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Thread: Worried I have a clot in my lungs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    392

    Worried I have a clot in my lungs

    Hello,

    DVT has always been a worry of mine, and for the last few days I have been feeling like I can't take a deep breath properly.

    I had a baby 3 months ago via c/section and I know this can increase my chance of having a Pulmonary Embolism.

    I stupidly just googled the symptoms and one is dizzyness/lightheaded which I have been feeling lately.

    I can't help but worry I am about to drop dead from a Pulmonary Embolism and I don't have any other explanation for the shortness of breath.

    Terrified :(
    __________________
    Cheers,
    Sam
    ''I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me''
    ~Dr Seuss~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    1,877

    Re: Worried I have a clot in my lungs

    hello Sam,

    The feeling of not being able to take a deep breath is because you are anxious. It's a very common symptom of anxiety and lots of us have experienced it. Take some slow breaths, from the tummy. It will go. The dizzieness and lightheadedness are also anxiety symptoms. Don't despair. Looking after your wee baby will be tiring and that's why you probably feel a bit tired, anxious and run-down. Make sure you get enough rest in between times, and look after yourself. If you feel it gets too much then have a word with your gp. I honestly don't think there's anything serious going on. Once you relax you'll find the symptoms calm down.
    Myra

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    6,800

    Re: Worried I have a clot in my lungs

    Have you had a blood count done, to check for anaemia ? This is a definite possibility after having given birth. I think you need to go and get checked by your GP, to put your mind at rest, as no matter what people say here it will still leave you with your fear. I personally think a PE would have happened ages ago, as it was 3 months ago that you had your C/S and a PE is likely around the time of recovery from the C/S not months afterwards.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    392

    Re: Worried I have a clot in my lungs

    Yes, I have had a blood test done just before Xmas. Not sure exactly what it was for but know there was a FBC there and my doc said there was nothing to worry about.

    If it was a PE, would the shortness of breath be ongoing do you think? Mine comes and goes.

    I think what makes it worse is I know of a lady through another forum I am on that had a PE 3 months after she had her baby by c/section. Not sure of the exact reasons though why she had it, I can only assume that is why.
    __________________
    Cheers,
    Sam
    ''I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me''
    ~Dr Seuss~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    392

    Re: Worried I have a clot in my lungs

    I am so foolish - I have been googling this for the last few hours.

    I have come across a medical website where numerous people are saying they had clots in their lungs for months and even years before they were diagnosed. And so many symptoms that I have, dizzyness, shortness of breath, sweating to name a few.

    I just don't want to do this anymore, if it isn't one thing it is another. I had convinced myself it was just anxiety, but now I can't be sure and I am sure it is a PE and I will die before I can see a doctor or it can be picked up.

    Why is life so cruel.
    __________________
    Cheers,
    Sam
    ''I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me''
    ~Dr Seuss~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    6,800

    Re: Worried I have a clot in my lungs

    If you genuinely believe that you have non-anxiety related problem, then ring NHS direct and talk through your symptoms with them now, the number is - 0845 4647. Make an appointment for your GP for first thing tomorrow, as unless you get the all clear then it will still be at the back of your mind that there is 'something' there.

    As you said yourself, EVEN in the unlikely event that you had a PE causing problems, some people had them for 'years' before they were diagnosed and were treated. You say that it comes and goes...have you worked out that there is a pattern to this ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Re: Worried I have a clot in my lungs

    Okay, well based upon your symptoms I can tell you that you're not suffering from a pulmonary embolism. There are consequences of a thrombus in the lung far more revealing than inability to breathe deeply.

    Virtually all patients with PE demonstrate tachypnea, or rapid shallow breathing that is accompanied by rather dramatic pain when attempting to inhale deeply. They most often demonstrate a pattern of expectorating small clots of gelatonized blood much like someone coughing up mucous.

    Also quite prominent is evidence of cyanosis in the distal extremities, ie the nailbeds and beds of the toes, even the hands and feet themselves can exhibit signs of low oxygen saturation. Furthermore, from a direct clinical evaluation, a pleural rub is heard on auscultation of the lungs in most cases, as well as something known as a substernal heave on ascultation of the heart.

