Friday, March 12, 2021

March is Blood Clot Awareness Month

The most common causes of clotting are: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), use of birth control pills, blood disorders, your genes, long airplane rides, smoking, too much sitting, obesity, COVID19, being immobile etc.*. If the clot breaks away it can cause pulmonary embolism (PE). The symptoms of this illness is similar to many other diseases. There may be shortness of breath, chest pain, fast heartbeat, lightheadedness and many others. 

I suffered for more than 7 months before I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism. My original respiratory doctor thought it was just severe asthma. The huge clot in my lungs was found when I went for a second opinion. That was my first PE. Last January my doctor followed his gut and had me tested. They found a couple of clots in my left lung. The second bout of PE hit me harder even though the clots were smaller. My doctors do not know the cause of my clots. 

The newest addition to the causes of clotting is COVID19. The coronavirus increases the ability of your blood to clot (source). There are two things that could help avoid clotting: keep on moving and drink lots of water. I haven't been able to do my evening walks the last few weeks so I try to walk around at home. I sometimes wear compression socks too. 

Acute pulmonary embolism has a mortality rate of up to 30%. Your best advocate is yourself. I had to insist on the second opinion because the GP I went to just brushed off my complaints. If took a few more weeks before I saw my new (current) respiratory doctor. He has seen me through two PEs and is guiding me through my recovery. 

People who have PE need a lot of support.There are a lot of bad days when you can barely do anything. There are also nights when you can't sleep. With love, faith and hardwork we can get better. Sometimes it just takes awhile. 

"The more you worry, the more you hurry to the cemetery." - Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD. So don't worry and keep the faith. 

CB///337 #StuckAtHomeDay/368 #StayHome #BeKind   

*Fuller list of causes are available here.

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