Pulmonary Embolism


Please describe your symptoms of pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung). Submit Your Comment

Comment from: MamaB313, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I was shorter of breath than usual, felt my heart racing and I had a strange dry cough that just felt “different”. I did not have any other symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE) or think much of it. I had to go to the emergency room with pancreatitis and I checked in. I had a heart rate of 125 and high blood pressure. We did EKG, and tests and I was shocked to hear I had a bilateral PE. Thank goodness for my pancreas because I wouldn’t have gone to the hospital. It may have saved my life.

Comment from: Rachael, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I experienced shortness of breath a day after surgery. The doctor sent me to the emergency room (ER) and CT confirmed one blood clot in the lung. I was sent home but went back after a worrying incident. I was short of breath, lightheaded and tired, so I lay down. My heart started to race, palms were sweaty and despite feeling incredibly thirsty, I was too weak to sit up and drink the water next to me. My husband had to carry me to the car. He said my color was off. Three weeks in and now I'm experiencing some pain behind the ribs.

Comment from: Scared to die, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I had woken one morning with a pain in my neck that extended to my left ribs. The following day, it started on the right side too. It got so bad, and both sides of my ribs were contracting so badly I could hardly breathe. I could not even get up by myself. I went to the emergency room and ended up having pneumonia and multiple blood clots in both lungs. I had been taking low hormone birth control for only 2 months at the time. Well, I was admitted to the hospital for almost a week.

Comment from: Nikki , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

I have breast cancer and am currently having chemotherapy. A few months ago I felt really awful; so tired, with a painful left side and was breathless at the slightest exertion. I just thought it was the chemotherapy side effects. My oncologist suggested I admit myself to the hospital. I did and after a blood test (D-dimer) which was positive, I had an ultrasound where they found multiple emboli in both lungs. There was no deep vein thrombosis to signal pulmonary embolism (PE). No mention I could develop PE from chemotherapy. I'm now on blood thinners and gradually feeling better.

Comment from: Kandy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I was 32 and had severe chest pain which made me double over in the morning with pain. It later felt like a stitch in my side that just sat there. I saw 5 doctors, some said it was acid reflux (I was treated for that) and others said it was a chest infection (it was on one side of my lung only). I was breathless and it hurt to breathe deep. I noticed my fingers were turning blue, so went back to a doctor who sent me for a lung VQ scan. I had multiple blood clots in both lungs. I knew something was not right.

Comment from: Aega, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I drove 700 miles over two days and subsequently woke up with a slight cramp in my calf. Five days later, I got overwhelmingly sleepy in the middle of the day, and then what felt like gas pain under my left rib at first, but then escalated quickly to excruciating pain and breathlessness. I kept very calm but couldn’t slow down my heart rate (HR) to under 100 bpm (my normal resting HR is very low). I knew it was a pulmonary embolism, called 911. They turned out to be multiple emboli. Three months later I still wheeze and cough.

Comment from: Jel, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

At 2.5 weeks after surgery I developed a sudden pain in my left shoulder that moved to the right shoulder within minutes. I went to sleep and in the morning awoke with a bad pain in my lower ribcage and right side on the back. The pain was tolerable when upright or walking but excruciating when I lay down. It felt like my ribs were breaking and the pain radiated. It also hurt to breathe deeply. I called my surgeon and she had me go to the emergency room to check for a pulmonary embolism. After a CAT scan one clot was found in my right lung.

Comment from: Lizziebh48, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I had 2 pulmonary embolisms (PEs), one in each lung. I had a CT scan which confirmed the PEs. I was put on Fragmin at 25,000 and am now on 10,000, but have extreme leg pain on the upper left leg, and debilitating groin pain. My calves are swollen and hurt to touch. I was told, because I am on a blood thinner, they usually don’t do more than that. I am scared that the clots will go to my heart or brain!

Comment from: Shelbs, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I'm 22. I had multiple pulmonary embolisms, and I don’t know why it happened. They didn't check any other part of my body either. One month later they're gone. I have low heart rate, low blood pressure, and severe burning pain in my abdomen, back, and sides. I can't breathe. I'm told it is anxiety. It's not. Something bad is wrong. Horribly wrong. I really need a teaching hospital to save my life. I don't think I'm going to make it. I really don't.


Spider & Varicose Veins: Causes, Before and After Treatment Images See Slideshow
Comment from: Previous pe , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I have had pulmonary embolism in the past and am on warfarin now. I had a clot that had moved to my lungs. I woke up 2 weeks ago with severe pain like I had broken ribs on the left side of my lung under my ribs. I have shortness of breath, can't take deep breaths, can't move without severe pain, as well as severe leg pain all day and night. I have to sit in recliner chair, because when lying down, it's very painful to even roll on my left side, along with pain while standing, moving, or bending without trying to hold my side. If this continues, I am going to the emergency room.

Comment from: Aerosparx, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 10

I had fractured my ankle and was put in a cast up to my knee. From the second day it felt like I had a charley horse in my calf. On my 2nd visit to my orthopedic doctor to have the ankle recast, he sent me in for an ultrasound that revealed a deep vein thrombosis. I was put on Lovenox. In for a checkup I mentioned that I had developed a pain in my lower back. I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism (PE). I was admitted and put on oxygen. The PE got worse and I was in so much pain that I could hardly draw a breath. Survived that. I am normal now.

Comment from: Murmur , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I’m 30 years old and had one very large clot and two smaller ones. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism began with me getting out of breath from walking to the mailbox. I also experienced excruciating pain that began in my left shoulder, which was worse when I lay down. After 3 days, this pain moved to my other shoulder. It was different from muscle injuries, and odd. It was very painful to breathe/yawn/sneeze and speaking is still exhausting. I’ve been out of the hospital for a month, and speaking too much winds me.

Comment from: Rosie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I am a 58 years old female with multiple pulmonary embolisms (PE) for the past 3 years. I have Factor V Leiden. Every time I got PE, I had shortness of breath, chest pain in the left side, extreme fatigue, arrhythmia and high blood pressure. I got treated with heparin IV and 7.5 mg with Arixtra blood thinner. I am okay for now.

Comment from: Sabrinalways01, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 24

It's been 2 months since being diagnosed with pulmonary embolism PE in both lungs; total of 7 clots, 3 massive ones, 2 on each lower side, and one in the middle along with 4 marble size ones. For about a week I was feeling shortness of breath from walking a short distance, had that burning feeling in my chest like I ran a marathon, with a rapid heartbeat. It would only go away when lying down, but would come back after a while just walking up stairs. Ever since, I have sharp pain all over my chest and upper back.

Comment from: D Hill, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I developed an unprovoked, massive, bilateral pulmonary embolism at 28. I got up to go shopping and felt a tightness in my chest. I didn't really realize what was up with me but was exhausted after 20 minutes walking. I deteriorated over the weekend and couldn't walk for longer than a few minutes without getting out of breath. I was really pale and It felt like no matter how many breaths I took, that I was slowly suffocating.

Comment from: David8787, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 05

I am a 32 year old male, and I am in good health with an active job. The pain when I got told I had blood clots in the lungs was crippling. It was always uncomfortable but due to an infection too this pain came in waves leaving me on the floor unable to breathe. Crippling pain down my entire right side feeling like my lungs were being pulled out from behind me. It’s been 2 weeks since my pulmonary embolism diagnosis and I still get spasm type feeling followed by aching in my right side, a few times a day, sometimes leaving me on the floor in agony.

