Jump to content

Never experienced pain like this

Recommended Posts

Some of you may be aware I had some surgery last month. All is well with that. Very pleased with the outcome. But ....

As is not unheard of in patients recovering from surgery, I developed some blood clots in my lower left leg. Deep Vein Thrombophlebitis. Two inner veins in my leg have clots that extend about six inches along the veins. Kind of like clogged up piping.

In addition to being kind of a scary thing because of the risk that a part of the clot can break off and migrate to your lungs (extreme emergency 911 situation) it is without doubt the most painful and debilitating thing I've ever experienced -- and I've had my fair share of broken bones. Nothing comes close to this.

Merely standing up is excruciatingly painful and leaves me gasping for air. Walking (hobbling with the aid of a cane) is accompanied by a constant grimace and lots of huffing and puffing. No joke. I've been gobbling up pain killers at a steady rate, and they help, but have been unable to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time, and have had to inject myself twice a day with blood thinners for the past three days. I'm just now starting to feel some relief.

I will need to be on blood thinners for several months while the condition clears itself, and during this time I have to avoid any activity where I might risk cutting or scraping myself. I won't clot easily. I will bruise quite easily, too.

So be warned, if you ever have surgery and begin to feel some soreness or tightness in your legs, get examined immediately for blood clots. I waited too long and ended up in the ER on Friday.

The catch 22 with surgery is that you can't be on blood thinners immediately afterward because your body needs the clotting -- part of the healing process. The downside is you can be prone to developing these blood clots precisely because your body kind of goes into hyper-healing mode.

Anyways, there it is. Not looking for sympathy, just offering up my experience because frankly, no doctor advised me that this might happen after my surgery and so how was I to know what was happening when my leg began to get stiff and sore? I mentioned the soreness several times, but only when it began to increase dramatically late last week did the surgeon tell me to get my ass over to the ER.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 75
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

"ecause frankly, no doctor advised me that this might happen after my surgery and so how was I to know what was happening "

I hear this kind of stuff all the time, the only way to survive is to do your own self diagnosis and and ask a ton of questions.

Like Joe said try keep a positive attitude and get well soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel for you, Paps. I've worked with patients in the hospital suffering from blood clots in the legs and they scream out with pain.

Do the doctors feel they can dissolve the clots without endangering your heart of lungs? Hang in there! Looks like anticoagulation therapy is unavoidable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to all of you for all the kind words. You're all very kind and it is wonderful to have a place such as this to come and vent a little and seek support.

I'm doing somewhat better now than I was the previous few days and should get continued relief fairly quickly as they adjust the level for the blood thinners. I'm doubling down today after a visit to the doctor this morning. I must have naturally thick blood.

Part of the problem going into all this is that everyone wants to be very positive and reassuring about the outcome, and rightly so. So as a patient you're kind of lulled into a false sense of security.

The other complicating thing for me is that I have for years had some very minor trouble with my leg veins, and so I assumed, wrongly, after the surgery that the discomfort I was experiencing was associated with that. I guess I downplayed it a little because I didn't want anything to be wrong.

Once they suspected blood clots, it was all hands on deck though. And the treatment I'm receiving now is the right treatment and should be highly effective.

The way it was explained to me is this: the blood thinners prevent further blockage from occurring and the natural enzymes in the body slowly dissipate the blockage that has formed. A slow process that could very well take months. But you don't want a fast process with this condition because of the danger of a clot breaking free and traveling to your lungs.

I've never really had a major medical problem, so this whole deal has been kind of an eye-opener for me.

Here's a side note that may be good for a few laughs -- I got the invoice for the surgery itself from my insurance company the other day. The cost for the surgery alone was ................. $52,000. :blink: My co-pay is going to be something like $1,100. I had to laugh.

And Allen, thank you. You're very kind.

You're all very kind.

Now, time for some more painkillers. I'll be writing some gibberish in the politics threads in about an hour. Should be fun.

Edited by papsrus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hope you feel better fast. I think we all have tendency to hold physicians in high esteem, assuming that they are all uniformly good at what they do. The problem is, some are and some aren't. The fact that someone you relied on didn't mention the possibility of a potentially life threatening post-surgical complication is more than a little troubling. It just emphasizes what others have already said, that it's really up to the patient to make sure the right questions are asked. Not as it should be, but as it is.

Up over and out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...