Wednesday, August 6, 2008

a warning to all who work online

Hi everyone.. I have a serious message for all those who work online or any other job where your time is spent sitting too long often for hours cramped in one spot..

Last Wednesday.. (23/07/08) .. i awoke with sharp pains on breathing in the center of my chest.. and any sudden movement was excruciating.. i was running a high fever.. and as the day wore on.. the pains made it unbearable to even move an inch.. i confined myself to bed.. thinking i had overdone it again.. working long hours.. with no break.. and feeling stressed by it all.. my son kept hassling me to go see the doc but i dismissed it and promised i would go the next day if it didnt improve.. i didnt know it at the time but to put it off was the worst decision i made....

The next day Thursday.. the pain didnt improve and i took myself off reluctantly to see my local GP.. im the kind of person that hates going to docs.. believing that anything that isnt serious will fix itself.. i told him what i was experiencing.. and he ordered a bunch of tests.. cardiographs.. spirographs and detailed blood tests (testing esp for Troponin).. both the heart and breathing tests came back immediately and all showed everything was clear... he prescribed me Panadeine for the pain.. and I was told to return on Sunday for the results of the blood tests..

Friday the pain started to spread.. to both sides of the rib area.. left shoulder.. and center and right side of my chest.. the pain was worst when taking a deep breath in.. and i couldnt lay down .. everytime i tried it felt like i had a tonne weight pressing down on me.. so since Wednesday evening I tried to sleep propped up against the wall on my pillow.. the Panadeine did relieve the pain somewhat.. but it was still there.. then suddenly i began experiencing spasm like sensations under the left breast.. which made it terribly painful to move.. the only position i felt i could handle was sitting upright..

Saturday arrived and the pain was easing.. great i thought.. about fucken time.. damn that was something i never wanted to go thru ever again.. i still felt small sharp pangs here and there.. but nothing like the 1st and 2nd days.. i still continued to work thou during the times when it was bad.. it was the only thing i could do really.. unable to lay down to sleep.. and moving being painful.. the only thing keeping me focused and not thinking about it was work..

Sunday I went back to the doc .. and the blood test results showed everything to be normal.. (inc the test for Troponin - The Troponin test is a blood test that detects small degrees of damage to heart muscle cells (myocytes)the pains had started again on the Sunday.. and i mentioned this to him.. and was given Brufen.. a stronger painkiller.. and anti-inflamitory.. at this point i asked him could i maybe have a lung infection?. he said it wasnt possible as i would have been coughing if that was the case.. but just to be sure.. he referred me for a chest xray the next day..

Now this is where it starts to get pretty fucked up .. i attended the xray clinic on the Monday morning and took the chest xrays.. and was told to come back in a couple of hours to pick em up.. i had decided to come home in between waiting rather than waiting there.. and whilst at home recieved a phone call from the xray clinic asking me to come in again this time for a CT scan.. a more detailed xray.. i was immediately concerned as to why .. and imagined the worst.. still reluctantly i went in and did the CT scan.. but all the while having the worst thoughts running wild filling my head.. I didnt dare to ask why I was called back.. I just didnt want to know..

The CT scan (my first) was the most uncomfortable thing ive ever done and wouldnt want to repeat.. its where they inject you with a saline like solution thru a drip in your arm and stick you thru a huge doughnut shaped machine that takes more intense scans.. all up it took around 30 mins to finish.. the minute the saline solution was introduced .. my left arm started shaking violently and uncontrollably.. and it felt like i had been put into a hot oven .. from head to toe i felt an almost unbearable hot flush turning to prickles... I was informed all these sensations and reactions were normal ..

I was told to come back in 4 hours to pick up both scans and I went home again in between waiting for these scans to be ready too.. it was an anxious wait... not knowing what it will find.. those 4 hours were the longest of my life.. i was dreading to go get em when the time was up.. im the type of person that doesnt like to no.. i prefer whatever it is not to cross my mind..

After i got home from picking the 2 sets of scans up.. the minute I walked thru the door.. the medical center called.. it wasnt my regular doc but someone from pathology from the same place.. he just recieved a fax copy of the CT scans report and said I need to get myself off to hospital right away.. WTF??.. hey slow down buddy.. I just got thru the door after a day of running around and your tellin me I need to get myself off to hospital?. what the fuck for?.. i didnt think i was gonna enjoy hearing the reason..