Comment from: Julie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

My initial symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE) were chest pain and belching, which weren’t normal for me. This progressed to heart spasms, back pain and upper left arm pain. I had chest pain when I talked, but not when I took deep breaths. I had considerable belching for a week despite other symptoms subsiding, and was diagnosed with PE on my left lung nine days after initial symptoms.

Comment from: Greg, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 27

My pulmonary embolism started out like a flu bug, I couldn’t drink enough water to quench my thirst. Then minor shortness of breath and a headache. Light pain in the middle of my back (almost like fluid built up in my lungs). Day 2 got worse, then day 3 I was checked into the hospital. Every breath made me hyperventilate, and every breath felt like millions of tiny needles poking into my lungs. But all the pain was in my back. No morphine or any form of pain killers overrode the pain.


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs in the _______________. See Answer
Comment from: Chief2, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 10

I am a 57 year old male retired firefighter. My pulmonary embolism (PE) started as what I thought was a cold, no appetite, and coughing up dark red quarter sized blood in sputum. I went to urgent care, presented symptoms and shortness of breath were misdiagnosed and I was sent home with inhaler, saying I have a cold. Two days later I had a sharp pain in chest and thought I was having a heart attack. I awoke next morning short of breath, pulse was 40, blood pressure was erratic and heart rate was 140. I went to the hospital via ambulance, CT was done, and a massive acute saddle PE. I was in the ICU for 5 days, and total 15 days in the hospital.

Comment from: TerriK, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

Extreme shortness of breath and a tight feeling in my chest along with fatigue are my symptoms of pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Paz, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I am 31 year old and my contraception was switched to Dianette. I had read articles about Dianette causing blood clots. Two months later I started experiencing shortness of breath for 2 days and a faster than normal heart rate. On the third day I started to get palpitations and extreme shortness of breath, and my heart rate was 180 bpm. I went to Accident and Emergency by ambulance and they thought it was a panic attack. I kept mentioning blood clot and estrogen contraceptive so they agreed to a chest CT which showed pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: ESE45, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

An IV that wasn't put in correctly, caused blood clots to form in my right arm. I went to the emergency room (ER) for the pain in my right arm and the clots. I had an ultrasound and hours later the pain went away, and so did the clots. The next morning I was awoken with excruciating pain on my left side from my shoulder down to under my breast. My heart rate was up, I was panting, and short of breath. I went to the ER and the CT and VQ scan confirmed 3 blood clots in my left lung. I was hospitalized for 4 days and on apixaban now for my pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Gemma, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

My symptoms of pulmonary embolism started with short sharp pains that moved around the front of my chest for weeks. The doctor thought it was muscular. Then I got a heavy left arm, and a pain in my back between my shoulder blades. The next day I become a little breathless.

Comment from: Marina, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

It is five years since I had bilateral pulmonary embolism (PE). I have been on warfarin ever since. No pain until today, but stressed as I have been told I have elevated kidney function test results, yesterday. Today I have pain in the back of my lungs. Wonder if it is likely to be PE or just muscle strain; I have no shortness of breath yet.

Comment from: Jen, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I was 18 when I was diagnosed with my pulmonary embolism (19 now). I'm actually here because I'm getting symptoms again and terrified it is back. Earlier I got chest pains, couldn't exercise, I’d get extreme intense pains that would make me cry, my lips were blue, I wouldn't eat, and I was always feeling sick. I also had 0 strength. I got anxiety followed with continuous attacks and depression. I was also extremely anemic. I nearly died and now I can't help but always be scared it'll happen again.

Comment from: Vicki, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I am 45. I did not have the typical symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE). I had some shortness of breath off and on. While exercising, my heart would also start to race. I waited a week to see my doctor because I didn’t feel that bad. She thought I was developing asthma, but she decided to check my D-dimer to rule out a clot. It was very high. I had a CT at the emergency room. I had multiple clots in both lungs. Now I am on Eliquis for life because all causes have been ruled out.

Comment from: Mollysocks , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I'd had a few months of feeling weak, but I pushed through. Then I got more and more breathless, first only after doing something and in the end I couldn't walk two steps without collapsing from exhaustion. I thought I had a chest infection as I'd cough at the end of a breath, had low lung pain and right neck pain. I had no oxygen getting to my right lung and little getting to my left, I had sub-massive bilateral pulmonary embolism, multiple clots in both lungs, and pleurisy. I could have died at any of the 18 times I collapsed.

Comment from: fomo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

In February 2019 I had bronchitis. I had antibiotics and then went ahead to swim 8 mile. My heart rate hit 207 bpm, and I was short of breath (I am 69 years old and very fit). Coughing badly I drove myself to the hospital. X-rays confirmed double pneumonia and semi-collapsed lung. I was hospitalized for 5 days. First day out, medication caused giddiness, I fell and cracked my kneecap. Knee brace was fitted. The second day I noticed a huge swelling in my calf and took the brace off. Two days later I had a major spasm of not being able to breathe and the pulmonary embolism was found.

Comment from: Please help, 55-64 (Patient) Published: July 17

I have a blood clot in my right lung, and since then I have been swelling up in my feet and my hands, just terrible. Today I cannot lift my left arm. They have put me on blood thinning pills, they have seen how bad I have been swelling. I have also have a very hard time catching my breath.

Comment from: Kate c, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 17

I was 32. For a couple of weeks I had dizziness. I also felt like I had broken glass being crushed into my leg above my knee but it wasn't bothersome enough to see a general physician. When the pulmonary embolism hit I'm sure I felt it go through my heart; it stopped me in my tracks for a minute. Later I thought I had broken a rib - I was having mild difficulty breathing. If I bent forward it felt like my head would fall off and I developed a deep sounding cough. Touching the rib area where the clot was hurt a lot!

Comment from: pickles, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I had developed a dry cough for about 6 months and was told it was allergies. I started feeling winded walking up any flight of stairs, and slowly got worse over the 6 months. One morning I woke gasping for air and as I sat up, felt a sharp muscle pull type pain. I thought nothing of it and went to acupuncture. On the table I felt my 'muscles' cramping up in my ribs more and more until I could barely breathe. It was excruciating. I had CT scan that revealed dozens of blood clots with infarct.

Comment from: Rebecca, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

The pain started in my collarbone and spread over the course of 24 hours down into my ribs when breathing. It was the worst pain I have ever had and since I am so young it was written off as pleurisy. I am so glad I knew something was wrong and pushed to figure out what was happening and the pulmonary embolism was found.

Comment from: Michele canary, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 18

I had a burning sensation in my left shoulder. About an hour later it went to my left rib cage and every time I breathed in I felt like someone was stabbing me. Finally it went to my lower rib cage where I could now breathe normally but deep breaths were still out. I went to work for two weeks and finally went to the emergency room where they found pulmonary embolism (PE) with bilateral blood clots. They are calling it an unprovoked PE. I’m only 43 and take 25000 steps a day.

