Blood Clots: The Most Important Post I Will Write

The number one search term leading people to my blog is ‘difference between blood clot in leg symptoms and pulled calf muscle symptoms’ or some variation of it. Almost daily I watch the page views skyrocket on Could You Have a Blood Clot? Information is lacking on blood clots and blood clot symptoms. I didn’t know anything about it, until I suffered from the massive trauma and devastating effects of a blood clot in my left leg that broke free, traveled through my heart and lodged in my left lung. Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis DVT and pulmonary embolism PE) affect upwards of 900,000 Americans each year and cause more deaths each year than the more well-publicized occurrences of breast cancer, AIDS, and motor vehicle accidents, yet they are virtually unheard of. In terms of blood clots, [this might be] the most important post I will ever write.


March is Blood Clot Awareness Month. And, if you don’t know what to look out for by reading my blog, then I haven’t done enough to make you aware.

Sometimes, mostly late at night when I can’t sleep (I have not slept right since I got sick and I often wake up thinking I can’t breathe again), I scour the internet searching for information. My mind is like a sponge, soaking up everything I can find out blood clots, but the information is hard to come by. What I do find is a lot of survivor stories – people like me who are either young, active, healthy or a combination of them all – individuals who have been knocked off their feet by the damaging effects of a DVT or PE and are struggling every day to live their lives. And they do.

No matter what survivor’s story I read, I have found that all of us, who have chosen to speak out about blood clot awareness, are passionate about it. I can’t even describe to you anymore the excruciating pain I felt during and after my blood clots (which is why I am so thankful Dad told me to write this post right away). I know it was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life, but I also know my brain has repressed that exact feeling. Today, I handle pain differently (and I used to have a high tolerance for physical pain), in that mostly I can’t handle it. The slightest thing hurts and sends me into tears or destroys my focus. The nurses in the hospital swore to me that surviving a blood clot in the lung was more painful than childbirth (so, I should be good there?!). One-half of clot patients will have long-term complications and one-third will have a recurrence within 10 years, which is perpetually in the back of my mind and terrifies me. Among people who have had a DVT, one-half will have long-term complications (post-thrombotic syndrome) such as swelling, pain, discoloration, and scaling in the affected limb. Some will have open sores in the affected limb, known as ulcers. (

When I got hurt (damage from a DVT or PE is actually considered a bodily injury and not a sickness), I was a runner, I lost weight and was far out of the risk for diabetes zone, which I had previously found myself in. I didn’t think it could happen to me. I did all the right things, right?

Please listen to me when I say – Please listen to your body because it can happen to you! We as runners think we can handle pain, that it’s normal, that there is nothing wrong, but please know what to look for because you never know when something might, in fact, be horribly wrong.

Symptoms of a pe (pulmonary embolism or blood clot in the lung):
  • Unexplained sudden onset of shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath, cough or even lie down
  • Feeling light headed or dizzy, or fainting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Sweating
  • Coughing up blood
  • A sense of anxiety, nervousness or impending doom

PE is life-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis, please seek emergency medical care immediately, as it can be fatal!

Symptoms of a dvt (deep vein thrombosis or blood clot in the leg):
  • Swelling in the affected leg, including swelling in your ankle and foot.
  • Pain in your leg; this can include pain in your ankle and foot. The pain often starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or a charley horse. It won’t go away with regular stretching, massaging or rest.
  • Warmth over the affected area.
  • Changes in your skin color, such as turning pale, red or blue or purple.

You need to know in about half of all cases, deep vein thrombosis occurs without any noticeable symptoms. If something doesn’t seem right or you are at all concerned, make an appointment with your primary care physician to have it checked out before symptoms could potentially get worse and cause problems with your lungs or heart.

You’re at risk for a DVT (and potentially a PE) if you are sitting for long periods of time, such as when driving or flying; have an inherited a blood-clotting disorder; are on prolonged bed rest, such as during a long hospital stay or paralysis; have had an injury or surgery; are pregnant; have cancer; have inflammatory bowel disease; have heart disease; take birth control or hormone replacement therapy; have a pacemaker or catheter; have had a DVT or pe previously; have a family history of DVT or PE; are overweight or obese; are a smoker; are over 6o years old; are tall; or are a female.

That’s a lot of different people.

If you experience any of the PE and DVT symptoms at the same time, please seek emergency medical care. If you are alone, call 9-1-1. Don’t wait to see if you get better.

This is serious.

The complications from a PE are extremely painful, stressful, damaging to the body and mind and can last a lifetime. I am about ten months out from my PE and I am still recovering. The total recovery time for me is one to two years, and it all depends on my body. Up to two years. That’s not something to be taken lightly. Everything has changed for me. I have to pay attention to what I do, what I eat, what medications I take or don’t take, what kind of exercise I do. This has impacted my family, my friends, my job and so many other things that I never even considered before now. The psychological and emotional ramifications are equally damaging and ones that I am still faced with daily. And, it’s not even my fault, although there are still times when I demand to know “what I did to deserve this.”

Still, I am grateful to be here.


I don’t want to let my DVT and PE injury define me in a negative way, yet to some extent, it will make a difference to the person I am and to the person I become from here on out. I don’t believe this occurrence is something I can just sweep under the rug and day, “Well, I survived that, but it’s not defining me so I’m moving on with my life.” Yes, I will keep moving on with my life and keep trying to find the positives, but there is something to be said for awareness.

It’s like cancer or a brain injury, a heart attack or stroke – people don’t just survive those things and then pretend it never happened. If they did, organizations like the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association wouldn’t exist. And yet, except for a few small organizations, no one talks about blood clots.

Except for those who have survived. I am here to tell you, listen to your body, be aware and don’t wait. If you or a loved one has experienced the devastation of a blood clot, there is hope. Life will go on, but yes, there is Hell to conquer first.

If you do nothing else, please share this information with at least one other person – in your family, your circle of friends or workplace. Send a tweet, share it on Facebook or even email it – just pass it along. If you don’t want to do that, please store it in your file of information just in case you need it some day. You never know whose life you may save in the process.

Thank you very much to The Clot Must Be Fought for the graphics that appear in this post and for helping to promote awareness about blood clots and their effects. The Clot Must Be Fought is fighting blood clots with awareness, creativity and a group of people who have fought for their lives. Please consider purchasing an awareness band to help support their organization and continue to spread the word! You can also like them on Facebook to stay up to date with information, awareness and advice.


  1. Sara, thanks for all the information. It is a GREAT article. I learned a lot and became a fan. Your words touch hearts.


    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Thank you, Sandra! And thank you so much for reading. Take care.

    • Roger Crews says

      I’ve had 2 surgeries since May 15 blood clots went away 2 hours after both surgeries the clots came back in full force . Put me on newer medicine Levenox Inj. 135ml BID . My veins are in poor shape so He’s sending me to an Hemotoligist for whatever reason really don’t know what to expect . Please help what are they looking for here?

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Sara! I’m sorry you suffered a PE, but could not be happier to see you raising awareness. You will save someone’s life with your posts. Rock on!

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Sam, thank you so much! I am very happy to be able to connect with you. Can’t wait to share your story.

  3. I recently home from the hospital.
    Slowly getting in the groove again.
    Not knowing what the road ahead looks like what to expect or feel. More questions then answers really.
    Mixed sort of answers from doctors. One saying in a week or two I will be back to normal. Others saying take your time don’t rush anything take as much time as I need.
    It is slowly dawning on me how much of a life threatening event having a Pulmonary Embolism can be.
    And like someone said, a new normal for me anyway.
    Thanks for the blog and sharing your story.

