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A Totally Healthy Person gets a PE: Pam Knell's Story

Posted July, 2012

I am a 67 year old teacher who had taught pre-k for 20 years. Last summer I worked in a summer camp and thought I picked up a cold and cough from the young children. I coughed so hard that I thought I had pulled a muscle in my chest. I had a fever and went to a walk-in weekend clinic. The doctor listened to my chest and then put me on an antibiotic. A week later I still had a fever of 103°F, couldn't breath and was weak. One night I couldn't breath and thought I was having a heart attic because of the chest pain so we called the local ambulance and went to the hospital. I needed oxygen all the way. They kept me in the ER for hours, gave me a chest x-ray and said there was a little liquid in the lungs. They sent me home with an antibiotic and said pneumonia. I saw my regular doctor and he agreed. I got worse. Ten days later, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs, had rapid pulse, chest pain, shortness of breath and fever. I had to have the ambulance take me again to the ER. I couldn't have walked to my car. I spent the night in the ER getting various tests and by the morning they had given me a cat scan and found a large blood clot cutting off the blood supply to the lower part of my right lung. I also had small blood clots in my two legs. They kept me in the ICU for two days and inserted a filter. I was in the hospital for 11 days. It was never pneumonia. I was weak when I went home but started back to part-time work two weeks later. I was on warfarin for 6 months but I developed an awful itchy rash on my limbs and back. I am no longer on the warfarin and have built up my strength to former levels. No one knows why I had blood clots. I had used birth control pills in my youth, hormone replacement therapy for 6 years, fly long flights, smoked for 20 years. All these things could have added to it but no one would give me a definite reasons. I am feeling back to normal now and I thank God for my health each day.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024