He told me that the scans picked up an pulmonary embolism.. (a blood clot in the main artery on the left side of the lung) it measured 5 mm in size and it had fatal consequences if left unchecked.. i could not believe what i was hearing.. i didnt understand why this was happening to me.. all tests were normal.. how the fuck did i end up with a blood clot in my lung?.. I had a hundred and one questions for the doc.. but couldnt think straight.. I tried opening my mouth to speak but nothing came out.. he told me again to get myself off to hosp right now.. and not to drive.. but to get sumone else to or take a cab.. when i asked why.. he told me i had a chance of collapsing.. and told me to be prepared for a few days stay.. omg.. the severity of the situation made me so upset....and confused.. i didnt no what to do.. surely there must be some mistake?.. it seemed every action I did was slow.. like in slow motion.. I started to pack a overnight bag.. called a cab.. and took off at around 7pm Monday night.. taking the scan results with me just in case they were needed..

Reaching the emergency ward of the hospital.. I was tagged.. examined.. allocated a bed.. and they then began to redo all the tests and more.. I was hooked up to a monitor that was keepin an eye on blood pressure.. oxygen levels.. heart rate.. and had a drip in my right arm.. every 10 mins or so a nurse would appear and drain me of 5 vials of blood each time.. both left and right arms bearing the scars of each attempt.. I felt like what the hell am I doin here?.. and wanted sooo badly to just rip everything out and make a run for it.. I shouldnt be here I was sayin.. im healthy.. young.. and never had any major illness in all my life.. the only time ive been in hosp was to give birth and when my knee was fractured.. I absolutely HATED hospitals.. I definately felt out of place

At 5am the next morning I was moved to a private room up in the pulmonary wards.. and began my 3 day stay.. they asked me a bunch of questions.. like whether I was a smoker.. took exercise.. travelled alot.. etc.. trying to determine the cause.. they confirmed my pulmonary embolism .. and commenced me on blood thinners (Clexane and Warfarin) to help prevent any further blood clots.. in hospital I was taught to self inject the Clexane into my stomach area twice a day.. and take Warfarin to assist.. once my Warfarin levels had reached 2.0 - 2.5 .. I could stop the injections.. that usually took around a week.. (presently they sit at 1.1)

I was ordered to do another scan (nuclear chest scan) on the 2nd day which measured oxygen levels and how well the blood was traveling around the lungs.. this test also required a injected solution and inhaled gas but was nothing like the CT scan.. I was still smoking and every couple of hours or so.. got up and wondered off outside to take a few puffs.. i know thats bad.. but I was feeling so shell shocked and nervous about everything.. it helped take the edge off ..

Yesterday (30/07/08) I was released.. and was given instructions on what I must do to maintain treatment at home.. I was to continue injecting myself with the Clexane until my doc told me to stop.. (when the Warfarin level reached what was required) and make changes immediately to how i worked.. take regular breaks.. wiggle the toes.. stand up move around.. shake the legs.. my doc said that working long hours in front of the pc.. cramped up wasnt doing me any favours.. I had to stop .. that was the reason they strongly suspect why I developed the blood clot in the first place.. even thou I was a regular exerciser.. and they also said the Clexane/Warfarin is an ongoing 6 mth treatment which needs twice weekly blood tests to monitor INR levels (INR= International Normalised Ratio is a blood test performed for patients taking Warfarin... the results of the INR are then used to adjust the Warfarin dosage at particular intervals).. and he strongly advised against any travel for at least that period of time.. so I had to reluctantly cancel my overseas trip for now.. I cant go.. and im so sore over that.. but my focus now is getting well again and raising awarness for others in the same position as me that work long hours in front of a pc.. not to go thru what I did.. overseas will still be there in 6 mths time..

It certainly has scared the living daylights outta me.. and is quite an eye opener.. never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get this way.. I was bullet proof.. stubborn.. determined... headstrong.. I thought.. but even the strong willed get struck down too...

AWP promoting has been fun but now im easing off.. for 2 months straight thats all I was focused on.. for long periods of time.. and it just wasnt healthy.. now I take short breaks.. wiggle my toes.. listen to my docs.. and have cut down on my smoking.. I was told to very sternly by my discharge doc that if I didnt I would surely end up back in hosp and thats one place I dont wanna go back to.. everyones been so good and supportive.. my friends and family.. wishing me a speedy recovery.. sending their love.. and it feels so nice to have people there that care..

I want this to be a warning to others that you need to listen to your body and stop when youve had enough.. slow down.. destress yourselves.. and take care a lil more.. we only have 1 life.. and its so precious to just chuck away.. it could have been much worst.. and I thank God for seeing me thru.. also dont ignore early warning signs like chest pains.. or pains on deep breathing... dont be stubborn like I was.. go check it out.. and cut down on smoking.. and eat well and get enough exercise.. I just shudder to imagine what could have happened if I had been totally stubborn and not listened and gone and seen the doc.. maybe a brutally honest statement would be I wouldnt be here to be telling you all this could be the truth.. ?? perhaps... ?? .. dont let it happen to you...

Read More About Pulmonary Embolism

Watch A 3D Video About Pulmonary Embolism

Read More About Clexane

Read More About Coumadin (Warfarin)