originally. I think I'm missing something here. Also, there is no real difference between 81mg or 325mg of Aspirin.

Did you ever get a doppler ultrasound of your legs?
I don't know what a "doppler" ultrasound is, but I did have an ultrasound of both my arms and legs. I was having pain in my right arm beginning at the elbow and going up into my bicep. The technician did the ultrasound of my right arm first, and then did the left. He said too much which scared me. He said "it's odd that the pain is in your right arm but the PROBLEM is in your left." I asked him about the problem and he showed me and even explained it on the screen. I have very slow blood flow from the bicep area of my left arm into my body. He would squeeze my bicep and show me on the monitor. Then he went down both legs and said there was a problem in my left leg as well. There was a knock at the door because the tech that was to do my echocardiogram was ready for me but the ultrasound tech wasn't finished yet. He told the tech at the door that we would be a few more minutes and proceeded to tell him that I was a "very interesting case." When he finished with me, he left the room and after I was dressed I walked out to find this tech talking to the echo tech telling him to concentrate on the left ventricle area. The echo tech did the echocardiogram but would say nothing of his findings. I was in fear for 5 days waiting for the results and then learned from my family doctor that all the results came back "normal." Talk about confused and scared! I didn't know who to believe or trust anymore.

To sum up the results of the findings and reports so far....

Exeter Hospital found my d-dimer count to be 3400 when I went into emerge with chest pains on Sat Oct 11th, 2008. Something also showed on the ECG and that's when they did the 1st arterial blood test in my wrist which showed my arterial blood oxygen level to be in the 60's. They started me on heparin injections immediately and cumaden orally.

I was sent to St. Joseph's hospital in London on Sun Oct 20th for VQ scan where the results were reported by a doctor back to Exeter hospital that I had a blood clot in EACH lung.

I continued to receive the heparin injections twice a day and 2 cumaden tablets orally once a day. Blood was drawn each morning from my arm, and on Mon morning of Oct 13th, they told me at Exeter hospital that my d-dimer count was back to normal...around the 250 range...down from 3400. They said it puzzled them because they had never had anyone's d-dimer count be back to normal after only 36 hours.

Since my d-dimer count was back to normal, they then sent me back to St. Joseph's Hospital in London on Tues Oct 14th for a CT scan of my lungs. The doctor at St. Joseph's reported to the doctor at the Exeter hospital that the CT scan was normal. The doctor at the Exeter Hospital said that all this could be possible, but he had never seen it happen before. Tues evening is when they drew blood from my ear but I never learned the results.

Wed Oct 15th, my morning blood test showed my d-dimer count to be normal once again, so the doctor (a different one that day) said I could go home but I should follow up with my own family doctor. It was this different doctor on the last day of my stay at Exeter hospital that pulled me off all anticoagulants and said to stay off the estrogen but take 81mg of ASA per day.

I followed up with my family doctor on Mon Oct 20th although he had no reports from Exeter Hospital yet. He ordered blood tests, ultrasounds, and echocardiogram himself. Those tests were done on Wed Oct 29th. At this time, he told me to remain off the estrogen and start taking 325mg of ASA instead of 81mg. It was my family doctor, about a week or more later, that told me all the results came back normal.

It was sometime in November when I went again to see my family doctor because I was struggling so bad with my breathing and felt so fatigued all the time. As I was explaining everything to him, I started to cry and things went from bad to worse. An ambulance was called and I was taken from the medical centre to the hospital. Once again, at Lakeridge Health Oshawa, they did an arterial blood test from my wrist and was told that my blood oxygen level was very low (66) and carbon dioxide level high). They gave me oxygen and ordered another VQ scan, CT scan and x-rays.

I was in Lakeridge Health Oshawa for 2 days and on the 2nd day, they did another arterial blood test which came back with an oxygen level of 78. The doctor in emerge was baffled because the VQ scan, CT scan and x-rays all showed normal. Then, the doctor wanted me to see a respirologist.

After seeing and talking with the respirologist, she wanted me to see a lung specialist. I saw the lung specialist late November and had the sleep apnea test that very night and then had breathing tests at the hospital on Nov 27th. This is when they did another arterial blood oxygen test and was told it was 86.

I was back to see the lung specialist on Wed Dec 3rd where he told me every test was normal and I should be happy. I wasn't! He had every report from each hospital that I had been in and just said he "couldn't explain why I am feeling so fatigued all the time". He said I should happy that there was "no blood clot at all." I have no idea what brought him to this conclusion and I was left with more questions than answers.

On Mon Dec 8th I went back to follow up with my family doctor. Based on the report from the lung specialist, my family doctor said I should be fine to go back on the estrogen, but just take .3mg instead of the normal .925 that I had been taking for 2 years and continue with the 325mg of ASA. He then scheduled me to have a heart monitor on for 24 hours. This was on from 9:30am Dec 10 to 9:15am Dec 11th. I have not heard any report from this at all so assume the results were normal.

That's where everything was left. I was told that if I have any more problems to go to emerge at the hospital. When I fainted in the hallway a couple of weeks ago, I refused to go to emerge because I figure they just say the same thing. Nothing is wrong...follow up with your doctor.

This past weekend, I've been dizzy, lightheaded, thrown up once and still weak and tired....constantly.

So, how's my life for baffling? My brain wants to get moving and my body just can't keep up at all. I'm very frustrated and this is the only place where I've been able to get some answers. For that....I thank you so much. One question .... are you a doctor, or have you been through all this stuff yourself?

 
Old 01-01-2009, 08:55 AM   #10
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

One other thing that I remember .... before you respond to what I wrote to you yesterday, is that I remember one of the doctor's here in Oshawa saying, "if you had a blood clot at all, it would show in your blood tests weeks afterwards." I can't remember if that was my family doctor or the lung specialist who said that.