Comment from: Ginny, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I am 45 year old, and had a deep vein thrombosis in my left thigh last week. I developed a swollen lump sensation in my throat and a mucus cough late Friday. I have seen the doctor today, with elevated heart rate. I was told I may have picked something up. I woke up from a nap an hour ago unable to breathe and swallow as lump felt huge and sore, took me 10 minutes to breathe properly again. Lump feeling and soreness are still there. I can swallow but it hurts. I am worried about pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Nelly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I’m 41 years old, had a blood clot in my left arm (sub-clavicle vein, the clot formed around the wires from my ICD - implantable cardioverter defibrillator). My arm was very painful and blueish. I was put on injection blood thinners. About the 3rd day on the injections I administered my evening dose, almost immediately I felt a sharp pain in my lower ribs (on the right side) and this radiated into my right shoulder, very painful. CT scan confirmed pulmonary embolism. I was on thinners for 7 weeks, and almost back to normal.

Comment from: BD, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 19

My pulmonary embolism (PE) pain was in my back, right side, lower rib cage. It felt like a broken rib, sharp, persistent pain. It came on suddenly. I could not get comfortable. I am a male of age 55. I run and bike regularly, and am physically fit. Tests were inconclusive as to the cause. They referred to it as spontaneous PE.

Comment from: Goldie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I am 50. I just had my 2nd pulmonary embolism (PE). The 1st was 4 years ago. I was on Microgynon 30ED continuously from the age of 18 except for when trying for my 2 kids. Doctors say my 1st PE was caused by the contraceptive. I woke with a cramp like pain in calf. Three days later I was walking kids to school I was out of breath. I am not very fit but this was unusual. I googled sore leg and breathlessness and saw PE. I went to the doctors, then the hospital. I had a 14 cm deep vein thrombosis clot in my leg and a 100 small clots throughout the lungs. I was on warfarin for 6 months. New clot now at the same spot. Likely I will be on thinners for life.

Comment from: Amethyst , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

I started with pain in my right shoulder blade when I had a pulmonary embolism. Over the next 2 hours the pain went to my entire right side from waist to shoulder and sharp unbearable pain under my ribs on the right side when I breathed in. The pain had me in tears.

Comment from: Kathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I have metastatic cancer that has gone to the lung. I tend to be short of breath anyway, but what I really noticed was the feeling like someone had kicked me in the rib cage. It was sore like a bruise would hurt. It also hurt more in the same general area when I took a deep breath. I had a lung infarct as a result, which was very painful (sharp stabbing), which radiated into my shoulder area and arm. I would be in better shape had I caught the pulmonary embolism (PE) earlier. A bruised feeling can be caused by anything and I couldn't remember if I had accidently hit the area, but there was no bruise. See the doctor, better safe than sorry! Apparently cancer patients are very prone to PE and DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Another thing I was unaware of.

Comment from: LF, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 31

In January of this year, I suffered a pinched nerve in my back. It affected my right leg, which got numb and weak. I sat in my chair for the better part of 3 weeks, for I couldn't straighten my leg. I couldn't even sleep in my bed. I was stuck to my Lazy Boy pretty much for the duration. I decided on chiropractic care to relieve the nerve in my back. It worked, but I was still having problems with my knee. I still couldn't put any weight on it. Two weeks ago this past Monday I was working on a bathroom faucet, on my knees, moving around. Within an hour of this activity, I started to get short of breath. I thought it was a chest cold, so before that night, I took some cough medicine. The next day, I still felt a heaviness in my chest and the shortness of breath was worse, but I waited 2 days before I called anybody. That indecision almost killed me, for when my son came over to take me to the emergency room Thursday night, I was so weak and winded I couldn't leave the house. We called 911 and shortly thereafter found out I had pulmonary embolism in both lungs, about 6 clots in all, but it could have been worse. My medical team is pretty certain, that these clots came from that same right leg that was disabled some 2 months earlier. I've been home for a week, now wearing my medic alert necklace for warfarin, and taking it easy. Please don't procrastinate like I did. I have 5 grandchildren, and a wife of 36 years. They almost lost me because I waited to say anything.

Comment from: deb, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I am a 54 year old woman and was hospitalized with a very large saddle pulmonary embolism last November. I had been very unwell with shortness of breath, palpitations, a terrible cough, and chest and back pain. I am on Xarelto for life and have suffered depression and anxiety. It’s been a long and painful journey and my biggest fear is that the clot will recur.

Comment from: bwegley, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 20

Three years ago, I had weeks of gasping for air and dizziness. I was told by the general physician (GP) that I was anemic and given a prescription for ferrous sulfate. I took it as prescribed but the symptoms worsened. I was barely able to walk from one room to another without sitting down to catch my breath. When I visited my GP, he immediately admitted me to the hospital. I was anemic and several other tests were given. A cardiologist visited and ordered a CT scan and x-rays of my lungs. They were filled with blood clots and I'd had a minor heart attack from leaking around my heart. I was given heparin IV then injections of something of which I can't remember the name, and then put on 5 mg warfarin, given iron infusions and blood transfusions. After 4 days in the hospital, I was released and have been on 2 mg warfarin daily since then. During the past 3 years I have had 2 additional Iron infusions; the last one a year ago. The dizziness and shortness of breath is occurring again and getting worse. A blood test was taken and my CBT was 10; if the rest of the test shows no persistent anemia, I am to see the GP.

Comment from: Sara, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I was recently diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary embolism (blood clot(s) in both lungs). I woke up one morning with severe right side rib pain. When I sat up in bed I was short of breath. I gradually got up and slowly moved around. The shortness of breath subsided but I had the severe pain. I took Advil and a hot bath. Eventually the rib pain subsided. Within the next few days my left calf felt achy and a hard sensation. One night I had a nagging feeling and headed to the emergency room. D-Dimer blood test, and CAT scan with contrast was done. I was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary embolism. An internist decided to keep me overnight. I started blood thinners in the hospital (pills) and because my condition did not worsen, I was released the next day. The internist highly suspected my birth control pills as the cause. He wants to rule out other possible causes and will be sending me to a hematologist and echo cardiogram. I'm taking blood thinner pills too.

Comment from: JudeM, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

Besides childbirth, the pain from the pulmonary embolism (PE) was the most unbearable I have ever experienced. I am 48 years old, a non-smoker and overall quite healthy. I have been very tired for the past few months and I noticed getting winded just going up 14 steps to the bedroom. I figured I was out of shape because I haven’t been walking in the lousy weather. The pain woke me up out of my sleep about 1:30 in the morning. When I got out of bed the stabbing pain took me down to the floor and I couldn't breathe without horrible pain. I cried which made everything even worse. I thought it was a heart attack and figured this was the end. The pain was on my right side from my spine to my breast bone, my shoulder and down my arm. I drove to the emergency room (ER) the next day and they found the PE with a CT scan. I was immediately put on blood thinners and pain medications. I spent 2 and a half days in the hospital. I will be on blood thinners for 4 to 6 months. Bleeding is ridiculous. One little stab, and there was a puddle of blood. Very scary! This whole mess was due to birth control pills. If I knew then what I know now!

