Know the Signs

For the small number of you who read my blog, you know that I keep this blog as a resource for all things I come across in for my learning. Sometimes I blog about something cool that I have learned to do with #GAFE or in the #vLE. I review books that I read so that I can have a record of what I have read and I make recommendations for others. I also blog about a not so secrete passion for ship sightings. My blog is mostly geared to professional educators and the occasional #boatnerd, but it is mostly a collection of a record of  and for me. If someone else can learn from my musings and resources than I am even more grateful for the opportunity.

I hesitated about posting this post because it is of a rather personal nature, but if one person reads it and possibly shares it with someone else, we all could save a life.

A year ago I developed a sudden pain in my foot that made walking impossible and had I had no trauma to the foot to link the pain to. Within a week the pain travelled to my calf and I suffered from  a painful, unrelenting cramp and swelling in my leg that made anything, including sleep, impossible.Like I am prone to do I didn’t let that stop me from finishing up the last of my summer tasks. But the pain never got better. It simply manifested itself into different symptoms. I did seek medical care. In fact I sought medical assistance on many separate occasions and was diagnosed with plantar faciatis, a bug bite, asthma and when I failed the breathing test the machine was declared “faulty”. I was also told that I was “overworked”, “stressed” and “getting older”. Not only was I suffering physically and getting rapidly sicker with each passing week, I now had the additional burden of thinking that I was somehow mentally to blame for my health, that I was not as equipped as my fellow #TELTS who working as hard as me to deal work and life and the stress that that entails. I felt like I was failing my job, my body and myself.

I was a fairly active person with a stubborn personality. But I could no longer walk, let alone run. Stairs were my kryptonite. My thought process began to suffer and each day I lost a little more of myself.

This week is my one year anniversary on being diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms. Although I am a little hesitant to post this post, I am happy to be healthy enough to even write it. Others are not so fortunate.There are good days and there are bad. But most importantly there are days, and I am very, very grateful for that!

If we can help one person who presents with the symptoms of a blood clot and/or pulmonary embolisms then opening myself up with this post is worth it and maybe we can save a life. Early detection and action is key.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs, but sometimes in your arm.  The signs and symptoms of a DVT include:

  • Swelling, usually in one leg (or arm)
  • Leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or Charley horse
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg (or arm) warm to touch

These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle or a “Charlie horse,” but may differ in that the leg (or arm) may be swollen, slightly discolored, and warm.

Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal.  The signs and symptoms of a PE include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus

Call an ambulance or 911 immediately for treatment in the ER if you experience these PE symptoms.

Up to 600,000 people in the United States develop blood clots every year.  About 100,000 people in the U.S. die each year from blood clots, which means that about 1 of 3 may die.

Contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have these symptoms, because you may need treatment right away.

The above resources are from

To my family and friends-there are no words.

Please know the signs. You could save a life-including your own!