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hello, Mike. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this post. I am glad you are here. Please also make sure you check out, which I have set up as a resource for others recovering from blood clots. I know you are in a difficult place right now. For me, recovery took a long, long time, physically. about two years. I am still working on the emotional recovery from everything that happened. Everyone is different. I hope you find answers you are seeking and finding comfort in connecting with others who have been through similar situations. Thinking of you!

  4. Hi all, it’s 7 months that I was diagnosed with Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism in all lobes of both lungs. I knew NOTHING about PE, was in hospital for 2 weeks and was very naive about it. All the Doctors kept on saying it was “a miracle” that I was still alive as large clots went thru my heart, stretched the right ventricle, and went into both lungs. When I asked the Pulmonary Specialist how many clots I had, he said ” too numerous to count.”
    It was first when I came home and surfed the net for, literally, hours, and I came across “” set up by Sara, that I learned so VERY VERY much. Sara has helped me TREMENDOUSLY she is my HEREO, and so many others who wrote their stories.
    I might be on Coumodin for the rest of my life as my clots were idiopathic, nobody knows why I got them, I don’t drink, smoke and am very active.
    After 7 months I still worry if I knock myself severely and end up with a BIG bruise on my calf like I did last week, and see my Doctor.
    Don’t take your health for granted.
    If in doubt, get to your Doctor or ER and if you not happy with answer, go back AGAIN. Knowledge is power, learn as much as you can about DVT/PE and make other people,aware of it also.
    “Talking” to Sara has been my LIFESAVER, her knowledge is worth it’s weight in gold!!!
    My life is different now – I am very conscious of what I do etc and yet still, because I have always been a very active and fast person, I still often have to remind myself “to be careful”.
    Mike, you will be fine and you WILL get better, it just takes a LOT of patience.
    THE VERY BEST TO YOU ALL, from “down under” in Australia.

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hi Monique. Thank you so much for your kind words and providing words of support and advice to others. Speaking as someone who did not have that in the beginning of recovery, it really means a lot to know you are not alone.

      You say such wonderful thinks about me and my site – thank you so much. I am humbled by your words and please know I am not a hero – we are all courageous because we survived and are doing our best to help others out there! I am glad we could connect and now we share in that mission together.

      Talk to you soon and a very happy holiday season to you and Pete. Talk soon! Hugs!

  5. I have anxiety that this will happen to me. I am on birth control which I won’t stop because getting pregnant (and being female) are all risk factors. There’s no way to stop this from happening and some of the facts about pe from your article also make it seem like this is unpreventable. When the first symptom of something can be death or if it’s possible 10-30% of people diagnosed with pe will die within a month, what’s the point in spreading the word about it? Honestly, I wish I never knew about this because every time I get a cramp, am short of breath or sitting for a long time, I am convinced I will get a blood clot. I’ve heard about it happening to perfectly healthy people. It seems like a random occurrence. I appreciate all your hard work on typing this up and I’m sorry that this happened to you. I have researched this a lot in my anxious nights up, maybe after a charley horse or heart palpitations. I’ve been to the doctor and had checkups and blood tests. I couldn’t imagine going to the ER every time I thought I had a blood clot. I had a terrible anxiety attack over a year ago. The problem at the time was that I didn’t think it was anxiety; I was convinced I had a blood clot because my chest hurt and I could not catch my breath for the life of me. After hours of it not going away, I checked myself into the emergency room where they ran tests after hearing of my fear of a blood clot. After the tests came back normal the attending physician prescribed me Xanax for anxiety. I don’t touch the Xanax because I know it’s fully possible that I can have a blood clot, and the Xanax would only help ignore that fact. I live in the shadow of a fear of dying immediately from a blood clot and I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about that! Besides to just keep living and hope it doesn’t happen to me… I actually have a charley horse right now and I hope it’s not the end. I’m sorry I’m so morbid. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hello, Leah. Thank you for stopping by and for your thoughts. I am so sorry to hear of the anxiety you are facing about blood clots. I completely understand your concern as blood clots are very, very scary and yes, they can be deadly. My point in writing this article is to make people aware of blood clots, including the signs and symptoms because so many people do not know of them, unlike yourself. You do know the signs and symptoms and I think that is a positive thing. Do blood clots, by chance, run in your family that you may have a pre-determined family history?

      While there is no way to stop a blood clot from happening, true, you can take an active role in understanding the signs and symptoms, which you have already done. If, for example, you have a charley horse that does not go away for days or with rest, that is something you should in fact get checked out. If you have chest pain that does not subside with rest, you should also get that checked out. Chest pains can be dangerous for a variety of reasons, not just because it may be a blood clot.

      At the end of the day, awareness is key and I am sorry that you are continually worried about a blood clot, as I am sure that is not easy to live with. I survived a potentially fatal clot, yet I do not worry about it constantly. Do I wonder, do I fear it happening again, of course, but I will do what I can to take care of myself in spite of my multiplied risk factors. I stay hydrated, move throughout the day, understand the signs, risks and symptoms and keep in tune with my health. Perhaps it is reassuring to know you DO understand the risks being female and being on birth control when some ladies do not even know that and may not even know to seek help should they find themselves in trouble.

      Wishing you continued good health and peace of mind. Thank you again for your thoughts and for reading!

  6. I had a charley horse that started on a Wednesday and on Friday had still not gone away. I thought it was because of cutting the yard and doing yard work the previous weekend. I had also had a tetanus shot at my annual physical exam the first week of June 2015 and it was expected that my arm would be hurting so I thought maybe my leg might be associated with the tetanus shot. I googled charley horse pain that will not go away and saw this website. I scheduled an appointment for Monday with my physician, had a scan, and was diagnosed with DVT occlusive- two blood clots in my left leg. I immediately had to go on enoxaparin injections and Warfarin. I was not hospitalized but am being treated as outpatient. I have lab blood work done until my injection levels reach within normal range and then the needle injections to my stomach can stop. am 52 years old, tall female 5’9, and not in menopause so I was still on Avian birth control pills. I had no injuries to my leg but I did have a bone graft from my hip in 2008 for a dental implant. I am thinking the clot probably started building in 2008 because the year after in 2009 is when the charley horses started in my sleep but it would always be gone by the time I took my shower and left for work. Googling this episode in June 2015 probably saved my life. Thanks for the website.

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hello, Jess. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I apologize for my delayed response, greatly. I was not receiving automatic comment updates for this site. I am so glad to hear you got the help you needed before your blood clot turned into a life-threatening PE. Thank you so much for sharing that this site encouraged you to speak with your doctor. I have said all along, if I help just one person, I have done my job raising awareness. Birth control pills are, as you probably now know, a risk factor for blood clots, unfortunately. I was on them too when I had my clot. You might investigate this site for alternative options, if you would like more information – Take care and I wish you the best. Thanks so much for your note.