    You need to understand that there is a night & day comparison to the life-threatening forms of PE and the microembolisms you have unwittingly incorporated as possessing the same nature of risk. All people can form microembolisms that can form and travel to the lung or some other area of the body via circulation, but the body itself has an outstanding ability to break down and dissolve these clots. The type of microthrombus that can go undetected and asymptomatic falls under this class and absolutely not within the class of PE the you feel is imminent in your case.

    I'm also constrained to point out that there is a window for the formation of a thrombus in post-gestational cases that doesn't loom forever. It either occurs within that timeframe or it doesn't. In you case, it definitely has not done so. In order for you to understand the true nature of the type of pathology you are so worried about, it would only take direct exposure to a patient truly suffering from a PE for you to instantly know that you aren't suffering from one. It is a rather graphic presentation and the discomfort of the patient is quite revealing.

    Many people with health anxiety are compelled to draw the features of various life-threatening health risks into their own interpretation of these diseases and disorders. If one set of criterion does not provide sufficient evidence of imminent risk, they continue to search further and further until able to erroneously produce evidence to support their fears. It is seldom something they can avoid, often pacing about the room not wanting to know, only to be unavoidably drawn back to the internet or other resource to search out any evidence that would justify their irrational beliefs. Once this is established, the patient with health anxiety sets in motion an unregulated sense of fear which can often necessitate a trip to the local emergency room or at the very least, repeated attempts to reach their primary care doctor.

    The fundamental problem is that the health-anxious individual fails to realize that they have established a setting wherein the clinical pathology they presume to be evident and placing them at imminent risk, is based entirely upon their subjective interpretation of their symptoms by comparison to clinical standards. This is done in the clear absence of necessary medical training and experience, yet they become so rigid in their own evaluation that it places doubt in all forms of medical diagnostic tests as inadequate to the extent they are "missing" the diagnosis. It becomes a pattern or repeated clinical tests and office or hospital evaluations to produce reassurance for the patient, who invariably feels safe after doing so until their fears begin rising again because their symptoms persist.

    The symptoms in these cases are actually physiological responses to fear and stress which are being grossly misinterpreted by the anxious patient as clincal signs of disease. Anxiety and stress can and often does produce physiological manifestations and it's one of the most difficult medical phenomenon for anxious patients to accept. Their world is extremely finite and based upon the need for a very predictable course, one in which they must be in full control. In their world, medical disease and illness is something entirely beyond their ability to anticipate and resolve, so they become compelled to try and catch the problem before it can manifest into anything harmful and represent their most dreaded fear of not responding in time.

    It should interest you to know that a remarkable number of mothers can suffer either acute or chronic forms of health anxiety following birth of a child, particularly if it's their first, but in secondary or tertiary cases as well. They become highly vigilent to the fact that their baby is entirely helpless and dependent upon them and that for anything unexpected to happen, generates a subsequent horrible picture of life wherein their new baby and the family in general has lost its mother, doomed to suffer in the wake of such loss and fend for themselves. This is the nature of the anxiety-prone individual in general. They feel the weight of the world and must sacrifice their time and attention in tending to all matters, whether their own or others, in outrunning any anticipated problem that would make life unpredictable and subsequently painful to whatever extent. In their view, how could the people who depend upon them so heavily come to survive afterwards? It is pathological empathy.

    Okay, so we've discussed the ramifications in a variety of contexts here but the short answer is that you need to set aside fears that you are suffering from a pulmonary embolism. It's not the case. Nothing is looming.


    Best regards,

    Rutheford Rane, MD (ret.)
    __________________
    Best regards and Good Health

  8. #8

    Re: Worried I have a clot in my lungs

    Hi there

    I am not medically qualified to say you do not have a PE but I have had a PE in both lungs and your symptoms do sound very different.

    Since having my episode I have suffered from anxiety and often have episodes of not being able to take a full breath. This is all caused by anxiety and I have taken on techniques to help me calm down and breath properly.

    No one will be able to reassure you if you are tatally anxious about this so I would agree that you should contact your GP who will check you out and reassue you.

    Hang in there.
    A x

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