By Dorotha Feuerborn
I was diagnosed in September 2009 with numerous PEs in my left lung. I honestly thought I was having a massive heart attack since that runs in my family. My husband is a truck driver and wasn't home so I had to call my son to come get me and take me to the ER, which by the way probably wasn't real smart because if it were my heart I may not have made it to the hospital.
My recommendation is to always call 911 if in doubt. When we got there they took us right back because I was experiencing shortness of breath, pain in my chest and up into my neck, around my left rib cage and under my left breast. After ruling out my heart by running several tests they did a CT with contrast of my chest and discovered I had numerous blood clots in my left lung. By the way when ruling out the heart one of the things they use is nitro under your tongue, which by the way helps patients with PEs as well because it opens up the passages to help you breath better.
The doctor came to my side and proceeded to tell me this was very serious and I could die. With my son at my side I tried to remain calm; I was scared to death. The doctor said they would be admitting me. My son stood up and said mom we need to call this one and that one....my first call was to my angel Char. She is one of the most Godly people you will ever meet and even at 2 am she was able to wake up and get herself together and pray with me. She said my fear was coming from Satan so I had to put that fear behind me. This night was the beginnings of many problems....I have now been diagnosed with panic/anxiety disorder, severe depression, sleep apnea (which by the way can cause blood clots), 3 bulging discs in my lower back, and the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue I once had under control with no medications is back with a vengence.
They initially thought my clots were caused from 31 years of smoking, my age, and being on some type of hormone medications for the last 15 years because I have had a complete hysterectomy. I have quit smoking and will never take any kind of hormone meds again so my doctors say. I have been to the ER at least 11 times since last September never knowing if I was having a heart attack, a panic/anxiety attack, or more blood clots. Because with all of them the symptoms are so much the same you can't take any chances you have to go...because you never know if they are life threatening. Most of mine have been severe panic/anxiety attacks which by the way is no fun at all and very hard for people to except and understand. It causes all the same pains plus an increase in heart rate, pulse rate increases, and your blood pressure sky rockets....at least for me these were also my symptoms.
In May 2010 I was taken off the blood thinners (which is what they put you on when you have had blood clots at least for 6 - 9 months). Another reason they took me off was they felt the blood thinners were keeping some of my other medications from working properly. The doctors usually take you off the blood thinners after 6 - 9 months because they feel it is a safe period to try taking you off. They are definately not something you want to live on the rest of your life if not necesary. I was off the blood thinners for 4 - 5 weeks and I was back in the hospital this time with numerous blood clots in both lungs. This time they have no idea. I have had many different types of blood testing and cts of my upper and lower stomach. I will be on blood thinners this time indefinately.
I don't know if they plan to do anything further test wise but have thought about looking into the Mayo clinic or maybe some other type of hospital like that to see if I can get some answers. The doctors say some people never know what causes them and unfortunately people on blood thinners can still get clots just not as likely. I am on several different medications now for all the problems I have. My life has changed. I would like to say that someday I will be back to myself again but I don't know if that will ever happen. But for now I do what the doctors tell me and thank God that He so graciously allowed me to survive not once but twice PEs in my lungs. Most people don't survive it the first time but for some reason God has allowed me to survive it twice. And I thank Him for that, I feel He has a plan for me; not sure what it is and hope more blood clots is not part of it. So maybe this is part of His plan for me to share my story. I could go on and on with things that I have been thru this past year but I am sure you get the just of it. If you would like to email me with any questions or just to have someone to talk to email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org put in the subject line something like I read your story.....