  7. In Sept 2014 My left foot started swelling, I happened to have an appt, with my pulmonary DR. I was having bad coughing, and just did not feel right, He did a D-Dimer test the results where very high, The next day he called said you need to have a CT on your lungs, it was a rush, so with-in a 1/2 an hour I had my CT scan, which did not show anything. The next month I started coughing a small amount of mucus with streaks of blood. And my leg was still swollen. I would call, and they would blow me off. I went to urgent care, they X-rayed my lungs, decided I had pneumonia. Blew the swollen leg off. put me on steroids and antibiotics.
    A 2 weeks later I woke and could not breath, I ended up in ER, They nebulized me. gave me oxygen, and the same thing pneumonia . back on the same treatment plan. I brought to their attention how large my leg was, and by then I was coughing not mucus with streaks of blood , but blood clots with a bit of mucus. Still they blew me off. I came home and researched on the internet, all my symptoms. and everything said DVT. So I went in to see my regular GP. Showed him how the back of my calf started bruising and about the charlie horse that hits so hard. He sent me for an ultra sound, My left leg had a clot , starting from the highest part of the thigh, down to my foot. He sent me in for another CT, And I had Multiple PE’s, I asked them how many is multiple, He said too many to count. They said I have had them for a while, and I was lucky I was even alive.

    My D-dimer test should have told the Pulmonary Dr, 1st check the leg for clots. But he did tell me He did not do legs, But is concerned about the nodules in my thyroid! I could have started treatment on the DVT, if he had of checked my swollen leg, instead of my lungs.

    The PE’s were found in Feb 2015. I now wear a compression sock, fight with the pain, on warfran , blood work every week because my INR level jumps up and down. I am scared to eat anything green, because of the vit K scare. Anxiety, every day, I can not sleep. and I still have to sleep in an upright position , because the PE’s have caused severe scaring in my lungs. I am on full time oxygen, depressed out of my mind. and 5 1/2 months later, Still getting charlie horse in the night when I sleep,

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hello, Deb. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I apologize for my delayed response, greatly. I was not receiving automatic comment updates for this site. Wow. I cannot believe your original doctor dismissed the signs so easily, yet, I hear of this happening and I am so sorry to hear it has happened to you, how scary. I am also very glad you are here today to share your story. It is my hope for you that your story will serve as a light to others who maybe are afraid to advocate for their health, as you have.

      I have some things that I think can help you and the recovery that you are going through, if you have not already found them. I too am on warfarin and have had a long recovery period from my blood clots. I understand what you are going through.

      Please visit where you will find my second site devoted to recovery from DVT and PE.

      As well as these specific articles, which may help you with some of the things you are dealing with.

      Warfarin and Vitamin K (it’s not about avoidance, it’s about consistency) –

      Depression/anxiety and blood clots –

      Please check out these resources, as I think they can help you.

      Thinking of you and please take care.

  8. Great post. I had a PE in 2007 and it was almost never caught because the first hospital emergency room gave me a scan without contrast and sent me home. They thought I had pneumonia and have me antibiotics. Finally got to where the shooting pains were too much and went to another hospital. The discovered the PE by doing a scan with contrast. Never thought I would have another PE. A few days ago I had back and rib cage pain on one side and it hurt to breathe. Went to the hospital (FINALLY, after 3 days of assuming I’d pulled something), and low and hold it was a PE. They sent me home with cumadin and syringes. The previous visit, they kept me in intensive care for a week. I will put off by the immediate discharge (had to drive myself home). The ER doc told me the protocol is now to send patients home for self treatment and primary doc followup. Anyway, sleep has been nonexistent (severe pain in almost any position). I’m a few days from getting the medication up to therapeutic levels, so I’ll worry in the meantime. Just like the first time, when I laid in that hospital bed and watched the clock constantly for the first few days. So I will vouch for not procrastinating if you have ever had PE, or have symptoms that could be PE. Better safe than sorry!

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hi Don. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I apologize for my delayed response, greatly. I was not receiving automatic comment updates for this site.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to let others know what you experienced, your story is very important and every time I talk to someone who has been through this, I learn something new. I did not know self-care was practiced anywhere for a PE, it is interesting to me how things vary depending on where you are. Your story sounds a lot like mine in that I also thought I had pulled something and waited until it was almost too late.

      I hope this note finds you well and out of that critical worrying state, I know what it is like to be there. Have they found a reason for your clots? Sometimes genetic testing is a good idea when you are facing recurrent clotting issues.

      Thinking of you and thank you again. Take care.

  9. Hi Sara: Thanks for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with multiple PEs in January 2014, 2 weeks after my stay in the hospital for 3 herniated disks in my lower back. I was shocked to say the least. Other than having a baby, I NEVER had a hospital stay, and within a couple of weeks, I was in the hospital twice. Once for my back and once for the PEs. I didn’t think that I was all that sedentary after my back problems. I even went back to work after my back problems. I was more sedentary when I had the flu. The herniated disks have caused a slight numbness in my upper left leg – from my knee to about mid-thigh. I couldn’t believe it all this was happening to me. The hematologist did a genetic workup on me and it came back negative. They took Doppler ultrasounds of my legs and groin area and found nothing (no scar tissue), the checked my ovaries and looked at my mammogram from months before. They all showed nothing. I had taken a flight to and from Europe six months before the clots, so they ruled that out. After everything, I basically had my whole scanned from head to toe. Oh…and when they scanned my brain they found out that I had a silent stroke somewhere in my lifetime…they said it was an “old” infarction and could have happened at any time). Great!! Just another worry. The doctors and a few specialists came up with no real reason for me to get these clots, other than my 3-day stay in the hospital for my back problems. While I was in with my back problems, they did put the cuffs on my legs to keep the blood flowing as well. Basically getting these clots didn’t make sense to them or to me. There is usually a reason, but not for me. They put me on Xarelto for 7 months, lowering it a bit every couple of months. I hated it!!! The blood thinners gave me bloody noses almost every day (sometimes severe enough for me to call my doctor), my ankles and wrists swelled from retaining water, I gained 30 pounds (luckily I was thin beforehand – but still a bad thing!) and I just didn’t feel myself on them. Thankfully the pounds are falling off naturally since I stopped the Xarelto. I was so happy when they all decided that an aspirin a day should do the trick for me, as my genetic work-up showed I was not prone to clotting, nor could they find any “disease” that would cause the clotting. It is now September 2015, a good year and 8 months since I was in the hospital and every single pain I get sends my mind into a tailspin. To complicate matters, I have been an asthmatic since my mid-20s, I will soon turn 53. I have always had shortness of breath, especially in summer months when the air is heavy here in NYC and during the fall with allergies. I never breathe 100% on any given day from the asthma. Since my diagnosis, I’ve experienced phantom pains in my back and side. I was told that those pains will hopefully subside after a couple of years. Sometimes the pains bother me so much that I end up in the ER thinking that the PEs are back. I’ve been in the ER five times since the PEs were diagnosed and sent back home because they found nothing (they did D-Dimer blood tests and a CAT scan of my lungs every time in the ER, which is bad, the CAT Scan has radiation). I have never been a hypochondriac, but now I feel like one. It’s terrible that I feel like one because it stops me from going to the ER when I get pains and shortness of breath now. What if I should be at the ER?!?!? I keep thinking that the ER people are going to say “Oh it’s her again!” Constant mind games with myself. Every time I feel a pain in my upper back or side, even my leg, I’m constantly thinking “should I go to the ER now?” I wait a while to see what happens, sometimes take Advil or Tylenol, and the pains do go away, thankfully, but they always come back. But again, I am still feeling that maybe I’m making a mistake and maybe I should make yet another visit to the ER. It really does suck as I have all these symptoms on a daily basis (pains in my back and legs, phantom pains sometimes, asthma, hot flashes and sweats – YES…I’m menopausal as well to add to the fun!!!!), and they are all symptoms of various things, BUT they can also be another PE. It is mentally draining as I’m constantly thinking that I need to be healthy and I need to work, I have a daughter that just started college and I need to pay for it and be there for her (my husband has been disabled since 1998). Without me, there is no more money making in my household. Yes I do have life insurance that will cover it, but still, I would rather not die! Always stuff on the back of my mind. This bout with the PEs will always be a constant nagging thought, which is absolutely terrible. Well, that’s my story, or at least part of it. Thanks for letting me vent! Vicky

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hi Vicky. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I apologize for my delayed response, greatly. I was not receiving automatic comment updates for this site.

