I've wrestled a bit with posting this, but finally decided to since I've always used writing as a way of dealing with and actually coming to understand what I believe or feel about whatever is weighing on my mind.
First the bad news: I had some pain in my leg, upper thigh, week before last and thought it was a muscle sprain or tear. Over that weekend it continued to hurt a bit (but nothing excessive). On Monday I felt a little less pain but still decided to see the doctor at the clinic near our house. He immediately sent me for an ultra sound. Turns out I had two clots. A superficial one about half way down the thigh and another, a deep vein one (DVT), in the groin area. The groin clot was the large one and the most dangerous even though the pain from it had barely registered on me. Guess I'll be living in Clot City for a while; that's the bad news.
The good news is that I apparently caught it in time before it broke loose and went to my lungs, heart, or brain. My regular doctor prescribed the blood thinner coumadin in pill form and a series of ten shots of Heparin that would take me to the point where there is enough coumadin in my system to do the job. In addition to reminding me of my evening coumadin pill, Joyce gave me 5 of the shots in my stomach over the next two days. I went back to the doctor last Thursday to check the coumadin level and it was already within the desired range, so we stopped the shots. That's another good thing!
Maintaining the desired coumadin level for the next 6 months to a year will prevent further clotting and allow the deep clot to begin to dissolve (actually only part of it dissolves, the rest, as I understand it, attaches to the vein wall and is covered over by a new layer of skin, or whatever they call the insides of your veins). During this time I'm supposed to keep my feet up when I sitting and never cross my legs (I'm finding this part pretty hard to do). I'll be visiting the doctor on a regular basis for a while to ensure that the coumadin level remains stable. And at some point a few months from now I'll probably have another ultra sound to determine if the clot has been taken care of by my body.
I know this isn't a trivial event and it did get me down when I got the news. But I'm feeling okay now, mentally and physically, taking it easy as per doctor's orders. No heavy lifting, elevating my legs when sitting, etc. I'm also getting up from the computer or tv frequently to make sure there's little chance any more clots will form. My neighbor Ronnie had a clot about three years ago and it did get to his lung. But he was lucky and they were able to treat it in a fashion similar to mine. He was hospitalized for a time however, since it got to his lungs. He's fine now and does more yard work in a day than I could ever do in a week.
BTW, some of the causes are sitting still too long in a car or on a plane or at a computer, standing too long, etc. Any kind of prolonged inactivity that doesn't allow the muscles in your legs to move the blood back to your heart is a risk. Hospital stays, surgeries, etc. can also lead to clots. Take my advice, stop the car, get out and walk around some as you travel. I suspect my two long recent car trips plus some other factors may have contributed to my problem. If you're traveling by air, get up and walk up the aisle and back from time to time. If you're not traveling, get your butt up from the computer or tv and move around frequently.