Ouch! Pulmonary Embolism

I have no idea how to begin this post. I suppose I could be all emotional and tell you what the doctors have been telling me all day, “you dodged a bullet.” In reality, I am in great spirits although still short of breath and…I’m in the Intensive Care Unit at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Campus. Let me start from the beginning…

At around 2:30PM, Binita came up to me and firmly told me that we are going to the Emergency Room. I was a bit surprised, but she suspected that I had Pulmonary Embolism (PE); a very serious condition where a blood clot travels from the lower extremities (legs) into the lungs. The clot(s) lodge themselves into the lungs making breathing difficult and forcing your heart to pump harder. I have blogged over the past ten days that I have both these conditions; my resting heartrate and BP are really high, and I am short of breath a lot!

We reached the ER at around 3:15 and were quickly shown a room. After talking to me for a few minutes, Dr. Courtney also suspected PE and immediately ordered a CAT Scan. In about 30 minutes, I was wheeled into the chamber, injected with iodine and imaged. Lo and behold, Binita’s theory was spot-on.

I have approximately 6 clots in my lungs including a “saddle” clot that sits at the entrance of both chambers of my lungs. Ouch! Everyone was surprised that I didn’t go into cardiac arrest immediately. Everyone was surprised that I was in such good spirits and joking around. Of course I am concerned that I have all these clots in my lungs, but I am also happy that they found the root cause of my issues.

Binita took the picture above just before I was wheeled up to the ICU. There were wires everywhere and I wasn’t in the ICU yet!! Once in the ICU, I was told that I am going to be here for some time. Of course, I was arguing to go home but they are keeping me there. Surprisingly, the ICU is not quite the dreary place that I had imagined. It is top-notch with pretty views of the desert. Unfortunately, I am hooked up to umpteen different monitors to measure my BP, my heartrate, my blood oxy and there is an IV going into one of my veins. They drew blood a few times and also did an ultrasound of both my legs to see if there are any more clots lurking. Going to pee is a chore because they don’t want me to walk. I’m lobbying for them to get me out of the ICU quickly. I feel fine!!

So how do I feel about all this? Honestly, more than anything I feel relief. I’ve been joking around with the nurses that I am the healthiest person they will ever see in the ICU. They agree, but also point out that PE is seriously a big deal. I guess…

Wish me a speedy recovery!!

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