      You might be interested in the community over at I hope to see you there as we continue on this journey of healing together.

      You may also find this site helpful and the Inspire Community we have built – (it’s at the top).

      I hope this note finds you well and please take care.

  10. Shawna Fontenot says

    Your blog probably saved my life!! It’s the only reason I told my doctor of the calf pain I was having. They did a Doppler this past Monday and found two DVT’s. One in the distal superficial femoral vein and one in the posterior tibial vein.

    I just want to say thank you.

    Shawna Fontenot

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hi Shawna. Thank you so much for sharing with me. I have always said if I can help just one person, I have done my job as an advocate. Shawna, I am so happy you got help before you also faced a PE. I am not happy you are dealing with the pain and recovery form a DVT, but I wish you nothing by health and happiness from here on out. Thank you so much!

  11. Hi Sara,
    After reading this blog I am going to make an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. I had cramps in my left calf last night and tonight I have a pain just below my knee. I have had these pains before but brushed it off . The pain is a strange pain, it feels like it is in my slightly enlarged vein below the knee. (It’s been slightly enlarged for some time). So this time I’m not ignoring it.
    Thanks for your blog.
    Fingers crossed.

  12. I’ve had a constant cramp in my calf for 3-4 weeks now. Reading this is scary. I just saw my primary doc last week but didn’t say anything. I’m disabled due to failed back surgeries so my physical activity is limited. It’s not like I was out jogging or working out to cause this constant cramp in my left calf. I feel like my doc thinks I’m a hypochondriac with all my issues…chronic pain and fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, permanent nerve damage in both legs including muscle weakness in both legs.

  13. Even so there is no news on IG at all.

  14. It’s been about 2 years since my DVT in left leg and bilateral PE. The only remaining complication I have is postural hypertension. I can no longer stand still for long periods of time. I wear compression stockings on both legs(below knee) every day which relives any swelling of the leg. I realize that the leg will never feel the same as the unaffected leg but it is a small price to pay. This was the result of a bunion surgery on my left foot and followed by excruciating pain in my left calf 2 weeks post op. My orthopedic surgeon didn’t take my symptoms seriously at the time and has since realized that a more in-depth patient history regarding any circulation problems should be included with all surgical procedures. I stay very active to reduce any further complications.

  15. I have had a DVT and several PEs. I was diagnosed with my first blood clot when I was 18 years old after I was walking one day and my leg went out. It had lost all circulation and was double the size of my left leg and was completely purple. I had went to a clinic a few days earlier when it had started changing colors and became tight and the minor care clinic said it was muscle spasms. It wasn’t till I lost all circulation in my right leg and it had swollen twice the size of my left leg that I was taken to the emergency room that I found out the real cause was I had a blood clot in my right leg. I was shipped to a trauma hospital in Oklahoma City where I had to have a clot buster surgery to have the clot removed. I was diagnosed by specialist as having factor 5 lieden along with factor S dificiny. My blood clots to much and also not enough so I’m 24 now and will remain on Coumadin the rest of my life because I got it from genetics because my mother pasted it to me.

  16. Leah Morillon says

    Hi , I went to emergency room two weeks ago because I had several charlie horses in one day. They were so bad I would scream and get rigid from pain. Er physician treated me like dirt. Sent me home with tramadol .
    Since that day I have them several times a day. I ate bananas, taking warm baths, apply muscle creams but nothing helping.
    I now have a dent on outer part of right leg and I’ve been extremely tired.
    Today , I had a shot in my spine to help with pain from two bulging disk. My leg went numb minutes later while in truck as a passenger I am screaming to top of my lungs . I am bent over in fetal position screaming it after my entire calf and foot.
    Are there any suggestions for help. I did my part I went to er and they basically laugh and I got told er was for critical people not charlie horses .
    My name is Leah Morillon and you can please add me to fb and send me a pm I will ty on how to stop them.
    I’ve given birth to two kids without zero pain medication but this is far more painful .

  17. Hello,
    I was diagnosed with DVT and PE in November 2015. I am 46 and am active and healthy or so I thought. I wanted to let people know that in my case, I had the pain and swelling in my left leg about 2 months prior to my actual diagnosis because I thought the pain was related to my work out routine. I iced my leg, wrapped it durring the day and took anti-inflammatory meds while elevating the leg at night. Eventually the pain subsided by the my leg still exhibitted a slight swelling. Then I started noticing that I was feeling winded while walking from my car to my office or sometimes doing minor activity. I was getting concerned so I went to see my doctor. Because it was a same-day appt, I ended up seeing the NP in the office. She checked by heart, my lungs, and an EKG-all OK. I kinda started feeling like it was all in my head based on the puzzled look on her face. She suggested I schedule for an Echo-Cardiogram to further evaluate-which when i called to schedule would not be available until after I was due for a follow-up appt with my doctor in a month. Well, I will tell you, I never made it to the appointment. About three weeks later, my left calf started hurting again and by the end of the day, my calf was swollen and very painful. The next day, I woke up with excurciating pain all through my calf and up into my inner thigh. I have to say, if it wasn’t for a co-worker insisting I call my doctor to get in that day, I probably woudl not be typing this right now. I went to the doctor’s office immediately and saw the same NP-but this time, I mentioned about the prior left leg swelling. She immediately sent me for Ultrasound of the leg which revealed multiple large blood clots in three different areas of my leg. She also scheduled me for a lung scan that same day-which revealed PE with significant decreased lung function on my right lung. I was sent to ER and then admitted and put on Xarelto. Just like you mentioned, it took me several discussions with my doctors before I truly realized how severe this was and how very lucky I was!!! I am a mother of 3 beautiful children and thinking back-it scares me to think I could have left my children motherless. I do not blame the NP as she didn’t have all the information. If I had one piece of advice, it would be to say-make sure you mention anything that has changed in the weeks or even months leading up to your visit. Had I mentioned to the NP about my leg swelling and pain when I went for the shortness of breath appointment-she might have viewed my systems differently.
    So where am I at now, well, I have been on Zarelto since November and like you said, it has been very slow going in getting back into the swing of things. It took two months for the swelling and pain to go away and even now, I still have periods where the pain returns. the doctor says that I most-likely have vein valve damage in my leg; I still don’t know what that means for life-long symptoms. I am still waiting for my Hemotologist to finish testing to see if it was hereditary or all related to the birth control pill I had been put on a year earlier. the reason is due to a positive lupus anticoagulant blood test-which indicates a clotting disorder-but haven’t gotten resolve with this yet. I had follow up blood work last week and I am due to see the Dr next week. I pray he has answers for me!!!
    I agree, there needs to be more discussions about blood clots. I didn’t have all the symptoms but had the same outcome.

    I have the same advice-Trust your body’s signals-it knows when something isn’t right. Had I ignored the winded breathing and ignored the swelling and pain in my leg. thinking it was due to my workouts-I could have died!!!

    thanks for the opportunity to tell my story.
    Susan in Florida.

