On the evening of November 29, 2023, I was preparing for bed when I experienced shortness of breath and a racing heart rate. I chalked it up to having taken my heart medication two hours late.
The next morning, I was very short of breath with pressure in the middle of my chest. It hurt when I took deep breaths. My pulse oximeter showed that my oxygen levels were in the 80s, which is when I knew something was wrong.
I looked up the symptoms for pulmonary embolism and one of them was chest pain that worsens with taking a deep breath. At the ER, I was diagnosed with an acute bilateral PE with acute cor pulmonale, which is when lung issue causes the right ventricle to get so big that your heart starts to fail.
Doctors performed an EKOS procedure later that day. They put catheters in my jugular vein and thread them to your pulmonary artery to deliver a clot-busting medication called tPA and ultrasound waves also to break up the clots.
I was in the ICU for 16 hours and hospitalized for more than two days. Doctors were shocked because my clot was so big and I did so well. Thank God!
They aren’t sure what caused my blood clots. No DVTs were found, and I’m undergoing testing for clotting disorders.
I have learned I am not alone and am just now delving into the resources available. I am eating healthier and appreciating each day of being alive!