Comment from: Ybnsane, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I thought I would be smart and get ready for some nice mountain summer hikes here in a few months, and I went into a vascular clinic and got my saphenous vein and other varicose veins that were causing aches and pains in previous hikes, taken care of. This minor day surgery is done by thousands of men and women every year. You are told there is a threat of blood clots, anesthesia problems, paralysis, etc., and death. All surgical clinics tell you this and you sign on the dotted line and think nothing of it. I was first up that morning for vein surgery and I had to be there at 6 am. I got home about one in the afternoon. My right leg was wrapped up tight to the thigh but with a fatty excess bulging at the top. It became irritating as the hours passed and the bandage was too tight. I put up with it for several hours until I decided to loosen it at the top and re-wrap it. Well, I set off a red gusher all over the floor and soaking into the lower bandage down to my ankle. I went to the emergency room (ER). The bleeding had stopped under the bandage and had a re-wrap done and I was on my way home. Follow up ultra-sound appointment found a blood clot at the groin and I was given Xarelto to take twice a day. The next day I went for a walk as suggested to keep blood flowing and was tired when I got back home. I lay down on the couch and raised my foot up on the back of it so my leg would be higher than my heart as instructed. I didn’t lie there too long before I felt a sharp severe stabbing sensation at the point where the ultra sound technician found the clot. I quickly threw myself off the couch and stood up and walked around the living room a bit and the pain subsided. Then suddenly my shoulder was in such pain I couldn’t move it. I had never experienced pain like this before. It didn’t last long and that subsided and I was fine again. A couple of days later I had another ultra sound and the surgeon told me that the pain in my shoulder was caused by the blood clot in my lung. So now I have a blood clot in my lung and waiting for Xarelto to dissolve it.

Comment from: northwestgordon, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 06

Following knee surgery, a few days after taking it easy, I was outside feeding our ranch dog. As I was making my way back to the house, I took in a breath that felt like I just entered a walk-in restaurant freezer, it felt ice cold. Suddenly my heart rate started racing, and as I walked up the steps to my front door I felt very weak and faint. When I made it to the door, I just lay down on my back as I was about to black out. My heart started calming down, I started to think clearly again, so I got up and opened the door, and my heart started racing again as I tried to get to our bedroom where my wife was sleeping. I made it to the couch where I collapsed again. Then after a while, I calmed down and made it to the bedroom and collapsed on the bed and woke up my wife. She had to take me to the hospital for an ultrasound, and then they had me take anti-coagulant shots for a couple of weeks before starting me on Coumadin. I really didn't experience much pain at all with my pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Katie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I have been having wheezing and some shortness of breath. I thought it was due to my asthma. I have also had some mild chest pain and shoulder pain. I went to urgent care, who sent me to the emergency room. Thank goodness! They ran blood tests, and a CT scan which found the blood clot (pulmonary embolism) in my lower lung. I was hospitalized and given shots. I am now home and on Xarelto.

Comment from: Claire, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism (PE) in May 2014 and this was the scariest time of my life as I was 8 months pregnant! The pain started in my right leg; I had large veins that spread up to my groin. I went to the doctor and he told me it’s just varicose veins! My boyfriend massaged my calf muscle after I finished work which felt good as my calf was so painful. I then went for a Doppler scan on my leg and it was negative. I think it was too late, the clot had already moved. I experienced shortness of breath but mainly heart palpitations and anxiety. I still would like to know how I got this clot and why. Consultants say it is all pregnancy related but I'm still not convinced. I had lots of blood tests they are all ok. I'm on warfarin now for 9 months.

Comment from: Wahela, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

My only symptom of pulmonary embolism was shortness of breath when I walked around. I'm a nurse, and stupidly I thought perhaps my asthma was worse, or maybe pneumonia. I drove myself to the emergency room (ER), they did a CT scan and I was on a helicopter to the big city within 20 minutes. I had a saddle embolism covering both sides of my chest. I had lytic therapy that night, and went home 3 days later on Lovenox and warfarin. I hadn't had chest pain or any other problems. My pulse would be normal sitting unless I stood up and walked a few feet, then it would go up to 150 or so. My blood pressure was also high. SaO2 was between 92% when sitting to 80% when standing. I had had a DNA test for a research study and they said I had an MTHFR gene that was damaged. My Mom had blood clots for years, my grandmother, great grandfather and great-great-grandfather all died of blood clots that broke loose causing emboli. So I will be on warfarin for life. My vascular surgeon said there is clearly a clotting disorder in our family and I believe him.

Comment from: Kellygreen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

I just got home from a 4 night hospital stay. I am 45 and broke my ankle 1 month ago. I was in a cast and was told not to put weight on it. So I spent a lot of time sitting. Saturday night I developed severe right back pain. It was getting worse and then I was short of breath. I tried to lie down to sleep but the pain was so severe and the shortness of breath was worse. I went to the emergency room (ER) and after having a CT of my chest with contrast I was diagnosed with several bilateral embolisms. Also I was on the birth control 'Yaz', which puts you in a higher risk category. I was put on Lovenox and Coumadin. What a painful experience! I am happy to be alive but will now worry about every little symptom and wonder if I am developing another clot!

Comment from: Sisqi, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 17

I was a healthy 32 year old who had just had a baby. I had pain in my back. I'd had two sets of clots. One in my spleen and one in my placenta only 2 weeks before. The pain got worse over about 30 hours. Because of the recent clots I went to the Accident and Emergency room. Whilst there and being hooked up to monitors I suddenly couldn't breathe. The doctor came in; very calm and said, oh it's a panic attack. (Very right I was panicking!) It turns out I had many clots on my lungs. Because of the doctor I didn't get treated for days. I ended up with bad scarring on my lungs. I've since had 3 more lots of clots and been diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome. I have to have warfarin and Clexane for life. I've always said clots have a very unique kind of pain. For me they start with a feeling of a bruise. Then an achy feeling. To a point of agony (especially the spleen ones I've had). Always get checked. Better safe than sorry.

Comment from: Jayde, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I am 36 years old and was on birth control pills. I’m also a nonsmoker. I started having a lot of pain in my left shoulder. I thought I pulled a muscle. Then that night the pain started under my left breast bone, and continued into the left side of my back. It wasn"t going away so the next morning I went into emergency room. They did a scan and found I had blood clots in both my lungs. They said it was from birth control pills. I was hospitalized for 5 days. I am now on warfarin and was on the shots in my abdomen for 5 days. I will be on warfarin for 6 to 9 months. Please be aware of the risks of birth control pills, and please go to emergency if you have any unusual pain.

Comment from: Exprssurslf, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I am a healthy 41 year old women who started out with just an ordinary urinary tract Infection. I went to be checked to see if my kidneys were part of the UTI (urinary tract infection) because I had left flank pain from my side around my back and then the pain radiated up into my shoulder and neck, but only on my right side. It lasted the entire day and into the night. My doctor told me that if the pain didn"t go away, to go to the emergency room. After the pain woke me up in the night, it was then making me short of breath and I couldn"t inhale fully. I finally went to the ER. A CT showed several blood clots in both my left and my right lungs. I have no risk factors for pulmonary embolism. Good thing I listen to my gut!

Comment from: Promethius, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I have not been diagnosed yet with pulmonary embolism. I"ve been having increasing shortness of breath with heart speeding up when I try to do anything like walk outside or pick something up from floor or even talk while washing my hands. I thought it was worsening anemia since I do have anemia, though have not had this breathing symptoms as bad as this. Then during the night and today suddenly I got severe shoulder pain in left shoulder for no reason. Yesterday I had stabbing pain near the breast, which I thought maybe was a breast problem and dismissed it. The shoulder is hard to ignore. I have autoimmune disorders and have wondered for quite some time if I have antiphospholipid antibodies, but so far no one will test. Oddly, nearly a year ago I went to the emergency room for 10 out of 10 pain in other shoulder which was never really diagnosed; I don"t know if that"s related to this. I haven"t been out much due to snow so it’s hard to assess if I can breathe doing normal stuff like shop. In terms of preceding leg pain, because of autoimmune stuff I often get leg pain and heaviness and muscles stuff, so telling what"s different and what’s usual leg pain is hard.