  18. Hi Sarah, just wanted to share a little bit about my story. I had right knee surgery September 19th of last year. Two days later I was doing physical therapy up and walking on crutches excetera excetera. I had to use the leg compression sleeves for several days after my surgery. At my 1 week follow up I pointed out that the saphenous vein on my right leg have become hot, painful, very swollen and red looking. The doctor said that I had blood clots in that superficial vein and that although painful they would resolve themselves over time and it was nothing to worry about. (After being diagnosed with a DVT, my hematologist wondered why the knee surgeon never ordered an ultrasound once he noticed the surface clot. My hematologist stated that if you get a surface vein clot, your chances are greater than 50% in developing a deep vein thrombosis).
    On October 2nd I began to get a cramp in my right calf (same leg as the surgery). No matter what I did it wouldn’t go away: heat, painkillers, massage… Nothing would help. Finally when I couldn’t stand the pain anymore I called my surgeon and they immediately said get your butt to the closest hospital and have an ultrasound done. I had clots both superficially and in the deep veins, from ankle to hip. Several veins were totally blocked. My wonderful primary care physicians office wanted to send me home and have me call back the next day to make an appointment. My knee surgeon freaked out when he heard that and told me to go to the ER and be admitted. It wasn’t until several weeks after this whole incident that I started reading up on DVT, blood clots and PE that I realized how serious it was. I am amazingly lucky that all of those clot stayed in my right leg. It is going on close to 5 months now and I have one small clot left on the back of my knee that we’re working on resolving. The pain in my right leg, the swelling, the tenderness and the loss of sensation… Those are still there and I’m probably looking forward to that for another year or so.
    Please make sure that if you consult for any kind of surgery really talk to your doctor about what you can do to reduce your chances of a blood clot. I was 42, on estrogen birth control, smoked, and was a little overweight. They never even mentioned the possibility of blood clots to me. If I’d known that estrogen was such a high risk, I would have went off the birth control! It was not a big deal to be off of it but they never even asked if I would. This was my first surgery since I’ve been seven years old and honestly it’s changed my life.
    Thank you for putting this information out there, Sara. I was actually go ogling how long the symptoms of DVT lasted when I came across your site 🙂

  19. Hi Sara, I have just come across you blog whilst searching for blot clots and running. 6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my left calf, after almost a week of hobbling around thinking I’d pulled something training for my 8th marathon. I’m on anti coagulants and back running, Just. I’m hoping to be fit again (well fit enough!) to run the London marathon still in just under 6 weeks. I’m trying to gather as much information as I can about marathon running post DVT and the effect of blood thinners on running and recovery. I ran a 20 mile race at the weekend (albiet a lot slower than the year previous!) I couldn’t feel my left foot very well by the end of it and it took a while to get rid of the pins and needles after the race. Really starting to worry about Running the marathon at the end of April!
    Helen x (

    • I mean to add that I didn’t have any symptoms a part from the pain in my calf, I went to the hospital on the advice of the NHS helpline and the doctors almost didn’t do the tests and scans for blood clots because of the lack of symptoms and because they thought the chances of me having blood clots were slim as I am relatively young, healthy and active. Luckily they did do the tests in the end.

  20. Sara have just given birth via c-section and about two weeks i start feeling sharp pain in my thigh the then next day the area got swollen and my knee couldn’t bent. that last for about a week then it went back to normal.I taught because i used to be a runner that i may have pull a muscle without me knowing and its acting up now.or it was side effect of the spinal epidural i received during delivery.
    while pregnant i had a few respiratory problem but it was dismiss because i was pregnant and it was common during pregnancy. when i went to get my baby his first vaccines i told a nurse about what i experience and she told me that i suffer from a muscle spasm. i didn’t know what it was so i decide to research it so my search led me here.
    my mother suffer from a blood clot that almost took her life my cousin found her pass out in the bathroom while she was taking a shower.

  21. Sara have just given birth via c-section and about two weeks i start feeling sharp pain in my thigh the then next day the area got swollen and my knee couldn’t bent. that last for about a week then it went back to normal.I taught because i used to be a runner that i may have pull a muscle without me knowing and its acting up now.or it was side effect of the spinal epidural i received during delivery.
    while pregnant i had a few respiratory problem but it was dismiss because i was pregnant and it was common during pregnancy. when i went to get my baby his first vaccines i told a nurse about what i experience and she told me that i suffer from a muscle spasm. i didn’t know what it was so i decide to research it so my search led me here.
    my mother sister suffer from a blood clot that almost took her life my cousin found her pass out in the bathroom while she was taking a shower.

  22. Hi,
    I am on birth control, I have been for over a year but recently had a months break from the pill and started up again last month. I know a friend who experiences a blood clot in her leg and was told it is common within the first 3 months of taking the birth control pill.
    I have also been experiencing some pain in my left calf, mainly when I’m relaxing during the evening or in bed. The pain feels deep in my muscle and almost like a cramp.
    I didn’t think much of it until I just noticed a bruise on my left calf where I have been feeling the pain. From what I can remember (and I haven’t been drunk in a while either) I haven’t knocked or injured my leg so can’t think of where the bruise is from.
    Is bruising a known sign on blood clots and should I get it checked out?
    I don’t think it’s worthy of an emergency appointment, but know that a doctors appointment is at least a months wait in Essex.

    Would be great full if anybody could give me some advice. Thank you

  23. I to have had blood clots.I had 2 in my lungs and 1 in my leg.I worry alot about getting them again.I was on blood thinners for over a year,then I was taken off.I try not to stay in bed or to sit still for any long periods of time.I am 60 and worry all the time.It is good to read about thing’s to know about just incase I should get them again.Thank you for your post and thank you for the imformation.

  24. I just had my first child last October and just days before having her, I was diagnosed with DVT. I stayed very active and fit throughout my pregnancy but during the last 2-3 weeks, my legs were so swollen and I had pitting edema. My Dr. kept telling me that it was normal to swell during pregnancy so not to worry about it. It was uncomfortable but I was in no pain so I continued to work, walk, and do all of my normal things. Finally when I was 37.1 weeks pregnant, I went to the Doctor’s and she said she thought I might be developing pre-e because of the swelling. She sent me over to labor & delivery to be checked. When I got there, the Doctor took one look at my legs and sent me down for an ultrasound where they discovered blood clots in both of my legs. They immediately gave me injections of blood thinners and admitted me. They said that they would need to insert IVC filters the next morning as the risk for delivery with DVT would be too high. The next morning right before being wheeled out for surgery, my water broke. The Doctors were all frantic and they formed a team of specialists to work on the best options for me. They decided the risk was still too high so I would still need the filter placed prior to having my daughter. I went into surgery with no medication and not even a local and got the filters placed through my neck. It was a very creepy experience because I could see everything they were doing on the screen in front of my face. Not to mention the pain of being in labor and my body was shaking uncontrollably. Anyways, the filters were inserted successfully and after surgery I labored on my own for about 8 hours until I could get an epidural (had to wait on that as they cannot give you one when you have blood thinners in your system). I had my daughter at 3:30am. It was a very scary experience. I got the filters removed on Christmas Eve and have since been okay. I just stopped taking blood thinners last month and am now getting numbness, tingling and pain in my left calf/foot. I called my hematologist today for an appointment and am currently waiting for his return call. Let’s hope it’s not another DVT!

