Sometimes, fate will intervene and keep you alive for an unanswered reason. Surprisingly, one third of people who have a pulmonary embolism die before they receive medical treatment. For about a year, I experienced shortness of breath. It was something I didn’t even notice until one day, as I was walking up a hill. This had been going on for a while, I realized.
Let’s understand it
At the time, we were on vacation in Florida. I was admitted to emergency a month later. While the staff took a sample of my blood, I was not allowed move. I was connected to an IV. The way they determine if you have had an embolism is by measuring the oxygen level in your blood. My level was very low. That was the clue. They placed one of those plastic cups on me and gave me oxygen for a few minutes.
Later, they changed the tube to fit inside my nose. I was kept in the emergency ward the next night. The next day, they placed me in a room and gave me a bed. I was on oxygen for four more days. During my hospital stay, nurses and doctors kept coming back to check on me and to assess my blood pressure and oxygen levels.
My doctor finally took me for a walk down the hall and declared me fit to go home. My doctor informed me that a blood clot had formed in my body. Although they couldn’t find the exact location, it was believed to have been in my legs.
Clots can occur when we sit for long periods of times, such as when we fly and sit in a seat for hours without moving. They explained that we should get up from the chair at least once every half an hour and move around a bit. This is especially important on long flights, as the aircraft’s seats are very uncomfortable and make it difficult to move around. To get your blood flowing, you should get up and walk along the aisle. Crossing my legs was something my doctor advised me to avoid. This is a no-no. Crossing your legs can cause a vein to become clogged and blood flow to stop. The blood may clot, and you will know the rest.