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  1. In respect for Craig Percival I didn't want Ruley's thread to be derailed into medical discussions. As mentioned over there, I've had PE (Pulmonary Embolism) and thought it might be helpful to explain how it was diagnosed and how it was treated. To be honest I'm not that comfortable talking about it but I do think it warrants fuller discussion. After a long break I'd started running again - just short (5k or less) jogs. I was pulling up a bit wheezy but apart from that had no symptoms - I figured it was just lack of fitness. I saw the GP and he gave me a Ventolin puffer which didn't make any difference. He thought it was probably an allergy (it was Spring). I was sent to a lung/respiratory specialist who tested me for allergies and Asthma. My lung tests came back above average (122%) and he told me there was not the slightest trace of Asthma. My allergy test was positive for grass and mould (fairly common apparently). When we sat down to discuss the findings, the specialist was still a bit unsure.Even though I wasn't running much I was still playing touch footy once a week, riding a couple of hundred km a week and doing 3x 1.5k swims a week - all without major problems. He basically finished up saying he couldn't pin down anything and felt further testing was unecessary. Literally as I was walking out the door he called me back and said "I'm going to send you for a VQ scan. I'm 99% sure it's not necessary but I just want to be sure". He called the hospital where the scan was to be done and I went in the next day. I called work to say I might be 10 minutes late as the scan was for 8.15. Scan was uneventful, breathe some ionised (?) air to check the lungs then a radioactive (?) injection to check the veins. Doctor called me in and said "we've found something abnormal but don't worry, it can be treated". She called the specialist and the only things I recall her saying were "PE" and "ambulatory care". 5 minutes later I was lying on a bed in ambulatory care learning how to self inject Clexane. I had a couple of shots then went through the instructional talk about Warfarin. I didn't leave the hospital until that night. It turned out I had 3 'clusters' of clots - two in one lung and a single in the other. I asked if they could be mistaken and they showed me scans and could even describe exactly where they were on each lung. The next 5 days was dozens of needles and pills and daily visits to ambulatory care. I was put on Warfarin for 6 months will all the joy that this involves. After 6 months another VQ scan revealed I was completely clear. I then had another scan after 12 months. If you've had a PE you are at risk of another one but statistically 80% get it in the first 12 months after the first. If you are clear for 12 months you are 'fairly' safe. If you get another you'll be on Warfarin for life. After 12 months everything went back to normal. The only lasting legacy is blood thinning - if I'm doing long drives/flights (over 3-4 hours), going to be sedentary (a hospital stay) or any surgery I need thinners. It's a simple Clexane injection the day before, the day of and the day after. I was very, very lucky. My clots were considered serious but clearly not serious enough to kill me. I had no recollection of a recent leg injury (although I often get little bumps at touch football). I've had knee and back surgery - both red flags for DVT/PE - but they were years before and my clots were recent (no idea how they know that). Long distance sport was discussed and a particular mention of dehydration. Probably the most alarming thing was said to me by a mate who's a Doctor. I'd made the comment I was lucky it didn't get to my heart and he said "If it's in your lungs it's already been through your heart". As mentioned on the other thread, if you're not sure, get it checked - this IS life threatening. I had virtually no symptoms but the tiny symptom I had was enough for me to get it checked. I have no idea what would have happened if it hadn't been diagnosed but I imagine it would have gotten progressively worse until something finally gave out. I prefer not to think about it. Here's a few links which discuss DVT and PE with particular reference to (endurance) sport and athletes. Talking of pro athletes - this one is OK more general information - this one from Ironman itself this one has good info from a runner's site This a lot more geeky and another
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