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LeslieG
03-15-2008, 10:17 AM
I know this is kind of an odd question for the budget board, but I know if anyone can help, it will be my disboard friends.

I found out I had a blood clot in my calf on Tuesday. Doctor started me on Coumadin and Lovenox. But it's not gotten any better, in fact now I have some swelling I didn't have before. My doctor isn't in today of course, and I hate to have her paged if it's not really an emergency.

If anyone has had a clot like this before, can you share your experience? Did it take awhile before it started to feel better?

safetymom
03-15-2008, 10:39 AM
I would have someone look at your leg. When I had one they did blood tests quite frequently to make sure that the level in your system is correct.

I had a very large one and had swelling in my leg. Swelling is not good.

It does take time to dissolve. Please call someone and have it looked at.

Blood clots are nothing to mess around with.

disney1990
03-15-2008, 10:49 AM
When I had a blood clot in my leg, they sent me straight to the hospital. Total bedrest & coumadin. I was there for 10 days.

LeslieG
03-15-2008, 10:50 AM
Thanks, safetymom. I actually had blood work yesterday, and my level is not quite up to where it needs to be, so I need to test again Monday.

I guess I assumed once I started the medication it would get better pretty quickly, but maybe it's not been long enough yet. But it hurts!

LeslieG
03-15-2008, 10:51 AM
[QUOTE=disney1990;23813317]When I had a blood clot in my leg, they sent me straight to the hospital. Total bedrest & coumadin. I was there for 10 days.[/QUOTE

Oh, wow. Was yours above your knee? They told me they wouldn't have let me leave the hospital if it would have been above the knee.

tinkamom
03-15-2008, 11:25 AM
Call your Dr! Clots in the legs can be serious so please don't take a chance. Its better to err on the side of caution.

mom2my3kids
03-15-2008, 11:27 AM
My father in law had a HUGE one in the same spot, he was in the hospital for a few days and was on the same medicine for a long time. They told him it could take up to 6 months to dissolve.

cdrn1
03-15-2008, 11:32 AM
Better to be safe. Blood clots are serious. Call the doc.

JacobsMommy11002
03-15-2008, 11:58 AM
A blood clot in a HUGE deal. If it as changed, call you doc. If you can't get her, go to the ER.

Starburst
03-15-2008, 12:03 PM
I would call your doctor just to be safe.

Coumadin takes 3-5 days to work (you need to make sure your INR is b/t 2-3), which is why you are taking Lovenox (which is low molecular weight heparin) since it works immediately and once you stop it (after you are theraputic on the Coumadin), it will be out of your system in under 12 hours.

Leg swelling is often a symptom of a DVT (clot in your leg), but there is no substitution in my opinion for your own peace of mind which is why I would call your doctor. That's what they are there for.

momamy
03-15-2008, 12:04 PM
According to the websites for both drugs it says to call the Doc if there is swelling!

I would call! Better safe then sorry!

LeslieG
03-15-2008, 01:00 PM
Well, I called the doctor. The only thing I found out for sure is that I need to get a new doctor. She seemed annoyed with my call and acted miffed about a conversation I had with her nurse yesterday double checking the dosage of medication I should be on. She offered me no advice really except that if I was concerned I should go to the ER, she couldn't examine me over the phone. I understand that of course, but her tone was out of line.

gonemousin'
03-15-2008, 01:21 PM
Well, I called the doctor. The only thing I found out for sure is that I need to get a new doctor. She seemed annoyed with my call and acted miffed about a conversation I had with her nurse yesterday double checking the dosage of medication I should be on. She offered me no advice really except that if I was concerned I should go to the ER, she couldn't examine me over the phone. I understand that of course, but her tone was out of line.

Oh wow - that's awful! I'm so sorry she treated you that way. I would definitely look for a new provider. And head to the ER...it can't hurt to find out you're fine...but if it is something needing to be re-examined, you'll count your lucky stars you trusted your gut instinct. You're your only advocate...if your gut feeling is that something's not right, by all means, go with it. Good luck and keep us posted. :goodvibes

safetymom
03-15-2008, 02:02 PM
I agree about going to the ER. When I had mine I tried putting heat on it for a few days. I thought I had strained a muscle. I woke up one morning and my leg looked like a phone pole.

I would be looking for a new doctor.

llori7
03-15-2008, 02:15 PM
I have had 2 blood clots in my legs over a span of 5 years. The first one the dr treated at a pinched nerve b/c I had a shooting pain going down my leg. Once I found out it was a blood clot, it went from my ankle to my belly button. Parts of it also broke off and went to my lungs. They said if I didn't go the Er when I did, it would have been too later. I was in the hospital for a week. Then another week for them to try to remove it, but it didn't work. I was on coumadin for 6 months after that.

