Instead instead, we drove straight to the closest emergency hospital and my leg began to swell and bigger, pushing through the holes in my torn jeans that I was wearing. My toes went into bright red, then bright purple, and then gray, within the time it took to arrive.
There was soon oxygen in my nose, an IV placed in my arm, delivering heparin and a quiet conversation between my husband and doctor about LIFE STAR transporting me into a medical facility that had the facilities needed to take care of me. The decision was made that an ambulance would be more efficient.
I was unsure of what was wrong, however, judging by the size and appearance of the leg I realized that if I didn’t take immediate intervention, I could be lost.
“How many hours am I going to have?” I asked the doctor. Without hesitation, he replied, “Six hours.”
There’s not a single day without me being grateful for the Dr. Parth Shah, a specialist in vascular surgery at the Connecticut’s Hartford Hospital whose rotation happened to fall on a Saturday morning of July.
Could someone else have recognized my condition in the same way?
Shah claims that of the eight doctors who comprise his group, they would all have noticed the distinctive symptoms of May-Thurner syndrome. a congenital disorder that’s found in one out of five people According to Cleveland Clinic website, although many will never experience symptoms.
Other than specialized Vascular surgeons I’m not certain. After my recovery I had another appointment with my usual doctor and was required to search Google for the condition.
A vascular disorder, May-Thurner was defined by Cleveland Clinic as occurring primarily in the lower abdomen, and involving the iliac vein, which is responsible for bringing liquid blood from your right leg crossing the left iliac vein which carries blood to the heart via you left leg.
The defect is inherited, and most people with the crisscrossed arterial and vein are unaffected and are not affected.
In certain people typically women between 20 to 50years old, the blood vessel enlarges the vein, reducing blood flow. It’s like drinking from a straw after trying to drink from it.
In time the compression could result in blood clots within the leg. In the worst-case scenario such as mine the “straw” is completely shut off and, with no place to go, blood starts to back up and then pool.
“It begins to expand in the skin, and then to the tissue and and there’s the blood clot that is on the top,” Shah explains. “Once all the veins have blocked, it starts to back up into the tissue. That is when the vein’s blue discoloration changes hue.”
There’s not much time left according to Shah He says that patients will have up to eight hours in which they can seek medical attention prior to losing the limb or, even more serious, a portion of the clot ruptures and moves to the lungs, leading to embolism in the lungs.
As I was quick to act and was fortunate to be near an enormous hospital, and to have an experienced doctor who was aware of the situation, and I count myself among the fortunate.
“If you’re not in the area and this happens, the results differ,” Shah explains. “Unfortunately there are some patients who are not able to arrive on time.”
Not showing the symptoms
After a few months I sought advice from my primary doctor what he would’ve done if I came into his office with complaints of back and hip pain.
He confirmed what I had thought was a possibility. I’d have been taken to home on a prescribed for painkillers as well as instructions to rest.
How could I do better?
It’s not much, says Shah at least at first, considering that the May-Thurner is a common occurrence in healthy and young people can easily be confused with other conditions such as pulled muscles or easily-explained leg discomfort.
“It’ll begin as this, but then it’ll cause some swelling, and at first could be insignificant,” Shah explains.
“Any of us in that boat aren’t going to be able to handle it with seriousness initially , because it will feel like”Oh, this’s an unimportant ache, or something I’ve done wrong, so let me let it go”” the doctor says.
If I had been paying close to my surroundings, I may notice swelling or discoloration on the left side of my leg. Both of which are warning symptoms. And if I wasn’t too consumed by loss, I may be aware of the recent back discomfort I’d experienced often since starting testosterone replacement therapy around four months before.
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