Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Post Surgery Complication - 2 blood clots in my calf 5.5 weeks after surgery

Today is 6 weeks post surgery! Hope to start walking tomorrow.

Earlier last week (Tuesday), I noticed that my right calf (same leg as the surgery) felt sore. It felt like a pulled muscle. I figured it was due to my scooting around on one leg, but it seemed weird to me given that I wasn't putting any pressure on the foot. I noticed that it was a little tender to the touch and hurt to extend my leg fully. The pain/tenderness worsened over the next few days, so on Thursday I did a quick Internet search for my symptoms and the word blood clot came up all over the place.

So, on Friday morning (5-3-13) I called my doctor and he said come in. He examined me and said that I had a mild virus/sinus infection and ordered a sonogram of my right leg to rule out a blood clot.

The sonogram started off well with the technologist saying that the popliteal and femoral veins in my right leg all looked good. Good news, I thought, those are the worst veins to have a clot in because they are bigger and deeper and can therefore harbor large clots that could potentially break off and travel to the lungs to cause a pulmonary embolism ("PE"). People die from PEs. As the tech continued, I noticed that she was stuck looking in one area. I asked "is everything ok" and she said "umm, no" and explained that I had a fully obstructing blood clot in my gastroc niemius vein. That was causing my pain/tenderness. I told them that I also felt short of breath, so they whisked me into another room to do a cat scan of my lungs with iodine contrast (I hate the hot feeling in my throat and body it gives me). Thankfully, the test result was normal and I didn't have a PE.

Later in the day I saw a vascular surgeon (Liz Harrington) and they retested the sonogram and that test showed that I actually have 2 blood clots - one in the gastroc niemius and another one in the soleus vein. Big time bummer. I am really luckily I had the symptoms and saw the doctors. The vascular surgeon ordered a blood thinner (really a blood anti coagulant) called Lovenox twice a day for 5 days (90 mgs each injection). I give myself a needle shot subcutaneously in my stomach. All 4 of my doctors (Saha, Elliott, Ghodsi, and Harrington) all agreed with me going in Lovenox. The needle/shots don't bother me. I see the vascular surgeon today (5-7-13) to see if the blood clots have progressed (I feel pain/tenderness in my right hamstring that started yesterday) and to discuss what medication I need to continue.

Also saw my cardiologist yesterday (5-6-13) and my EKG and echo cardiogram were normal.

My leg still is tender and often my foot is a light blue color (hard to see in the pictures below but I have attached a few below along with some other pictures).

The doctors say my knee walking scooter had nothing to do with my clots because I'm much more active on it, keeping the blood circulation going, but I'm skeptical.

See the foot surgeon tomorrow. Today is 6 weeks after the surgery. Hopefully he will give me the green light to start putting pressure on my right foot and to walk in the boot. I haven't put any pressure on the foot for 6 weeks

The blood clots are where I am pointing in one of the pictures. Also, look at the huge discrepancy between my left and right calf after 6 weeks of (1) no weight on the right and (2) double duty of my left calf.



















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