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chanelok



Posts : 2
Join date : 2013-09-15
Age : 67
Location : Cape Coral, Florida

PostSubject: my situation   Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:02 pm

Hello to all and thank you for this forum and your input. My enlightenment regarding DVT/PE began 13NOV2012 with a visit to my chiropractor for a pain in my right calf that persisted for several days. Sound familiar? At the time, I was walking three miles each morning. Luckily for me, he has some medical school training and his wife is a Physician's Assistant. Bill, my chiropractor, is also my neighbor and friend for several years. Upon initial examination, he advised me to go immediately to a nearby clinic and have an ultrasound done on my right leg. It confirmed what he suspected... a DVT. Also, as I seemed (to the doctor) to have a shortness of breath, I was given a CT scan. This revealed numerous small PE's. I have never experienced what I would describe as a shortness of breath. I had a slight cold at the time. I am happy that they insisted on the CT scan. I was then taken to the hospital by ambulance at the insistence of the doctor (I felt fine, except for the slight pain in the calf). It took 9 days to get my Warfarin therapeutic. I was on a Heparin drip while in the hospital and the leg pain disappeared within hours of my admission. Also, my oxygen level (if I got that right) remained at 98-99%.

So, back home with a schedule of hospital visits for INR testing and appointments with a Pulmonologist. It was like pulling teeth trying to get answers: what caused this? I am not sedentary and had not been on any trips longer than 45 minutes. I had been walking every morning since my retirement 12 months previous. After a month, I was informed that I have the Factor V Leiden Mutation on one allele (heterozygous carrier). I was given a copy of the lab report from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, dated 16NOV2012. Why this information was withheld for a month remains unanswered. It had no affect on the treatment, but it could have had a significant psychological affect. I was able to secure the confidence of a young and very intelligent nurse, who supplied me with links to sites to further my education about my condition. She indicated that I would be well advised to become my own advocate with respect to this physical condition. Once I passed the critical stage without experiencing a heart attack or stroke, the hospital considered their mission to have been accomplished.

My PCP (primary care physician) does INR tests much more efficiently and economically than the hospital clinic. Warfarin has not been an issue for me. I have had to interrupt it twice (tooth extraction and shoulder surgery) with no problems on resumption. After six months of physical inactivity (and a 30# weight gain) with no further issues, I was encouraged to begin walking again. I am now walking 8 miles each morning, losing about 2 pounds a week and looking forward to sailing and biking again. I am very careful to protect myself from cuts, abrasions and head trauma. Having been an avid bicyclist for years, I am very cognizant of the associated dangers. I decided to change from my Vitus road bike to a 3-wheel recumbent (tadpole) to reduce the chance of injury. I can ride here in south Florida all year. The recumbent has the added advantage of elevating my legs to the level of my heart (almost). As a result of reading these posts, I will ask my PCP for a prescription for a knee-high compression sleeve, as I still experience daily swelling below the knee. The swelling might be exacerbated by the morning walks. I intend to decrease the distance when my new tadpole arrives next week. I will keep you posted on further developments and issues.

I am quite happy to help others however I can. I have lots of time available. Thank you again for your contributions to this site. Chuck
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chanelok



Posts : 2
Join date : 2013-09-15
Age : 67
Location : Cape Coral, Florida

PostSubject: tadpole   Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:25 pm

Well, the trike arrived and I have been busy working out the kinks... mine and the trike's. After a couple of weeks riding and adjusting, things are pretty good. I forgot how much I enjoy riding. The only issue now is that my old cleated shoes are too small for my swollen feet. I purchased a new pair of shoes, but am still waiting on the cleats, which are sold separately these days. I can ride about 20 miles before the foot pain gets to me.

Thanks to some guidance I received on this site, I purchased two knee-high open-toe compression stockings made by Sigvaris (40-50 mmHg) and sold by Ames Walker. What a remarkable difference that made! The swelling is greatly reduced and the leg just feels better. This is a great improvement over the thigh-high model I got in the hospital.

I am still taking Warfarin with no noticeable side affects. I hope this continues to be the case as I am a lifer. I will never have my old life back but this certainly beats the grim alternative presented to me by the medical community.
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