  25. I was a 52 year old female when I ended up with blood clots that was 3 years ago. For about a month I was noticing I was having trouble breathing always short of breath even from just talking, I had an 8-5 office job and worked a part time job in retail just to keep active and not always sitting. I am married and have two grown daughters. I went to an urgent care on one Saturday because I knew there was something wrong I was told I had severe allergies and was given an inhaler, a shot and some medication. My right leg was somewhat swollen but I was not worried about my leg it was the shortness of breath that bothered me. After about 3 days it did not let up I went to work and my boss told me you need to see a doctor something is wrong I was breathing like I had run a marathon and that was just from my desk and maybe a couple steps I made an appointment and was seen that same day, the doctor told me the same thing severe allergies he gave me a different inhaler, nose drops and different medications. What I failed to mention this lasted for about a month I would go home for lunch and sleep go back to work, had to quit my part time job since I was so tired, I would go home not want to cook, watch tv just sleep, the day after I saw the doctor I went home and I told my husband I’m going to bed I woke up like something was on top of me I could not breath my husband told me breath slow and tried to give me one of the inhalers, after I calmed down he said we need to get you to the hospital I told him I had to change in the middle of putting another top on I passed out I woke up to my husband trying to wake me up my daughter called the ambulance but they did not show up so my husband said he was just going to take me, he was helping me outside but before I made it to the car I passed out again in my front yard he rushed me to the hospital where they took me in right away and started testing for a heart attac after an echo and angiogram they could not find anything they finally did a cat scan on my chest and saw I had massive blood clots in both my lungs I live in a small city I really do not think the doctor knew much about blood clots even though he is a Pulmonary Doctor. I was sent home after a week in the hospital had a follow up with him a week later and he said 2 or 3 weeks my clots would be gone after I asked what was going on with the blood clots, I was on warfrin but still having shortness of breath. I saw my primary doctor and asked for a new lung doctor which he found one for me I was on oxygen for a year and the clots were not going away they were turning into scar tissue around my lungs which was making it hard for oxygen to get to my lungs and my heart, my new lung doctor referred me to one of the best hospitals in the world that specializes in Pulomary Embolism it is in San Diego they did a week of testing and found that the blood clots had traveled from my legs to the lungs, 4 days later I had the surgery which is called Pulmonary Thromboedartectomy it is an 8-10 hour surgery that saved my life they were able to take out all the clots. When I went in for my testing I had 25% usage of both lungs, I left the hospital 8 days later with out needing the oxygen tanks and breathing like I used to I am still on blood thinners for the rest of my life but a small price to pay for still being alive. Had I not had the blood clots removed I would have died of a heart attach or stroke my heart was working to hard. It’s been 3 years and I still have trouble at night falling a sleep thinking I may stop breathing. I read up on Pulmonary Embolism all the time I want to know all there is to know about it.

  26. Malcolm Binns says

    I wonder if anyone could give me some advice,my knees are going red/purple and feel hot,the sharp jabbing pain in both knees,the pain is there all the time now,the knees feel like they are going to give way,had a xray and it came back clear,I do suffer from copd and high blood pressure,should I go back to the doctor?,he does not seem to have a clue.
    Has anybody any ideas what it could be?

  27. I had no idea that blood clots were such a problem. It’s crazy that they effect almost 600,000 Americans every year, that is staggering! Here I thought that charley horses were innocent pains, but now I know better, thank you for the information.

  28. Colleen briffett says

    I had my first dvt in my leg 10 yrs ago and have had lots more since , even on lovanox. My leg is huuuuuge compaired to the other twig of a leg i have, very discolored and is pitting worse then iv ever seen before. Im in exruciating pain 24/7 and can barely walk or sit for too long. I go to doctors and apperently they cant do anything until it gets so bad they have to remove it. Im desperate I cant live like only 43 and will be honest I cant live like this anymore, its excruciating…someone pls help!!!

  29. Dearest Sata, I want to start by thanking you for your thoughtfulness of taking the time to put this information out. It brought tears to my eyes. I would have emailed you, but I am not so great with these sort of things since my accident, 5 years ago.
    I was diagnosed with D.V.T.’s and put on warfarin (long term , and lovinox (short term). At first my primary told me that would be on the warfrin the rest of my life.
    Since then , about 2 years ago I was given a D.V.T. “clear bill of health” . I actually had gone into the hospital because of a fall, which of course being on bloodthinners worried me. Turned out that my spleen was bleeding. But considering what I had lived though ,despite the expected, I was very happy. (I celebrated with a huge salad, broccoli and all of the “goodness” I had missed for what seemed eternity! 😉
    My issue is, the pain is back . I had multiples in both my upper and lower legs. Only one leg is giving me issues
    I am asking you about this because; 1: I am a mother of 2 ,and have more to care for then just myself& 2: I tried Google and it’s an overabundance of info, which is in alot of ways more frightening. If you can give me any references to information directly pertaining to this, or anyone else can, it is so greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and kindness and thoughtful heart. Blessed Be

  30. In August 2015 I was diagnosed with pneumonia and they found a nodule on my lung. I was sick for 4 months, until November 2015. Now, for another the last 6 months I’ve had what feel like a pulled muscle in in my right calf almost like a charley horse. It’s getting worse and I dont exersize. Yes I smoke. I’m 45. I sit 10 hours a day at work. It hurts to walk and flex that leg. Could this be a blood clot? Did I have a pulmonary embolism last year when I was so sick and could barely breathe? I couldn’t take two steps without being able to breathe. It was horrible. Any advice??

  31. I was involved in a motor vehicle accident in November of 2016. Initial evaluation in ER revealed no broken bones or internal bleeding . I was given pain meds and sent home. To make a long story short… I had a lot of left side pain in various areas from head to toe and PT was ordered . I had been hit by a semi traveling 55 mph as I had just begun to roll forward at a 4 way stop (semi never even slowed). I was diagnosed with a concussion followed by one of post concussion syndrome. Because of the concussion, severe pain and taking painkillers, I was mostly it mobile for many months, driving only to PT and doc appts forthe first several months, then only those and grocery store and pharmacy runs when I HAD to. From the very beginning , one of the areas of pain was my left foot and calf for which PT was prescribed. After so much PT didn’t solve the problem, I had an EMG which was negative for nerve damage and MORE PT was ordered. I also saw an orthopedic who said if PT didn’t work, he’d order a foot/ankle scan which he never did. As time went on, pain increased in leg , particularly calf area and gradually up to knee. I repeatedly asked ortho to order scan and reported PT was making pain worse. In my final visit to this ortho, I showed him swelling of my knee and quadricep and reported increased pain in back of knee too all way down to foot. 8 months had passed. He put me in a walking boot which made knee pain worse. Before my post boot visit, I called twice asking for MRI from knee down and reported increased pain. He had failed to make any notes if having discussed or looked at my knee and only ordered MRI of foot and ankle. Disgusted , exhausted and depressed (had been able to work very little since accident and was so immobile I rarely left the house), I called another orthopedic. By the time i saw him, I had pain and swelling of entire leg. This ATTENTIVE doc ordered ultrasound and guess what??? DVT and PE in both lungs . That was 2 weeks ago. I am on xarelto and trying to assure myself I’ll be okay but have had conflicting instructions from discharging doc and pulmonologist. Pulmonologist said return to normal activities immediately as tolerated (I had begun to notice Leone shortness of breath but nothing I’d consider major and attributed to being overweight and immobile) and d/c doc said bedrest and keep leg elevated. It’s been 1.5 weeks and I’ve had a follow up with pulmonologist who again told me to get up and move and that he thinks I’ll be okay because I’m on xarelto. I’m still having calf pain and swelling but no redness and shortness of breath if I walk too long. I’m still paranoid some of DVT behind knee will break off and feel unsure of exactly what advice to listen to. Any suggestions?

