We arrived on Saturday, and by 5:30 PM on Sunday, I was in the Sacred Heart Hospital Emerald Coast, a newly built, two-floor hospital. By 4:00 a.m. Monday, I had been transferred to a room and connected to a Heparin drip. It seems that I had several pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lung) — which explained why I was struggling to breathe.
I’ve been seeing doctors for months now, knowing something was wrong with me but unable to get a diagnosis. Among the symptoms, a lack of stamina. Walking a block would leave me winded. So I’d been served up to the cardiologists, who were running a wide gamut of tests on my heart and finding nothing but a healthy heart.
But Sunday, shortness of breath became “can’t breathe,” became an ambulance ride to the hospital — which, by the way, is just like on TV. I wound up at Sacred Heart Hospital Emerald Coast, which is a small but very nice and very well-run hospital.
Well, the “can’t breathe” symptom was the clue that allowed for me to be diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) behind the left knee and several blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolisms). Not sure why, but evidently the leg clot was throwing off smaller clots that were lodging in the lungs.
The bad news is that the treatment will last most of the vacation, oh, and it’s a condition that could have killed me. I’m told that the danger of sudden death passes about 24 hours after treatment begins, and so it’s been long enough that I likely will live to the end of the week, just in time to pack to go home.