Comment from: Diana, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I am 65 and just had knee replacement surgery. Two days later my blood pressure dropped drastically (but no other symptoms) and I was sent for a CT scan which showed I have a blood clot in my lungs. I was put on a heparin IV for 4 days and am now taking rivaroxaban, it’s an alternative to warfarin which is rat poison and it demands lots of blood tests etc. It’s expensive but well worth it!

Comment from: Janesman, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 06

I have been diagnosed with PE (pulmonary embolism) twice within the last 2.5 years. My symptoms were not the usual. I had no shortness of breath, no problems listening to the lungs, D-dimer test negative, pain was in my right side lower abdomen. All tests were negative to PE, but I eventually found out that I had a large clot both times. Only severe pain the first time, and my insistence to my family doctor the second time, that I needed to be admitted into hospital probably saved my life.

Comment from: Pam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 01

I broke my foot and had to have surgery to have a metal screw put in. Two months later I woke up one morning with pain in my right ribcage radiating into my back and up into the right side of my chest. I didn't consider it a heart attack since it was on the right side and I don't have a gall bladder so I thought I'd dislocated a rib since I'd done it before. The next evening as I climbed into bed I had a searing pain in the left side of my chest and I knew I was going to pass out. I tried to get to my husband but passed out. When I came to, I managed to crawl through the door and get his attention. I was taken by ambulance to an emergency room where the nurse and doctor that cared for me immediately had suspicions and sent me for a CT right away. I had a massive PE (pulmonary embolism) and was transferred to a hospital with an available ICU. It was 10 days before I came home. I was put on a heparin IV, Lovenox shots and Coumadin. They finally removed the heparin but then my liver enzymes went way up. Finally they put me back on the heparin and stopped the Lovenox which finally resulted in my enzyme levels dropping. I am now home and on 7.5mg of Coumadin per day. I am extremely fatigued though and wondering when I will be back to normal.

Comment from: Ripster39, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 29

Male, 61 yrs, excellent physical condition. In April I fell 25 ft from ladder, landing on my feet but compound fracturing both ankles, resulting in plates and screws to repair, and in casts from toes to upper thighs. Sent home in 4 days to a rented hospital bed and a very attentive wife who worked 24/7 to care for me. 6 weeks later following normal wake up and breakfast routine, into the wheel chair, etc, I suddenly felt a sudden chill, lightheaded and dizzy, turned white, fainted, then came to, and really felt disoriented. My wife saw this happening, dialed 911, and in minutes the medics were at my side, administering an injection, and putting me on a stretcher. During the ambulance ride I lost consciousness and vitals stopped, causing them to take me to the nearest hospital, not the one we requested, and there I was dropped off. The ER doctors did not know what was wrong. They suspected a stroke. After two days one doctor decided that my leg casts indicated possible clots could be present and ordered a sonogram, which disclosed a number of clots traveling up my right leg veins. He ordered heparin drip, and suggested a Greenfield filter be inserted into my vena cava. Since I am still alive, it worked. The omission of any blood thinners such as Coumadin following the initial ankle fractures was unforgivable and declared the contributing cause of the pulmonary embolism. My lower lobe of right lung is plugged and shows dark on x-ray. Any lower leg trauma should be monitored, clot formation expected, and dizziness, lightheaded feelings, and confusion should not be ignored.

Comment from: Kitkat, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I first had frequent PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) for two and a half months straight. Then I woke up one morning with a heart rate almost at 150 with shortness of breath (December 4th, to be exact). I have been short of breath since, and in between having a stabbing pain in the center of my chest. I feel dizzy with vertigo at times, and recently have been feeling a slight nausea. I have to catch my breath when I am talking to people, lying down and walking around. I feel shaky, and my heart beats harder than usual. Wondering if I have a pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: sue , 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 19

My daughter died of a pulmonary embolism 4 months ago, she was 32. She was feeling like she had a cold and feeling unwell, but she went to work in the morning, she worked 9 to 5. We passed each other in the bathroom and we laughed because we both always need to at the same time. She said she still had felt unwell so as she went to work, and I said I’ll get her a doctor appointment. She said ok mum, see you later. I never saw her again. She rang 999 and died in the ambulance. I am heartbroken.

Comment from: Lena, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had a blood clot in my lungs in 2018. Now I am on Lovenox 120 two times a day, but today I am having pain in middle of my upper chest. Worried if I still have pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Jacquelyn, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 31

My niece had a baby. One week ago a blood clot in her leg moved to her heart, and she was rushed to the hospital. She has not been awake for 3 days, she is on life support because of the embolism, and I am worried if she will ever wake up.

Comment from: Angie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

I have had wheezing for about 3 years, and now it's getting worse. Now I have shortness of breath, can't go very far without being out of breath, and I have to sit down. I have lower back pain when I walk. I have to sit down for about 5 minutes, then I can get back up and it will be okay, so I take so many steps. I am worried about pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Donna, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 26

My boyfriend had a major back surgery. He's getting hot flashes, his leg feels like it is on fire, his chest feels heavy and his ribs now hurt. Worried if he has a pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Inkydink, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

If you have lymphedema in legs and pulmonary hypertension after a heart attack, you are likely to have pulmonary embolism. The usual symptoms for a blood clot is hard to tell. This is my second blood clot, and they can't tell me where it started. Every year you live with pulmonary hypertension the worse your lungs get, no matter how much medicine, etc. you take.

Comment from: Mpennymarie , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 20

I am 49 years old and just diagnosed with my first deep vein thrombosis (DVT). I woke up one morning feeling like I had a severe charley horse. I had my husband rubbing hard to get it out since I had experienced wicked charley horses before, I could hardly walk and my leg hurt to the maximum. I ended up at the emergency room(ER), and they did blood work and an ultrasound. I have a significant large blood clot, and they started me on blood thinners at the hospital. Looking at my leg at the ER, it was swollen and red and some of my toes were numb.

Comment from: Rob, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 14

I'm recovering from congestive heart failure and blood clot in the lungs and I'm taking medication every day. I stepped outside in hot weather a few times and now I feel discomfort in the left side of my chest.

Comment from: Sue86, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 01

I developed a nasty cough which didn't clear up after a course of medicine, so I went to see my nurse in the general practitioner’s (GP) surgery. She took some blood and did an ECG and sent me for a chest x-ray. Later that day my GP rang to say I needed to go to hospital as they didn't get enough blood and I couldn't wait in case it was a blood clot. So after 4 days in and after 2 different lung scans it was confirmed I had a clot (pulmonary embolism), only a small one, but I have had sharp pain in my back and ribs, shortness of breath and night sweats; not very nice at all. I'm on Clexane injections once a day for 6 months to get rid of it. I do feel for all of you with one too.

Comment from: octogenarian, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I may have had a blood clot in my left lung (according to my doctor) the day after I had sat in a prone, slightly tilted downward position for 2-1/2 hours in the dentist's office. The night of the day following I awoke with severe sharp pains on the left side of my chest. I could not take a deep breath. This lasted about 15 minutes, gradually decreasing. The pulmonary embolism must have taken care of itself spontaneously.