  32. Wow. Pam is almost identical to me. I had 2 dots in left calf the day after gallbladder surgery . Severe pain in heel, calf just can’t tell you. And the pressure like my leg was going to explode. Been on xeralto its been 6 months and have not walked on that leg since . My calf doesn’t look swollen but won’t sqish can’t move ankle like is should. Pain and bubbling feeling in calf. Been trying so hard to walk again but doc orders tests for knee n thigh and MRI of foot instead of from knee down because the clots were there. They don’t want to do any test on calf to see why I am still so bad. On my bone scan that was done results were diminished blood flow in lower left leg but doc said NORMAL. When I asked if diminished blood flow was causing my problems he said ” I didn’t tell you that” . I said I know I read it on the results. The look on his face was incredible almost like he couldn’t believe I found out. Then he orders the ultrasound that doesn’t show my lower left leg. They are dancing around and hoping you will believe them ..
    Problem is when you can’t walk and are in severe pain odds are the patient is going to get angry when there is no progress and start asking questions. My doctor is not being truthful with me. So please, if what your doc says to you sounds wrong then ask them. Step up and say what’s on your mind ..

  33. URGENT!!!!
    Hi I need Help please, if you had a clot in your calf of leg and taking neurofen ( ibrofuren ) made the pain go away would that mean it isn’t a blood clot?
    And also if one was to have calf pain but then it went away after a few weeks does that also mean it is not a blood clot?

  34. Appreciation to my father who told me regarding this website, this website is genuinely remarkable.

  35. Thank you for going in deeper on rhis matter. I recently felt something wrong with leg for the past few days and first thing that came to mind was a blood clot. I made an appointment yesterday for today to see my doctor. Hopefully its good news but not holding my breath. I will post more when i find out if it is or not. Again thank you. Great article.

  36. Hi Sara my doc things I need psychiatric help because of all the complaints I have Charley horse type pain behind my left leg sudden crushing chest pain that comes and goes pain in my shoulder neck hands elbows back teeth pain extreme exhaustion. I have thyroids issues for 15 yrs high blood pressure gerd ibs anxiety allergies restless legs I use meds for all so yes I am a hot mess but my pain is not in my head I feel stupid to ask for a check up after being told I need psych help. I’m thinking to just go to the ER not sure yet.
    I’m just very frustrated at this point.
    Your postings are very helpful thank you.

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  40. HI

    First, I’m glad to be alive..glad you are, too.

    I had relatively minor arthroscopic surgery and am incIsion for a cyst. 3 days post surgery I called the doctor because my calf was so cold and bruised. I wa’s told to check it and see if it was hot or red. I was told to remove the compression stocking. 8 days post surgery I had a follow up with my surgeon and complained about my circulation. .cold feet, bruising and was told I was fine. 18 days post surgery while doing a heel slide I felt a pop and felt pain in the back of my knee. That night I had severe inguinal day my thigh was red and so stiff. .huge, too. Went to my surgeon who finally sent me for an ultrasound. .ended up in ER. Now on xeralto for 6 months., 2 years of compression hose..I’m posses because my surgeon’a response was I just would have been on blood thinners..but I just wouldn’t have this damage to my veins, this pain, this miserable setback. And I could have died. I found out today I have a genetic prothrombin disorder. When I gave family history I mentionedon’t my mom had a clot once.

    I feel really angry at my doctor for not listening to me in the first place. I feel like this was negligent. It fucked my life up for a long time..i am considering getting a lawyer..anyone have any experience,

  41. Thank you for writing his. I’ve had a “charley-horse” pain in my leg for about 2 weeks. Utilizing my good friend Dr. Google tonight and happened upon this story. Sent an email to my doctor describing my pain. Obviously no appointment or answers at this time, but I doubt I would have even emailed her if not for this story, so thank you!

  42. Karrie LaGore says

    Sara, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am lying in bed, tears pouring down my face because after an afternoon of researching and trying to find out what is happening to me I found your post. You have given words to my fear and pain, and planted seeds of hope that someday there might be a life beyond this. To thank you, here is my story.
    I have had vericose veins since I was in my early twenties.. I have always been a big girl, but at that time was very active in kickboxing and had just gotten into a regimen of heavy exercise, running and walking. Occasionally I wouldrget bumoed or kicked in my veins, and the pain would be exruciating. Doctors told me that it was common, not to worry about it. So I didn’t.
    When I became pregnant at 30 my veins became more pronounced, more sensitive, and very purple. The doctors said that theis was because I had gained weight and was now obese, but not to worry about it, so I didn’t.
    The veins begin getting thicker and darker, became harder and were often red, and very warm. Sometimes the pain was unbearable, so I went to a new doctor. He said that it was because I was so heavy, and “other than being ugly, they aren’t a big deal”. Once again I am told not to worry, soI didn’t.
    In the last 2 1/2 years I developed what I assumed tobe restless leg syndrome; if I sat down for very long I got pins & needles, had trouble falling asleep because my left leg had random pains. I also began to have shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, sever leg cramps… Random “asthma attacks” that happened at the most inconvenient times. In October, one of these “asthma attacks” happened in Disneyland. It was all I could do to get to the hospitalin Anaheim. I thought for sure that I was dying. I told them avout the severe cramping in my left leg, pointed out how bright red the area around the veins was, but was toldnot to worry about it, so I didn’t.
    I did decide, however to take charge of my own healthcare. I got a new doctor, took lots of tests, and told her emphatically about my issues with my vericose veins, specifically acertain swollen, red, extremely tender one above the knee of my left leg. She examibed me, said that yes, the vericose veins were severe, but because of my age (43) she didnot recommend vein removal or blood thinners. It was no big deal, don’t worry.
    Thursday night (today is Sunday) I came home from a very long day of being mom and told my husband tbat I was having horrible leg cramps. I’d never had a charlie horse in my quad, calf, hamstring AND knee before. It was awful. About 2 hours before that I had had an asthma attack. It was pretty scary; I had to use both inhalers and then take my emergency prednisone tablets. The next day I teied contacting my primary care provider to let her know. She was unavailable. Okay. How about anotherdoctor? Nope. It’s Friday, and every Kaiser doctor in town is unavailable. What should I do, I asked the advice nurse, who helpfully told me that if I should have another attack, I was welcome to call back. (It had taken 2 hours for them to answer my call this time.) the pain in my leg was becoming unbearable, so I took some Alleve, put on my most comfortable shows and attempted to shoulder through the rest of the day. My son was in a play that night, and there was no way that I was going to miss it. So, although I hurt so bad that I could barely walk, I did not worry. Until I got home.
    Friday night after the play was over I couldn’t walk to the car. The pain was too much. My 13 yearold hadto help me. My husband had to get me into the house and onto a bed, I asked him to take off my shoes, and was horrified. My foot wasbright red, and so swollen that my toes were half their length. I had no ankle. He carefully (and painfully) got my pants offto find that my whole leg looked like a red, inflated balloon and was extremely hot. I was running a fever, nauseous, and trying not to scream in agony, so he called the advice nurse. One hour and 53 minutes later they returned my call abd said, ” hmmm….might be a blood clot. You should go to the emeroomcy room.”
    By 3 a.m. we hadwoken up our 13 year old to watch the 7 year old towatch his brother and were drivibg across town to the ER. I was screaming outin pain the whole way,tears running down my face. When we arrived I was assessed, then placed in the lobby in a wheelchair. I kept asking for help, telling every nurse there that the chair was killikillinleg, that the pain was more thsn I could take. But no one cared. More than 5 hours later I was taken back to the nurses station where I was given injections of Dolotted. I was giving A family of nurses that I know the play by play, and they panicked. “Why are they giving you that? Karrie what is going on? Are they operating on you?” But I had no idea becauseno one told me anything. I was rolled into a side room where nurses readied me for a CT scan, did bloodwork…but still told nothing. Four hours later, still sitting in the same wheelchair, a PA came in and told me that I have DVT, and that it is “quite sizable”. He gave me a perscription for Hydrocodone and Xarelto, shook my hand and told me that I need to see my PCP as soon as possible. No explanation, no treatment plan, no ways to manage my pain or how to deal with this at home. Just released me and walked out. I never even saw an actual doctor.
    That was yesterday. My husband helped me get home, helps me get to the restroom, handle the kids, because he happens to be off today. The pain has not lessened, so I find myself crying and screaming into my pillow. There is no sleep. I can’t support my weight with my leg or even bend it because it is so swollen. I have been frantically searching the internet trying to educate myself, trying to understand what’s happening, just trying to survive this. And that’s how I found your story. Thank you so much for letting me and others like us know that there is life after this, and that we’re not crazy. It might not outwardly look like I am going through something horribke, but my body and mind feels like I am undergoing torture. Thank you for giving voice to that.

