A few years back when life was very much in the balance for me I had a bit of a set back while I was recovering in ITU. I've been a motor mechanic for 30 years and like to think I know a little about diagnoseing faults so when I woke one night with a stabbing pain in the hamstring area of my right thigh and found my leg was icy cold below the pain I shouted for a nurse. First we checked that there was nothing in the bed that I had been lying on and there was nothing so I then suggested due to the obvious lack of ciculation of blood to my lower leg could it be a deep vein thrombosis. The nurse just seemed to dismiss this and told me to get back to sleep.
Well after moving my leg around a bit and self massageing, the circulation returned to my leg and the pain went away. I fell asleep but woke the next morning to find my right leg had swollen to the size where it would have looked more suitable on an elephant. Of course my timeing was not good as this was the Saturday of a Bank Holiday so consultants were non existant and the doctors available were only junior's. I stated that surely it was a DVT but once again nobody seemed to want to take action and I was assurred that my diagnosis was incorrect. At this point I doubted myself and thought thier the experts so it must be caused by something else, but what?. My whole family were very worried and also questioned the doctors that were around about whether or not it could be a DVT, they to came across the same stubborn response that there was no way it was. It was nothing short of amazing how many doctors and nurses came to chat with me and tell me I was wrong but not one of them could give me a reason why my leg was extremely swollen which was very worrying.
Well nothing changed untill the bank holiday ended and staffing levels returned to normal. At last I may get some answers as thoughts of losing my leg was starting to creep in and also knowing that a clot can be fatal if it breaks away and gets to your heart. A cardiac specialist turned up early with a mobile ultrasound device and went all over my hip area and guess what he found, a massive DVT. Things started to happen now but not for the best, I was already on warfarin for a DVT which came in the other leg while I was under sedation for a month so there was little treatment left to give but I was starting to black out due to bits of the clot breaking away and getting to my heart and lungs.
Next thing I was being raced up to an operating room in what seemed like a formula 1 bed where under local anaesthetic an intravenous filter was inserted down through my neck artery into my lower chest area to catch the bits that were heading to my heart and lungs. I was returned to ITU where I noticed an almost Immediate improvement in my breathing and general well being. This was a major turning point as even though it took me months to get back on my legs and home the improvement slowly came. The swelling in my leg took months to go away and even now still give's me a few problems but I will alway's remember the frustration of not being listened too when all the symptoms were so obvious even to a mere mechanical technician that it was a DVT!!!!!