Comment from: Janesman, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 21

I have had pulmonary embolism (PE) twice in the last 3 years. First time was 3 months after surgery to remove my prostate because of cancer. Symptoms were pain that was awakening me at night. The pain was located near my liver region, not in the chest. After 5 nights of this I was flown by chopper to hospital at 1.30 am. It took the hospital 13 hours to find I had PE. The D-dimer test came back negative, so this confused the medical staff. Eight months ago I had a disc removed from neck (C5/C6). Anesthetist before the operation said I would receive a Clexane injection (blood thinner) 24 to 48 hours after the operation because of my risk to PE. A junior doctor at 36 hours after the operation removed this chartered medication. His or her belief was that the chances of PE from a neck operation were almost nil. Four weeks later I was almost fainting while trying to work. My local doctor said nothing was wrong with me. Another week later I was admitted again to hospital. A CT scan showed I had 4 large clots, of which 1 was very massive.

Comment from: lhessler816, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I thought I had pulled a muscle from shoveling snow and bowling. My friends were actually making fun of me because they thought I was just that weak. I took it all as a joke. That night, after a massage, all of a sudden I got really sharp stabbing pains all over my chest, my back, and my side. My boyfriend thought I was having a stroke. I couldn’t breathe in; I couldn’t stand up, or anything. I laughed it off as being really, really sore, and for the next 15 minutes sat in the bathroom crying because I didn’t know what was wrong. My muscles loosened enough that I could crawl back into bed, and propped up with a pillow, I took four Tylenols, and fell asleep taking shallow breaths. The next four days got worse and worse – it felt like my bra was too tight no matter what I did. The pain radiated into my right shoulder and was very extreme. Then I started coughing up lots of blood. I went to the ER. After some research, I told the ER doctor that either I had bad pneumonia or a pulmonary embolism. I didn’t know the reality of it – just what I read. And there it was – after high D-dimer levels, a chest X-Ray, and a CT scan – I had a PE with a very large infarction. I had recently started taking birth control to regulate periods. Yes – I was a smoker, but didn’t understand the risks. I’m not smoking anymore, and I’m on Xarelto for the next 3 to 6 months. And it sucks. I have the worst headaches and my eyes go fuzzy. I get head rushes, lose my breath from walking to and from my car, and it feels like there’s a knife stuck in my lung. It’s been four weeks and I haven’t slept thought a whole night since. Oh – and I just turned 30. I had no idea what I was in for.

Comment from: OkieAnnie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I recently experienced my second pulmonary embolism. My first was 10 years ago, and reflecting back the symptoms were very much the same both times. My first occurred at age 55, following a knee scope the previous day. The scope was performed early in the day and I was released in the afternoon. The next morning, about an hour after waking up, I became nauseous, my heart was racing, I had a crushing pain in my chest, and it was difficult to breathe. I made it to the couch before passing out. My neighbor came over to check on me and I was taken to the hospital. The diagnosis was a pulmonary embolism. I spent a week in the hospital, after which I was sent home with five days of Lovenox and Coumadin. My second pulmonary embolism occurred a month ago. I began having difficulty breathing, my heart was racing, and I was suddenly very tired. I headed for bed, only to decide I was too hungry to get to sleep. Within about 15 minutes I was nauseous and vomited. The next morning I felt better, but was tired and dragged all day. Once again that evening when I tried to go to sleep, I felt very hungry. However, this time I avoided eating. Within 15 minutes of lying down, I began having chest pains, was nauseated, and my heart was racing. I took my blood pressure, which was 139/72. I slept on the bathroom floor. The next day I went to the ER and had a CT scan, which revealed a saddle embolism in both lungs. I was immediately transferred to a larger hospital with a better-equipped ICU. I remained in intensive care for three days before being transferred to a medical/surgical unit for another eight days. I am now at home taking Coumadin indefinitely and Lovenox for the next five days.

Comment from: stacycap, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

I experienced chest pains mostly on my right side near my shoulder and right lower side. I could not inhale fully without having sharp pains and felt a lot of pressure near my sternum. I went to urgent care and they did blood tests and chest x-ray (which came back fine). My blood test was abnormal so had to get a CT scan and they found multiple blood clots in my lungs. Still don't know why or how this came along since I am 20 years old, young and healthy adult. #1 they think it is from Nuvo Ring, don’t ever take it. Now I am on Coumadin 6months and Lovenox for 5 days.

Comment from: JBB, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I had a medium amount of chest pain - right in the center of my chest. I've had angina before and thought that was what it was. I was very surprised when they said the CT scan showed a few pulmonary embolisms. No other symptoms. And then two weeks later I had another one. Same - just chest pain.

Comment from: Rachel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

Today I am finally home after 9 long days in the hospital. I was found to have clots in both lungs. It started 3 month ago when I had my asthma so flared up I couldn't seem to get better no matter how many breathing treatments I had. I ended up with bronchial attacks and on top of that I also got a very hard case of the influenza. It took me 4 days to get rid of the high fevers. I was having a lot of coughing spasms. I noticed two weeks before than that suddenly I had a very sharp pain on my left upper arm directly into my left breast; it felt like someone had dug a knife. I thought it was because I had been coughing so hard for many weeks. Never would I have known it was clots in my lungs. I had more frequent shortness of breath especially when climbing the stairs or walking too fast. I had notice I was losing myself. My daughter took me to the ER because my breathing was getting harder and my heart started to race. She knew I was getting discoloration in my skin and the fever was not helping. If it wouldn't have been for her forcing me to go I might not be here sharing this with you. We just seem to take everything for granted and we ignore many signs that the body gives us. In my case I don't have insurance and that played a big factor. I am still young and my children need me. I am so blessed I have another chance. God Bless you.

Comment from: Dotlen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

A few weeks ago I was on a walk and became short of breath in an odd way. I thought it was related to my asthma, which I haven't had that long. The shortness of breath continued for a week. I mentioned it to my therapist, who suggested I go to the ER. I was reluctant to do so, since I didn't feel sick, but I did make an appointment to see my doctor the next day. He sent me for a chest x-ray and some blood tests. That night I had a pain in my leg that felt like a cramp. The next morning, they called to say my D-dimer test, which should be between 0 and 600, was 3,000! They said I should go to the ER, and it was found that I had PE -a bunch of small clots in my lungs, and a big clot in my leg (DVT). I guess I won't ignore symptoms anymore. I had none of the risk factors for clots.

Comment from: Lisa, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 01

I had pain in my left breast bone and back. I was thinking maybe my bra was too tight. I was sweating a lot at night but, I was thinking early stages of menopause. I could feel something in the middle of my chest when I took a deep breath. I was unaware of the symptoms of PE. I still knew something wasn't right so I went to the ER. They ran test and admitted me to the hospital for 7 days. Watch your diet. I was feeling great then the nurse told me I could eat green vegetables. Every since, I have been feeling bad. I had my blood tested and it was a little low.

Comment from: staggie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

My symptoms included pain on the right side of my back, and severe pain in top of my shoulder, like I ran into a door box. At first I thought I was having another Kidney Stone attack , and then after being in emerge all day , they decided to send me home, the nurse came to check my vitals one last time and my oxygen had dropped to 79% then the panic was on. So I did have a blood clot in my right lung, and the bottom part of my lung had collapsed. Later that night is when I had the shortness of breath.

Comment from: Robin, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 25

I am 77 years old and in good health. I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee. After I awoke from the anesthesia, I felt some pressure on my chest which I reported to the anesthesia doctor. He called the cardiologist who sent me for tests on my heart which was fine. I went home the next day, slept well, got up the next morning, and while reading the paper, suggested to my husband that he go on his walk. Fifteen minutes later I was gasping for air. He returned home about 15 minutes after that and called 911. Had he gone to the grocery store, I'd be dead. As a prophylactic, blood thinners can and are given before operations.