Then 5 years later I had another blood clot. I got it after I had a c-section. I was in the hospital again for 5 days. That blood clot was in my upper thigh. I will be on coumadin forever.

After the 1st blood clot, they did lots of tests and found out I have Factor V Leiden. So I am prone to blood clots. It is really common, they tell me! I have to get out of the car and walk if we are going on a trip. I cannot take birth control. There are many things I have to be careful of.

If I were you: I would get a new doctor. Blood clots are very serious!! You should go to the er or an urgent care and ask for a Doppler ultrasound. They will be able to see the blood clot and give you more instructions. I would not wait till Monday, I would go now. It is better to be safe than sorry. You don't want a piece to break off and make it to your lungs.

I wish you all the best. Keep us posted!!

lovinpoohbear
03-15-2008, 02:25 PM
I would go to the ER right away. Blood clots are serious, I would have a doctor look at it ASAP!

LeslieG
03-15-2008, 03:13 PM
I can't remember how I exactly stated my original post, but I had the doppler ultrasound on Tuesday, started the Coumadin and Lovenox that night, had a blood test for levels on Friday. Level was at 1.8, and it needs to be at least 2.

I was just concerned because my leg really didn't have any swelling until last night. Maybe I was under the false impression that the medication was going to make it better farily soon, but it sounds like it really doesn't do anything for the existing clot, just makes it not get bigger or have you develop new ones.

Sounds like I may have pain and swelling for quite a while until my body dissolves the clot on its own? I'm so upset with my doctor. I just sat and cried after I talked to her. I couldn't believe this was the same person who seemed so nice when I saw her in the office.

CindyD
03-15-2008, 03:27 PM
Sounds like I may have pain and swelling for quite a while until my body dissolves the clot on its own? I'm so upset with my doctor. I just sat and cried after I talked to her. I couldn't believe this was the same person who seemed so nice when I saw her in the office.

You are correct about the body having to dissolve it on its own. The Lovenox is just to keep your blood "thin" until the Coumadin reaches a therapeutic level with an INR of between 2-3. Neither of these two drugs will dissolve a blood clot. They just prevent growth (extension) of the clot and any new clots from developing. The biggest risk is that a piece of the clot will break off, travel to your lungs and put your life at risk.

HOWEVER.....the pain and swelling sounds like a change in previous condition, so I would definetly get it checked ASAP. A DVT is nothing to fool around with.......:grouphug:

mickeyfan2
03-15-2008, 03:30 PM
A blood clot in the leg is a dangerous thing. If a piece breaks off it will go to the lung and result in a pulminary embolism. Swelling is also a sign that things are getting worse. Page the Dr. or got to the ER.

ajh88
03-15-2008, 03:34 PM
I cannot ethically give you medical advice, but I will try to offer some hopefully helpful general advice and information.

1. Both Lovenox and Coumadin are blood thinners (I will assume either your doctor or pharmacist discussed this with you). I don't think either will dissolve the clot immediately (it just isn't how they work), and the indications I found for Lovenox are that it should be used for 5 to 17 days in cooperation with Coumadin for DVT therapy - I would assume it would take at least that long for them to really start working (probably depending on the size and location of the clot). I don't know enough about their mechanisms of action to tell you how long it will take for your clot to be gone though.

2. If you got no satisfaction from talking to your doctor, try calling your pharmacist. They can't diagnose you, but they will be able to tell you how your medicine should be working, how long it may take to work, and what side effects are serious enough to warrant a trip to the ER. If you get a pharmacist who tells you to call your doctor (a lot of older ones will), find another one - keep calling until you find one who will help (hopefully it will be the first one you talk to)! I did see that edema (swelling) is a fairly common side effect of Lovenox, but I don't know how serious it is.

OK - maybe if nothing else, talking to another healthcare professional (nurse, pharmacist, etc.) will help ease your mind. Do take care of yourself and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Schachteles
03-15-2008, 03:37 PM
That is scary business...this happened to my friend last year...she fell on the ice and broke her leg, got a blood clot from it and was hospitalized for some time with it. Hers did the same thing as you, they thought that she was better but then she had pain and swelling...CALL YOUR DOCTOR...better safe then sorry!! I will be thinking of you!

aanderson5
03-15-2008, 03:44 PM
Not to scare you but my grandfather died of what started as a blood clot in the leg. I would go to the ER. It is better to be safe than sorry.

moopdog
03-15-2008, 04:02 PM
I guess I can join the forces and urge you to call the doc or go to your ER. My first question is: where was the clot in your calf? Did they refer to it as a deep vein thrombosis or superficial thromobophlebitis? I'm betting it's dvt if they have you on coumadin. If that does ring a bell, did they tell you which blood vessel it was in (peroneal, popliteal, posterior tibial, gastroc or greater saphenous sound familiar)? Reason I'm asking is because it would make a big difference as to the urgency of the matter.