  43. I did not know, that PE and DVT were so deadly. I was just not aware of the numbers and stats. I have to be honest, I am affraid to get on a transatlantic flight. I would love to travel to the US (I live in Europe), but those long flights scare me to death. Especially considering that my family has a long history of circulatory diseases.

  44. Thanks so much for your post. I did find this article by Googling for info about blood clots. I’m freaking myself out right now bc I have some unexplained swelling in my foot/ankle area (just one little 2 inch area) and a little pain. The pain is not bad at all, it hasn’t stopped me from doing anything normally (working all day, walking the dog, 2 hour Target run, etc). I do also have a little pain in the back of my left leg, but I think I may be psyching myself out bc none of the other symptoms match up. I just messaged my doctor through her online portal to ask her advice on whether or not I should be concerned enough to go to the ER or Urgent Care today, or just see her on Monday.

  45. I appreciate your website. I was diagnosed with DVT in my leg yesterday and an infection in an incision when my cast was removed. I had Achilles’ tendon surgery 6 weeks ago. I had pain in my calf last week but thought it was “healing pains” and maybe I was overdoing it a bit, so I relaxed more (became more immobile, bad idea!). I’m in relatively good shape, aside from being inactive recently due to the surgery and injury. I’m 42 and have no other health issues.
    My fear is that I will now have long-term pain, swelling and other issues due to the damage caused by the DVT. Do you suffer from these issues? Were you able to return to your active lifestyle? I had my tendon repaired so I could “live” again, and now this….I’m afraid of how this might negatively impact the rest of my life. And, I feel out of breath lately but is that being out of shape from lack of activity/allergy season/paranoia…who knows?

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      Hi Jlynn,

      Thank you so much for writing. It is very nice to connect with you. Thank you for sharing your story as well….I am so sorry to hear about everything you are going through, and I certainly hope better days are ahead, and you continue to recover without incident.

      I am doing very well now, and I have little to no complications from my DVT and PE (blood clot in my lung), although I will be on blood thinners longterm because I have an incurable clotting condition, as an underlying cause of my blood clot. I write extensively about my recovery – and offer ongoing support for people who are also recovering from blood clots – on my blog Blood Clot Recovery Network. You might like to check it out: I had a very extensive recovery from my blood clots – about two years in total – and I am still dealing with some emotional trauma today, but overall, blood clots do not stop me from living my life, although they do make me a little anxious from time to time.

      Most patients with DVT or PE recover within several weeks to months without significant complications or long-term effects.
      In some patients, the clot never goes away completely: about half of the patients with DVT will have left-over (residual) clot if a follow-up Doppler ultrasound is done 6 months after the acute clot. This is not a clot that can break off, but rather scar tissue within the blood vessel. Because other blood vessels take over and bypass the narrowed or damaged veins, patients are often without symptoms, even if they do have left-over damage at the area where the DVT was. The clot in my leg did not dissolve completely – which is entirely up to the body – and it remains there today. I am very fortunate that I do not have longterm effects from it, but swelling once in awhile if I stand or sit for too long without moving.

      I do not run anymore, but I do other things like walk, CrossFit, and hiking with my husband. I have too many painful memories associated with running – the death of my mother and my own near-death experience from my blood clot – and running is unfortunately the one thing I was not able to do again. Physically I could, emotionally I cannot. At first, this was hard to understand, but since several years have gone by, I have come to terms with this, and try to do other things that make me happy instead.

      In regards to feeling out of breath, I do suggest you follow-up with your doctor about this as soon as possible. A blood clot that breaks off and travels through the bloodstream to the lung is a pulmonary embolism, or PE. A PE is a life-threatening condition, and it might be a good idea to make sure you do not have one, just to be safe. Are you on blood thinners now? You are at risk for a blood clot at least 90 days after a surgery or hospitalization, and blood thinners help to prevent new blood clots from forming, or clots from traveling to the lungs. Here is some very helpful information about surgery, blood clot risks, and prevention:

      Here are the symptoms of PE: If you have any of the symptoms – or if your breathlessness gets worse – please do seek emergency medical attention immediately. I don’t say this to scare you unnecessarily, but to let you know about the seriousness of this situation, as it almost ended my life.

      Thank you again for writing, and please take care.

  46. Michelle says

    I have really bad heath anxiety especially about blood clots now i have a bruise on my lower leg and its a lump its not discolored other then notmal bruise colors not red its not warm and it does not hurt but when i get off my feet my whole leg feels tight and tingly could this possibky be a blood clot im hopeing its just all in my head

  47. Christine says

    I had an angioplasty last Friday and when they went to do the angiogram he tried my arm and couldnt get it in so went in the groin. I have tiny veins and apparently tiny arteries..
    Short story…..had aching and some swelling in that arm near inside elbow and went to emerge for a look and I have a blood clot. Im already on Brilinta for the new stent and they didnt want to add a blood thinner to the mix since the bloodclot is still low on my arm. Finding it hard to wait till next week for more ultrasounds to see if the bloodclot is moving up towards my neck in the direction of my lungs….
    Seriously affecting my life and my cardiologist and my family doctor are of course….on vacation. Im feeling fine and I would like to cut my grass with my old person lawnmower that practically drives itself. Anyone else out there had to wait and see? Thanks!

  48. Claudia Cook says

    Hi Sara. I had knee surgery 5 days ago and started having severe calf pain 2 days after. I called my doctors office and left a message with the receptionist but didn’t hear back until 3 days later. I didn’t know my doctor had been out of town. I was called back today and sent immediately to have an ultrasound which showed that I have DVD. I have 2 clots in my upper calf. I was started on blood thinners tonight. I have 3 grandparents who passed away die to blood clots and I didn’t even know this until today. As I am laying here in bed at 1 am, in too much pain to sleep, I was searching the internet hoping someone could tell me how long this pain is going to last! I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and helping those of us who may or may not end up with a PE to know what to look for and feel more confident that it can be overcome. You are literally a life saver!

  49. Jeffrey riddle says

    I am writing because of tests it shows a blood clot behind my knee. I have no pain in my knee it shows up in my ankle. I was just wondering if a bypass would help the pain in my ankle. I have discussed this with my doctor and he keeps telling me to give it time. I don’t know what to do. Thank you

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