Comment from: Mom of 3, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

A few weeks ago after a trip overseas, I noticed that my shoulder hurt. I woke the next morning with a severe pain in my left shoulder and breast/chest area. I was short of breath and my husband rushed me to the hospital. It was a pulmonary embolism (PE) in my right lung. The pain in my left shoulder was referred pain. In hindsight, a few months before all of this, I had charley horses in both legs, off and on. When I was overseas, I had numbness in my calf and, a week later, in my hip. But, who thinks, "Hmm, I must have a blood clot traveling up my leg?" I am very blessed, and after three days in the hospital, I am home and taking Coumadin. Smoking is no longer a pleasure, as it contributed to this PE. The pain I felt was as if someone was trying to put a shovel through my skin/chest. Do not wait and see if this pain goes away; it will kill you.

Comment from: Josie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I suffered for 2 weeks before I was diagnosed with PE. I woke up coughing in the middle of the night, with a feeling of having something caught in the center of my chest. I would have to set upright and wait for the feeling to go away. Next, I had started walking again, and part way through my walk, my arms and legs would ache so bad that I didn't know if I was going to make it home. (this, as I found out later, was from lack of oxygen). For the three days just before I was diagnosed, I felt like I had pneumonia - with funny little pains through my chest, rib cage, down my sides, and through my back and under my shoulder blades. The day of my diagnosis, I was driving on the highway at 100km/hour, holding on to my chest, hardly able to breathe, telling my husband that I think I had better go to outpatients, to get this pneumonia checked out. It turned out to be a Pulmonary Embolism - one large one and multiple small ones. I am now on Warfarin for the rest of my life.

Comment from: Mel, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I am a 28 year old woman with four children. I gave birth Jan 14th and was very Short of Breath afterwards. Jan 21st I went to see my family doctor and she said everything sounded fine. Jan 26th I went to the Emergency room with Shortness of breath and a fast heartbeat of 100-120 beats per minute. He did a chest x-ray and it was clear. He ordered a blood test called a D-dimer and it was positive, so he sent me to a larger hospital for a Lung scan called a V.Q. It showed multiple blood clots in my lung. I was started on Fragmin injection that evening and Coumidin the next day. I was hospitalized for 1 week.

Comment from: cjm, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 11

I have had right forearm swelling and pain. Thought it was some type of "tennis elbow" issue. Checked by ortho doctor and saw only swelling. One month later I had a hysterectomy with infection complications. Now 3 months since surgery, I am experiencing pain in the lower right chest area seemingly, under the right lower rib cage. I also have pain sometimes in the shoulder blade area on the right side. It feels like deep pain. I have been short of breath even for something as simple as speaking, but not all the time. I am taking estrogen replacement hormone at the lowest dosage.

Comment from: christine, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I was diagnosed with pneumonia, and was in the hospital for one week. When I got home I still wasn’t breathing normally so I went back to the ER they told me that my oxygen level was not good to do some blood work that they did. The doctor ordered a CT scan of my lungs and they found two blood clots in my lungs. Now that I have read information on Pulmonary Embolism it has become apparent to me that the chest pain that I was having for years was not anxiety. The lightheadedness and lack of energy wasn’t depression, so it took them 5 years to figure out what was wrong with me. Don’t let your chest pain go as anything because it would come and go never consistent, but very sharp pain when you breathe. The embolisms have affected my lungs so bad that I now Suffer with COPD I am 33 with four children.

Comment from: Bonnie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I am a 44 year old mother of 4. I run a small restaurant and antique store. I lead a water exercise class 4 nights a week. I am on my feet for quite a few hours a day. I developed a cough the beginning of June that has lasted all summer, just a dry nagging cough which for awhile worsened if I tried to lay flat. I often sleep propped up on pillows. For most of the summer I have experienced shortness of breath while exercising. I passed it off to weight gain and being out of shape from a long winter. This past weekend (Aug 9th) it seemed to get worse. I was easily winded and my heart would start racing when I walked or worked quickly. I didn't have any sharp pains, just a heaviness in my chest. Right now it almost feels like a marble rolling around in there. I broke down and went to the doctor who sent me to the emergency room. I thought maybe it was exercised induced asthma. The chest x ray seemed clear, but some blood work done indicated that I probably had a blood clot. After a CT scan I was told I had a clot in my left lung and several in my right lung. I was started on Lovax injections and warifan orally. My oxygen sats were 93 to 96, my blood pressure is low. I spent 2 nights in the hospital. I still don't know where these clots came from since an ultrasound of my legs showed nothing. I was sent home because Blue Cross and Blue Shield would not cover more than 2 nights for this. I have no real answers yet, but just want others to know that I was active the whole time and this happened. The only time I had leg pain was in the winter, I kept getting Charlie horses in my right leg. I did go to my doctor then wandering if it was a clot but he said no, it was probably from shoveling. Now I wonder if I wasn't right and it did travel to my lungs over the course of the last 6 months.

Comment from: Denese, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I am 38 and was diagnosed years ago with pulmonary embolism. I had chest pain and a little bit of shortness of breath for 7 months. I had blood work showing an elevation of a cardiolipin antibody. I showed it to my cardiologist and he said it wasn't high enough to worry about putting me on blood thinners. One and a half months later I went to the ER because now the shortness of breath was worse. Chest pain was still the same. They reluctantly tested me for blood clots. My left lung was totally full and the right was half way full. There was even a big one. Turns out I have a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome which is a condition where you clot easily. I am on life long blood thinners now and when I go in with chest pain or shortness of breath, they immediately test. Please don't mess with those symptoms. I was told that if they sent me home that time, I would not have survived.

Comment from: christine, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

I was diagnosed with pneumonia, and was in the hospital for one week. When I got home I still wasn’t breathing normally so I went back to the ER they told me that my oxygen level was not good to do some blood work that they did. The doctor ordered a CT scan of my lungs and they found two blood clots in my lungs. Now that I have read information on Pulmonary Embolism it has become apparent to me that the chest pain that I was having for years was not anxiety. The lightheadedness and lack of energy wasn’t depression, so it took them 5 years to figure out what was wrong with me. Don’t let your chest pain go as anything because it would come and go never consistent, but very sharp pain when you breathe. The embolisms have affected my lungs so bad that I now Suffer with COPD I am 33 with four children.

Comment from: concerned friend, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 17

I am concerned for a co-worker, who has had chest pains for a week. She is still able to work, but only because her family is depending on her. She is about 30, African american, over weight, but, steadily losing after having a baby last year. Last week she was taken to ER from work. She complained of major chest pains. I think she said something of shortness of breath and a little on and off fainting. Stairs are a part of her job and the climb is hard. She said that right side of chest is inflamed, noticed when touched, and nausea. My aunt died of similar symptoms plus a few more that I am unsure of, don't want to ask and upset my mom. Aunt was 50.