Did they tell you what to watch for and when to call? Out of curiosity -if you didn't have swelling at the time - how did you know you had a problem?

Enough questions for you?! Sorry, it's just a pretty complicated subject. I perform doppler ultrasounds for a living and find a blood clot in someone almost every day, it's a scary thing - for good reason. Please call your doctor ASAP.

LeslieG
03-15-2008, 04:16 PM
Just to be safe, and with all your helpful advice in mind, I am heading to the ER now. Better safe than sorry sounds like the best advice.

Hopefully, all will be fine and I can post an update later.

To the poster who performs doppler ultrasounds, thank you. I will ask some more detailed questions. I don't know all the answers I should.

disney1990
03-15-2008, 07:12 PM
[QUOTE=disney1990;23813317]When I had a blood clot in my leg, they sent me straight to the hospital. Total bedrest & coumadin. I was there for 10 days.[/QUOTE

Oh, wow. Was yours above your knee? They told me they wouldn't have let me leave the hospital if it would have been above the knee.

Yes, (deep vein thrombosis) it was above the knee, 2 weeks after I delivered my daughter. I didn't know what it was at first. I thought I had just badly bruised my thigh. One day I went to get out of bed and the pain was so bad I couldn't even put any weight on my leg. I went to the doctor's and he sent me straight to the hospital.

Bibbidi
03-15-2008, 07:20 PM
Just to be safe, and with all your helpful advice in mind, I am heading to the ER now. Better safe than sorry sounds like the best advice.

Hopefully, all will be fine and I can post an update later.

To the poster who performs doppler ultrasounds, thank you. I will ask some more detailed questions. I don't know all the answers I should.

After reading through this thread I'm so glad you went to the ER. Here's hoping you get some truly helpful information at the ER. Will be looking for an update.

LeslieG
03-15-2008, 09:08 PM
I'm back from the ER. The doctor thought everything was fine and that the swelling I was worried about was normal. I think I'm going to follow up with the vascular surgeon who read my doppler ultrasound. My family doctor said it would probably clear up in about two weeks, but this ER doctor said it could be two months! I hope I'm not limping around for that long. Thank you everybody for your advice and concern. I appreciate it very much.

JacobsMommy11002
03-15-2008, 09:11 PM
I'm back from the ER. The doctor thought everything was fine and that the swelling I was worried about was normal. I think I'm going to follow up with the vascular surgeon who read my doppler ultrasound. My family doctor said it would probably clear up in about two weeks, but this ER doctor said it could be two months! I hope I'm not limping around for that long. Thank you everybody for your advice and concern. I appreciate it very much.

I am so glad to hear that it wasn't any worse. Blood clots can be so serious, I wouldn't want you to take any chances.

Sammy
03-15-2008, 09:15 PM
Your situation may be different, but in November my MIL developed a post-surgical clot in her upper thigh. She was started on Coumadin and they told her that she would be on the meds for 6 to 9 months.

CindyD
03-15-2008, 09:56 PM
The length of Coumadin therapy varies from patient to patient somewhat based upon analysis of various risk factors, but 3-6 months would be within the normal range....Make sure you understand the side effects of the Coumadin, including the MANY drug-drug interactions and how it can affect your INR (dietary changes will affect INR value also).

I'm not trying to scare you, but you need to understand the signs/symptoms of an elevated INR and any bleeding risks.

Most people do not take the time to understand the medication they are on and this is one of those medications that while provide a Great benefit, does indeed need to be closely monitored....;)

Disneynutbsv
03-15-2008, 10:11 PM
Oh, I know exactly what you are going through. When I was about 10 weeks pregnant, my leg was hurting. I went to my doctor and she told me to stay off of it. Later on that night, it swelled up incredibly and it turned purple. I went to the emergency room and found out I had a blood clot in my leg.
They went to do an ultrasound on my leg and they said they would also check the baby as well and that is when I found out I was having twins, lol.

Anyhow, I was put on Lovenox, two shots, twice a day for the remainder of my pregnancy and after that, coumadin for the next 3 months. I have never had a problem since.

That leg is always weaker for me and my doctors said it probably always would be...not sure exactly why.

goodcook5
03-15-2008, 10:31 PM
"That leg is always weaker for me and my doctors said it probably always would be...not sure exactly why."

