So first of all, I’M BACK!! I’m out of hospital and it’s good to be back in the comfort of my own home! So, this week turned out to be eventful, scary, tiring, emotional and basically all-round poop! I thought I’d write a blog about it just to let you all know how everything unfolded, and like my Myasthenia Gravis post, to raise awareness. To be blunt, I could have died so the more people who read about the symptoms, the better!
So, on Monday, I went to work in the morning and was getting out of breath whenever I moved around on my crutches. This had been happening for the last 5 days, and I had a doctors appointment booked for that afternoon, so I would mention it then. Work was ok, I kept going a bit clammy and hot every now and then, but 1pm soon came and I went home.
We went to the doctors, and when I got into the room, I mentioned my breathing and said maybe I’d caught a chest infection or something similar. He checked my chest which was clear, but started to ask questions about how I’d been feeling in the last few days so I explained. He then said my heart rate was sitting at 170bpm, which was ridiculously high and would be the cause of breathlessness, palpitations, hot sweats, etc. He then said I had to go to A&E immediately, wrote me a letter and printed off my medical history to give to the hospital staff.
We got there, they took me straight through to Resus, which I’m not gonna lie about, shit me up! They done all their tests, and hooked me up to oxygen and all the machines and then said that they suspected I had a blood clot, otherwise known in the medical world as a Pulmonary Embolism. I’d had one of these before and was surprised as I’d not had chest pains like before. Eventually, they done a scan of my heart to check that was ok, and then got admitted to the Coronary Care Unit which was a nice and quiet ward.
On the Tuesday, I had a CT scan on my chest and an echocardiogram on my heart. The doctors found huge clots on both of my lungs, and that this had then caused significant strain on the right side of my heart. I just burst into tears, I was petrified! They then decided they’d give me a treatment called Thrombolysis which is basically a mega-powerful clot busting drug. I felt better within about 2/3 hours, it was amazing!
While I was there, I asked if someone could check my knee out that I injured 4 weeks ago as I still hadn’t had a proper diagnosis! An orthopaedic doctor came and examined me… after checking everything and asking questions he decided that I’d probably dislocated my knee rather than torn a ligament. So he ordered me a knee brace (which is amazing!), a couple of physio staff came to show me how to use the crutches properly, how to begin putting weight on my leg, and how to get up and down the stairs, he also ordered me an MRI scan and then a follow-up appointment in 4 weeks time for the results. As you can imagine, this was a huge relief as being immobile for the last month had clearly not helped with the blood clot situation!
So, I’ve been discharged with all of the above support for my knee (finally), another heart echo scan in 6 weeks, a cardiology appointment in 8 weeks for results and a check up, and also another appointment with an anticoagulant specialist to see if there is any underlying cause for the clots. The doctors said I need to take it easy for the next few weeks as the clots haven’t fully dispersed yet so if I get any chest pains, difficulty breathing, etc. I have to go straight back to A&E. I’m also on blood thinning tablets for the rest of my life, which is fine as I’d rather take them than go through this all again!
After looking back on the signs, I should have realised what was going on. I kind of dismissed the idea of another blood clot as I had chest pains when breathing in before, I didn’t have that. But my leg had been sore on the calf, it had been a different colour, I’d had difficulty breathing, palpitations, sudden sweats and dizziness, and these are all signs of a blood clot either in the leg (DVT) or lung (PE). Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?!
I’m now hoping my health and the bad luck I’ve had with it for the last 6 months has come to an end! I haven’t had the best start to the new year, but things can only get better right?!
Thanks for taking the time to read, and also if you messaged to wish me well while I was in hospital, I’m very grateful!