Comment from: Bonnie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I am a 44 year old mother of 4. I run a small restaurant and antique store. I lead a water exercise class 4 nights a week. I am on my feet for quite a few hours a day. I developed a cough the beginning of June that has lasted all summer, just a dry nagging cough which for awhile worsened if I tried to lay flat. I often sleep propped up on pillows. For most of the summer I have experienced shortness of breath while exercising. I passed it off to weight gain and being out of shape from a long winter. This past weekend (Aug 9th) it seemed to get worse. I was easily winded and my heart would start racing when I walked or worked quickly. I didn't have any sharp pains, just a heaviness in my chest. Right now it almost feels like a marble rolling around in there. I broke down and went to the doctor who sent me to the emergency room. I thought maybe it was exercised induced asthma. The chest x ray seemed clear, but some blood work done indicated that I probably had a blood clot. After a CT scan I was told I had a clot in my left lung and several in my right lung. I was started on Lovax injections and warifan orally. My oxygen sats were 93 to 96, my blood pressure is low. I spent 2 nights in the hospital. I still don't know where these clots came from since an ultrasound of my legs showed nothing. I was sent home because Blue Cross and Blue Shield would not cover more than 2 nights for this. I have no real answers yet, but just want others to know that I was active the whole time and this happened. The only time I had leg pain was in the winter, I kept getting Charlie horses in my right leg. I did go to my doctor then wandering if it was a clot but he said no, it was probably from shoveling. Now I wonder if I wasn't right and it did travel to my lungs over the course of the last 6 months.

Comment from: Connie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I am a 40 year old woman that has recently had a surgery performed on my shoulder. I had to have some of the bones reshaped, which was done laparoscopically, and with no complications. Four days after my surgery, I awoke at 5a.m., and was having problems with shortness of breath. I than began to get a headache, and started having dry heaves. After 2 hours of suffering, my husband talked me into going into the ER. I did end up having a normal chest x-ray, but my D-dimer test was very elevated. The Dr. ordered a CT scan with contrast that was "grossly positive for PE in the proximal segmental branches to both lower lobes, but also present within the right upper lobe and the left upper lobe." Luckily things were caught in time, and I ended up spending a week in the hospital and not six feet under. Please be aware that clots can form, even if you have been told that "it's unheard of from the type of surgery you had!" If something just doesn't "seem right," PLEASE get it checked!

Comment from: river rat 46, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I am 63 years old. In late November, I developed a soreness in my right calf. Thinking I had pulled something, I didn't go to the doctor. After about two weeks with the pain almost gone, I started hurting in my left lung area. I went to work and right after lunch I started hurting very badly in my left shoulder and lung. The pain was unbearable. I could barely breathe. I drove 45 miles to the doctor, and he sent me for tests. I had deep vein thrombosis with a pulmonary embolism in each lung. I was told I was lucky to still be alive. I had shortness of breath for eight years before this, and they could not find anything wrong. If you get shortness of breath for no reason, insist on doing tests for blood clots.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I had chest pain which came first, then I became breathless and my lips became a little blue. I managed to still stand though I went light headed. The pain was like a burning stabbing type and some inflammation was evident. It was putting pressure on my lungs and lying down was painful. I had five days of Clexane 120mg and a perfusion scan on the six. All was clear and the pain and breathlessness was much diminished so I was discharged. I became breathless and the pain increased on lying down flat and when I bent over. My sats were normal although my FBC showed a high reading regarding anticoagulant. This and my symptoms pointed them towards PE. Scan was clear so I am on no medications, but am worried it may return. If there was a clot (small) would 5 days of Clexane clear this and if it was a clot can it return?

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 31

I am glad to see that all of you survived your pulmonary embolism episode. However my precious daughter Alexandra did not get the same privilege. I lost her on June 8th. She had just celebrated her 30th Birthday on April 1st. The reason why I am writing today is because I got her final autopsy report this morning. It took me all that time to gather the courage to go back to the hospital and get it. Alexandra had been in a wheelchair all of her life as she was born with spina bifida and was paralysed from the waist down. She had been hospitalized for a whole week and since the doctors could not find anything wrong with her even though I insisted on the fact that her right leg was more swollen than usual, that she complained about pain in the abdomen and that she was wheezing. She was sent back home and died one week later. I hope my story does not discourage you. Alexandra already had a long medical history and gone through so much in her short life. The odds were against her I guess. I miss her so much. Please listen to your inner voice and when you sense that something does not feel right, have it checked at once. Do not delay.

Comment from: Mim, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I was 37 years old when I was diagnosed with several emboli in my left lung. I went to the doctors for months with shortness of breath, pain in my shoulder and chest, and lightheadedness. I also was sent home from the emergency room with bloody sputum. When they finally did a CT scan and an echocardiogram, they found several in my lungs and my vena cava. I didn't have any risk factors, but I had bronchitis earlier that year and I traveled once (we stopped the car several times and walked around, too). I spent four days in the hospital and was on Coumadin for 9 months. Diet is extremely important - there is a book about Coumadin diets. The doctor just kept apologizing for missing them, but I am scared whenever I am short of breath or have any type of shoulder pain now. The most important thing is to be persistent - I asked several times if it could be clots and was ignored.

Comment from: SaraRN1980, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I had been Sweating like a pig for weeks, dripping sweat for an activity, like putting away dishes or making the bed. Two doctors ignored my complaint of sweating. Then, I developed higher blood pressure, up to 179/105, but my doctor told me to just take more of my blood pressure medications, and it came down to 140/100. Finally, I started having a low fever for 5 days, and blood pressure went back to 169/105 with the higher dose of medications. I persisted with a 3rd doctor, 1st she checked my blood for thyroid problems. When that came back okay, she did more blood work and a CT scan with contrast of my lungs. Sure enough, the CT scan showed a quarter size clot in my right upper lobe of the lung, and tissue had died. I had a chest X-ray incidentally 3 weeks earlier, for something unrelated, and that didn't show the clot or dead tissue either. So my advice is to PERSIST, if you FEEL something is wrong with you, don't take no for an answer because there are A LOT of incompetent doctors (I know, I am a Nurse)!

Comment from: 8180JMB, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 29

After giving birth, I had DVT in my leg. Within two days it developed into a pulmonary embolism. It went into my lungs. The ER doctors gave me an X-ray, and told me there was no sign of bronchitis or pneumonia which I knew. (I told THEM that it was a clot, and was ignored.) I was sent home three nights in a row and they told me to put a heat pack on my back. I did that and my back blistered. I didn't even know I had blistered because the pain of the clot in my lungs was overwhelmingly painful. I thought I was going to die! It wasn't until I went to a different hospital that doctors took notice of what was happening. Three weeks later I finally went home. I want people to know that if you get DVT and your lungs start hurting soon afterwards to go to hospital and make doctors take notice of what's going on! I'm sure I would've died had the second hospital sent me home.

Comment from: kevins wife, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 04

My husband has been diagnosed with pulmonary embolism and is being treated with Coumadin (warfarin). Since being put on this, he has become confused, weak, trembley, staggers, and at times can barely speak clearly (garbled). He has been off work for almost three months now and the doctor says there is nothing wrong with him. I am not able to leave him alone for very long since he may become confused and do something very risky. Is this normal? I am at my wits end and our financial situation is going down the drain as well. He is only 45 years old, but is increasing becoming more of an invalid than is expected. I need someone else’s take on this condition.

Comment from: Austin, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: March 19

When I breathe in and breathe out I get a sharp but dull pain that hurts in my left, my left upper shoulder and back. I wonder if it is a pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Lucky, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I was diagnosed on 14th September with pulmonary embolism, and currently on warfarin.

Comment from: Matt, 45-54 (Caregiver) Published: June 22

I am spitting up blood and have a swollen lip. I have heart disease and had open heart surgery 1 year ago. I am concerned about pulmonary embolism.

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