Thursday, June 12, 2014

PSA: Blood clots

So, I ended up in the ER the other night because I thought I had a blood clot in my leg. Turns out it wasn't, thankfully, but even though we will have yet another medical bill debt, I'm still glad I went. There's nothing like calmly contemplating the fact that if it really is a blood clot, a piece could break off and you could die on the way to the hospital, and texting your husband that you made it there so he knows that didn't happen, right??

Blood clots are nothing to mess around with. Seriously.

There is some family history with blood clots (DVT and PE), but even if you don't have any, you should always get certain symptoms checked out. These of course depend on the location of a suspected blood clot, but here's a good general info page to go check out:

Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots

Now here's the symptoms I had, and even knowing what it was this time, if it happens again I would be equally concerned.

We went fishing in the even, and as soon as I got home, the back of my calf directly below my knee started hurting every time I walked, like it was swollen or full of fluid. There was one particular area so tender that when my husband barely touch it, I almost hollered. Within 30 minutes, I didn't want to walk around on my leg at all, and the area was even more tender. I had one thumb-print sized red mark, but no other visual signs of anything wrong. To the best of my knowledge, I had not bumped it or bruised it, or hit it or anything I could think of. However, after the fact, I did remember that I had crossed my legs at church earlier that day. Hmmmm.

I took a flashlight into the dark bathroom to see if I could see anything. You know, like when you're a kid, and you use it to shine through your fingers. I was looking at my veins etc. and when I got to the tender spot, there was an enormous...dark.....opaque....areaOMGIhaveabloodclot!

Of course we all know now that it was just a bruise, so yes it was bleeding under the skin, and yes it did make a clot to stop it, but it is NOT the same thing as a Blood Clot, the kind that can kill you. I didn't know that at the time, of course, and it really had me concerned.

Apparently, somehow, I just spontaneously burst a vein and it started bleeding in my leg. I do kind of have flimsy veins, I can't tell you how many "blow-outs" I've had due to IV's and blood draws. The last few days after my last surgery, they were having to replace them about every two hours, and I ended up getting a PIC line instead because they ran out of room.

Now the hospital didn't put in an IV, they didn't draw any blood tests or anything, so I hope it's a random, albeit odd, benign event. They only did an ultrasound to make sure there wasn't a clot. No sign of one. That's the good news! The really good news.

The bad news is, we still haven't been able to pay my husband's ER bill from months ago, so even though I know our circumstances will be improving soon, I'm still worried about it. There's just so much we need to pay for, it's hard for me to see how we will ever pay it off. Sigh.

But hey, in the scheme of things, it really was worth it. I will wait until I'm practically on death's door for just about anything else, but it's stuff like that, that really scares me.

Moral of the story: If you even THINK you MIGHT have a blood clot, it is worth it to get it checked out.
Any of you ever been to the ER for something that turned out to be nothing? Tell me please, so I don't feel so ridiculous.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know what state you live in but can you apply for free care or a payment plan?
    Once I was so poor and without insurance and free care covered an ER visit. Another time when I delivered my daughter I needed to put my copayment on a payment plan. Your family should not have to feel like taking care of their health will ruin them. I know you are struggling in general you don't need (and shouldn't have to) to experience more financial stress.

    Do your children have health coverage?

    Anon. In mass


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