When I heard that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized on Sunday because of blood clots, painful memories surfaced. I know all too well how deeply dangerous this ordinary sounding medical condition can be.
My son was 12 when he complained of feeling pain in his back so I took him to the doctor. She sent him for X-rays and those suggested he might have scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine. But my motherly instincts told me that didn’t sound right. I told his pediatrician my concerns, so she sent us to see a specialist. Before we could make the appointment, his pain intensified and the most terrifying thing happened. In a few days my healthy, normally active child was paralyzed. He couldn’t control his muscles to walk.
My husband and I rushed him to the specialist, who immediately had him admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, (ICU). The nightmare had begun, and a battery of tests, MRI, SCAT scans ensued. I felt like I was drowning, struggling under water with no air but I had to be brave for my son. Then a diagnosis finally surfaced, “Your son has a blood clot on his upper spine,” the doctors said.
Blood clot on his spine? I went from terrified to baffled terror? How did he get a blood clot on his spine? The doctors said this condition usually results from some type of trauma, but I didn’t remember him falling. They asked us a barrage of questions—like maybe we were hiding something. To this day, we have never received an explanation for the blood clot entangling my child’s spine, which in turn paralyzed him. He didn’t have a history of clots or do they run in my family or my husband’s. Did someone hit him at school and he didn’t want to tell? Was he being bullied? There were so many questions and no answers.
Dr. Charles S. Kleinman, Cardiologist at the Presbyterian Children’s Hospital said that he had seen cases of blood clots forming with no specific explanation and that scared me. If we couldn’t find out why it formed, could it recur? On top of thar, my husband fell ill at that moment, so I had my son inthe ICU and my hubby in the emergency room. Suffice it to say my stresses "runneth over."
Thanks to neurologist Dr. John Miller and his team at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City who operated to remove the clot and prescribed physical therapy for rehabilitation, my son is healthy today and can walk again. It could have gone in the other tragic direction.
Doctors now say Clinton’s clot is in her head, between her skull and brain behind her right ear, caused by her fall of Dec. 15. Reports also say she has a history of clots, but doctors are confident in her full recovery.
But what exactly is a blood clot? ELEV 8 writes: “Blood flows through the body in a continuous loop. Blood is pumped through the body by the heart, but that same blood returns back to the heart both by gravity and by muscles in the arms and legs contracting and squeezing, or milking, the blood back to the heart. If blood becomes stagnant, it may clot and cause potential life-threatening conditions.
Blood clots can be found in different parts of the body; some areas more dangerous than others. Here are some warning signs of blood clots or Thrombosis as it’s medically termed:
For Deep Vein Thrombosis :
· Soreness in the leg or legs
For Pulmonary Thrombosis, look for:
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart problems, particularly when you adopt a deep breathing or cough less typical symptoms might include back pain, shoulder or top abdomen pain, lightheadedness, fainting, painful breathing in, a new start wheezing, as well as any new heart arrhythmia.
Sources linked to in report.