 
Old 01-01-2009, 11:31 AM   #11
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Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

If you had a blood clot, it doesn't necessarily show up on any blood tests. What is baffling to me is that, given all that evidence they had, they didn't just continue you on anticoagulation for 6 months, which is the usual treatment for a first-time pulmonary embolus.

Don't pay too much attention to what the techs were saying with your doppler ultrasounds (they're the same thing). The techs have very focussed training in the mechanics of how to do an ultrasound, but it is often without context. Their job is to take images in the correct orientation so that the radiologist (who is a doctor) will look and interpret them. Oftentimes, what a tech sees and believes to be interesting is just a variation of normal, and is interesting only because it's unusual--it doesn't mean that it's abnormal.

Secondly, respirologist and "lung specialst" are the same thing. I wonder if what you are calling the "respirologist" was a respiratory technologist (which is analogous to the ultrasound technician).

One other thing I keep forgetting to address: low oxygen and "high carbon dioxide" are a combination seen in respiratory failure. Usually with pulmonary emboli, unless it is a massive pulmonary embolus, only the oxygen saturation in the blood will go down, and there will be no problem with ventilation (thus the carbon dioxide stays normal).

Like I said before, often when a patient says the doctor is "baffled", it's usually not the case. In your situation, I think the problem is that the different courses of your care have been fragmented by the fact that so many different doctors have seen you. I am surprised the doctors who saw you later in your course put so much weight on a normal test. But again, no offense meant in the least, the story is coming from you who doesn't have any training in medicine, so there are likely elements which you are unknowingly leaving out which helped the respirologist come to a certain conclusion. Because with pulmonary emboli there are no blood tests which are reliably elevated after you have it (perhaps the d-Dimer, but not always) nor does a normal imaging study after a high probability one rule out the fact that you had one previously.

In any case, we're going in circles now. You just need to be vigilant (without being hypervigilant) about your shortness of breath. If you develop sharp chest pains which increase when you breathe in at some point in the future, go back to the emergency.

Last edited by harka; 01-01-2009 at 03:56 PM.

 
Old 01-02-2009, 06:03 AM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8
Babsbunny62 HB User
Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

Thank you so much for all your help and for answering some questions that have been left unanswered before. I appreciate you taking the time to answer each of my posts. My plan is to resume life as "normal" and see what happens. I can't keep walking on egg shells afraid of what might happen. Time to start living normal again and when the breathing becomes restricted, that's when I'll head to emerge.
Thank you so very much for your time, and your expertise!!!

 
Old 01-03-2009, 05:57 AM   #13
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Location: Palm Beach Queensland Australia
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macca51 HB User
Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

I had many small pulmonary embolisms in 2003 and was on a heparin drip they showed up in a CT scan and I came home on Warfarin and have weekly blood tests ever since. Lung cancer was removed 28.10.2008.
If you have had any blood clots in the lung and had trouble breathing in I was told prior to my major admittance to hospital to have half a disprin daily and drink two glasses of wine or beer a day.
That thins the blood.
As does beetroot.
In hospital they cut out my vegetables almost to nil as that makes the blood thick and causes blood clots.
I always ate a large plate of veges for dinner and salads for lunch very bad for blood clots but, if your skin bruises easily you have to watch your blood is not too thin.
I can eat veges now and they adjust my Warfarin drug. Coumadin.
Had I listened I may have been able to control it myself but, I refused to drink alcohol-two a day.
I now know stroke symptoms and have wines if in trouble.
To avoid a stroke.
It does not mean I am safe but, the best is being done to help it.
Blood clots are very serious and life threatening so just cutting down on veges and salads and adding alcohol and half a disprin may solve your problem but, it is best to talk to your Doctor as I have no idea what other medications you may be on.
Be aware of how you feel.
Do not worry about your health to the point it affects your life.
Certainly if you have any further breathing in difficulties get to a hospital fast. With any breathing problem actually.
Hope this helps you.

 
Old 01-04-2009, 08:01 AM   #14
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8
Babsbunny62 HB User
Re: Pulmonary Embolisms

Quote:
Originally Posted by macca51 View Post
I had many small pulmonary embolisms in 2003 and was on a heparin drip they showed up in a CT scan and I came home on Warfarin and have weekly blood tests ever since. Lung cancer was removed 28.10.2008.
If you have had any blood clots in the lung and had trouble breathing in I was told prior to my major admittance to hospital to have half a disprin daily and drink two glasses of wine or beer a day.
That thins the blood.
As does beetroot.
In hospital they cut out my vegetables almost to nil as that makes the blood thick and causes blood clots.
I always ate a large plate of veges for dinner and salads for lunch very bad for blood clots but, if your skin bruises easily you have to watch your blood is not too thin.
I can eat veges now and they adjust my Warfarin drug. Coumadin.
Had I listened I may have been able to control it myself but, I refused to drink alcohol-two a day.
I now know stroke symptoms and have wines if in trouble.
To avoid a stroke.
It does not mean I am safe but, the best is being done to help it.
Blood clots are very serious and life threatening so just cutting down on veges and salads and adding alcohol and half a disprin may solve your problem but, it is best to talk to your Doctor as I have no idea what other medications you may be on.
Be aware of how you feel.
Do not worry about your health to the point it affects your life.
Certainly if you have any further breathing in difficulties get to a hospital fast. With any breathing problem actually.
Hope this helps you.
Thank you so much for sharing part of your life with me. It sounds as though you've had many difficulties and I'm very sorry for that, but it does help me to hear what you've been through and what you do to prevent further problems. I'm not a beer drinker, but having a glass of wine a day sounds very nice and would be a good stress reliever as well. Thanks so much!

 
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