It is post thrombotic syndrome. Once blood backs up behind the clot the vessels are distended and the tissues engorged. Every case is different. Some people have almost no change in the leg afterwards. Some always have the leg a little larger and may not return fluid and vein blood up out of the leg as quickly as the other leg.

Some of it depends on your age, location in the leg of the clot, how long the clot takes to resolve, and how active the person is later.

Most people do very well on blood thinners for a while (some higher risk folks may take blood thinners for life).

ClarabelleCowFan
03-15-2008, 10:52 PM
So glad you went to the ER. I have a genetic clotting disorder and have had clots in my leg before - nothing like getting heparin shots in your abdomen while pregnant to break up a clot!

Find a new doctor ASAP. There is no reason for that doctor to have spoken to you that way. Blood clots are very dangerous things.

You will have to have your levels checked often as long as you are on Coumadin so they can adjust your dosage. Good luck!

LeslieG
03-16-2008, 10:17 AM
Now I'm beginning to worry about my Disney cruise in May. Hope I'll be able to go. I do have trip insurance though.

Kickapoo Joie Juice
03-16-2008, 10:46 AM
Well, I called the doctor. The only thing I found out for sure is that I need to get a new doctor. She seemed annoyed with my call and acted miffed about a conversation I had with her nurse yesterday double checking the dosage of medication I should be on. She offered me no advice really except that if I was concerned I should go to the ER, she couldn't examine me over the phone. I understand that of course, but her tone was out of line.

What a jerk your doc is! Please go to the ER, my father in law was nearly killed by one ten years ago, it broke free of his leg and went to his lung. He's ok now, but if he hadn't been in the ER at the time it happened they might have lost him.

Kickapoo Joie Juice
03-16-2008, 10:50 AM
I'm back from the ER. The doctor thought everything was fine and that the swelling I was worried about was normal. I think I'm going to follow up with the vascular surgeon who read my doppler ultrasound. My family doctor said it would probably clear up in about two weeks, but this ER doctor said it could be two months! I hope I'm not limping around for that long. Thank you everybody for your advice and concern. I appreciate it very much.


Just caught up. Glad you went and got clearer info. Take care of yourself:hug: .

SleepingBeautyMom
03-16-2008, 11:29 AM
Hi LeslieG:

I too have had blood clots in my legs. I had my first ones in 1985 after a car accident. Then I had some in the other leg in December of 2006. Both of them broke off and travelled up to my abdomen but luckily none reached my lungs. My brother just had clots in his legs last Spring and ended up with 3 pulmonary embolisms. Both of us have been tested and we turned up negative for genetic clotting disorders but my doctor says that they just don't know what all to test yet and that there is defintely a predisposition to clotting in our family.

I would definitely get a new doctor. My doctor was great during my clots. I also had tremendous swelling and pain and ended up having to use crutches for a few weeks due to the pain. The ultrasound tech said he had never seen blood vessels that were so engorged.

I'm glad that you went to the ER. Please be careful and either call your doctor or go back to the ER if anything changes. Blood clots are life-threatening and need to be treated as such.

I also had post-thrombotic syndrome where I felt pain in my legs afterwards. My doctor prescribed Metanx and that has helped tremendously. If your doctor hasn't prescribed Jobst Support Hose, he/she probably should. I don't wear mine all the time but when my legs ache I wear them and they do help. My doctor also prescribed NAC ( a supplement but I couldn't find it and need to have the pharmacy order it).

The doctor was hoping that I would only be on coumadin for 6 months but it now looks like I will be on it for life, which means ongoing blood tests to monitor my clotting levels. Getting all the blood tests is a pain but the alternative of not dealing with the clots is worse!

I hope all is well for your Disney cruise. Try keeping your leg elevated as high as it will comfortably go (including at night...I slept with my leg on 4-5 pillows and it really did help). This will help the swelling go down. Hopefully the blood thinners will work soon so your levels get into the therapeutic range and remain there. I went to Disney in February or March after my last clots and was fine but by the end of the trip, my leg really swelled up.

If you're flying to Florida for your cruise, here's some flying advice from my doctor and vascular surgeon:
1 - Drink LOTS of water
2 - Get up and walk to the restroom on the plane (multiple times on longer flights)
3 - Don't sit in the window seat, evidently the ventilation system blows more air on that seat than the others.
4 - My doctor had me take a single aspirin before the flight (in addition to the coumadin I was already on). Ask your doctor about this as aspirin and coumadin shouldn't normally be taken together.
5 - Do leg exercises while in your seat - there are sites out on the web that show various exercises that can be done easily while flying.

If you're driving to Florida - please take lots of breaks and get out of the car and walk around and also drink lots of water.

Sorry this is so long. Please take care of yourself. I'm sending some pixie dust to you and hoping that you have a great vacation! pixiedust: