Friday, February 13, 2009

The verdict

It's not good news, but it's not terrible news either.

After the ultrasound this morning, I was sent directly to the hospital, where I ended up spending most of the day. I have a blood clot.

Thankfully, it is in a superficial vein (i.e. not a major 'important' vein). The condition is called Superficial Thrombophlebitis, which is generally not something to worry (too much) about. However, they conducted an ultrasound of my neck and my entire arm and found some evidence of Thrombosis in my upper arm (not so superficial).

I had the option of allowing it to hopefully dissipate on its own (with a small risk that a piece of the clot could break off and land somewhere significant, like my heart or lungs) or taking blood-thinners.

I've decided to pursue treatment because the risks of leaving it alone definitely scared me, and I can handle the lifestyle changes involved in being on blood-thinners.

I have already started taking the rat poison medication with a shot in the tummy, and will get a shot daily for the next 3-5 days (depending on a blood test on Monday). After that, I will be taking pills for at least 3 months and up to 6. Throughout this entire time, I will need weekly blood tests.

There are some dietary and alcohol restrictions, but mostly I have to be careful not to cut myself. I can handle this if it means I don't have to worry about an Embolism.

I think I asked a bazillion questions, but forgot to ask about the implications of exercise (running in particular). I have not found anything online that suggests any risks, except with full contact sports for obvious reasons! I'll ask the doctor tomorrow when I go for my next shot.

It has been a whirlwind of a day. All I have had a chance to eat is a donut and I am physically and emotionally exhausted.

Oh, and the kicker? The clotting is a result of my arm being bent in a sling for 2.5 weeks. The doctor compared it to a hose with a kink in it. Would have been nice if someone had mentioned this risk when they gave me the sling!

36 comments:

Denise said...

Oh my gosh...I was SO worried about this. I didn't want to say anything though when I read your last post. I had a blood clot (a VERY bad one, Deep Vein Thrombosis) in my right leg. I also had to give myself the shots and take the rat poison. Since at the time I ate mostly veggies, it made it really hard for me to get therapeutic on the meds. Vitamin K affect blood clotting. Good they caught it when they did. As for exercising, you want to make sure you don't do any contact things, which you already know. Nothing that could cause it to break loose.

And not to get too personal, but make sure your Doc knows if you currently take birth control.

Melanie said...

i can't believe that! Good thing it was caught this soon and didn't get worse. I think you made a good choice to get the treatment. J wishes you well too, and try to get some rest! {hugs} :)

Chic Runner said...

Glad it wasn't so serious. Hope you are feeling better and that is crazy about the sling. :(

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I'm glad you had it checked out. I was thinking about possible causes for lumps like that and wondered if it might be a blood clot. Scary stuff. Glad you opted for treatment.

aron said...

yikes!!! that is scary! you poor thing :( stay healthy girlie!

Marci said...

OMG Marlene. I don't know what to say.... How uncanny that I was just posting about something similar. I am so glad you opted for medication and that you caught it early. Take good care of yourself.

Road Warrior said...

Hmmm. Almost like those two things are connected.

Good for you for taking the medication. That's the right choice. No reason to take a crazy risk.

J said...

Oh my goodness! I am so glad they caught this and hopefully things will get better. After reading this I thought it was from your shoulder and the sling too! Keeping you in my thoughts!

joyRuN said...

Yikes with the embolism. I guess it makes sense with the immobile arm.

Good luck!

Jess said...

The risk of that clot going into my brain would un-nerve me as well, and I too would opt for the treatment, even though it sounds a little invasive. Good luck with the shots in the next few days as well as the weekly blood draws! Poor thing, you've really had to deal with a lot lately!

pui san said...

I'm sorry to hear about your thrombosis. Don't worry too much about the "rat-poison" that you're taking. The complications from getting a thrombo-emboli stuck in ur lungs or ur brain is far worse than bruises here and there from your blood thinners. Eventually they will wean you off it.
Here's hoping your coagulation profiles (the blood tests) will be alright!
take care.

Toni said...

That's crazy! At least they found it now and are able to help, even if it is in the form of medicine for the next 3-6 months! My prayers are with you.

