I Felt Like I Was Having a Heart Attack: Andrew’s Story

I Felt Like I Was Having a Heart Attack: Andrew’s Story

For over a month and a half, I had excruciating, indescribable pain in my leg. I was given lab tests, but doctors couldn’t detect anything. My PCP and the ER continued to give me steroids and pain medication, stating it must be coming from my back, which made no sense based on the pain and location (calf).

For the rest of May, June, and half of July 2020, I couldn’t walk on my leg, and the pain was unbelievably intense.

On July 12, as I was going to bed, I felt a needle-like pinch in my chest. As my leg hurt so much, I didn’t care and ignored it. It gradually got worse the next day. I consulted with Dr. Google and thought it was probably pleurisy. But a few hours later, I felt like I was having a heart attack.

I drove to my PCP and busted through the door, then I was rushed to the ER via ambulance. After a CAT scan, they saw I had multiple PEs and later found a huge clot in my leg (deep vein thrombosis).

Needless to say, I was not impressed that this wasn’t caught earlier, and I was never taken seriously every time I went to the doctor regarding my leg pain. I was in the hospital for almost a week, getting shots in my stomach and heart and lung scans. They never found out and still don’t know why I got these clots, so they were considered unprovoked.

In terms of family history, my grandfather got his first blood clot a month after me.

Now I am on apixaban for the duration of my life. I enjoyed getting tattoos, but overall I am more conscientious of what I do, eat, and all that. I went through some depression and a bit of an existential crisis, but overall, I found good support.

My advice is to trust your gut and get a second opinion.


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