Lily on the Road said...

Yikes, I wish I lived closer so I could give you a hug....nothing like a big shot of Warfarin with your morning coffee....

Look after yourself....you made the right choice,

Marky Mark said...

I left a comment but don't see it up. Anyway, I will be thinking of you and I think you have the right attitude here, as it is lucky that they caught the clot in time. I'm curious whether they can tell why it was formed in the first place, but I suppose that is now ancient history.

I took that drug for a period too-initially a public health nurse came by and gave me an injection, then it was pills and then I was weaned off it. The main thing is to be consistent with your diet. I can't recall about exercise but suspect that cardio is fine. Your GP might suggest having Toronto Rehab do up a supervised exercise program for you-not sure it is too far from you or whether you are even eligible (as you're not a heart patient, which is a good thing), but some sort of structured program may make you feel better.

Saface Macdonald said...

Holy cow girlie! You don't do anything easy do you lol?

We will all be taking care of you good and well I promise!

What does this mean for softball?

Safacexo

X-Country2 said...

Oh wow, blood clots are no joke! Take extra special good care of yourself, and get well soon.

yumke said...

I'm so sad to hear it but glad it was found out now, that's important.

Stacy said...

I came across your blog via Runner Leana. I sent a Virtual Valentine's to you so if you don't get it, let me know. I was having a bit of a technical difficulties!

teacherwoman said...

I just left the last message with a different user name. I meant to leave one with this user name. Oops!

teacherwoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristen said...

Glad they discovered it when they did and now they can start treatment.

I did a virtual race today and I was virtually running for you also!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Running Around Acres said...

Ouch girl, I feel for you. Looks like everything will be ok though.

Sonia said...

Oh man this sucks....... blood thinners 6 months... wow, well at least they caught it in time before it creates more important problems... embolism is definitely smth to avoid.... such bad luck. Wow, are you still not working?

Run Mommy said...

Oh my...I hope things work out. I know the idea of blood thinners is scary but better than the alternative. One thing to be cautious of with blood thinners is other meds (even over the counter). Just be sure to check with the doctor before taking anything.

D10 said...

I am so glad you got this checked out and didn't ignore it. I would have been emotionally exhausted too.

Tatiana said...

Oh I'm so glad you're okay!

My mom had an embolism this summer and it scared the crap out of us. Though it ended up being a blessing in disguise for us later on. But still, scary stuff.

lindsay said...

wow i am so glad you got it checked out and that it's ok! was the 2nd one (/area of similarity) caused by the sling too? i hope so, so at least they weren't forming for some other reason. if that makes sense. i am really glad that it's not going to be anything too bad and hopefully the meds will do the trick asap and you can be off them soon. get well soon girl!!

Marcy said...

Whoooaa chica! I'm so glad you got some answers and got some meds for that baby. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that this sucker doesn't give you anymore probs :-)

Girl on Top said...

Hopefully everything will be super duper OK!

Stacey said...

Crazy. Glad they found it early and "rat poison" will take care of it. Hope it all works out!

Brian said...

Sounds rough but at least your ok. Glad youre going to get it treated then letting it sit, that will make a world of difference!

M*J*C said...

Geeze, sorry to hear all of this. Hopefully with the meds and whatnot you'll be able to get back to normal. When they sent me home from the hospital with my leg in a cast I had to take 1 asprin a day to help prevent a clot.
I'm sure you are completely exhausted, get some rest and know that we're all thinking about you!

The Happy Runner said...

Holy cannoli! I'm sending positive vibes your way. Jeez...

Amanda said...

Yikes! Are you on lovenox and warfarin? That really stinks but I'm glad they figured out what it was and got you started on treatment.

Beth said...

Hi, Just stopping by your blog. Hope you're feeling better; very scary! Sorry about the rat poison, but hopefully it will help...

Laurel said...

Oh my gosh! I'm glad you're ok and that it isn't something too terribly serious, although it still sounds pretty scary. I can't believe it was caused by your sling! I would be pis%ed!

I hope the awful medicine helps. Hang in there!