Researching DVTs

There’s nothing like having either symptoms or a diagnosis to send me to the web to do some research. I know how to evaluate websites and usually start with to get a general overview, then move on to the Mayo Clinic, and from there, visit specialized sites until I understand whatever it is I’m searching. Sometimes a straight natural language search in Google will get me cool stuff, too. I particularly like charts and diagrams and not big medical words, at least until I get grounded.

Naturally I’ve been checking on DVT’s, since they just found one in my foot last week. I’m now on Xarelto and there’s a good chance I’ll be on it or something similar for the rest of my life. I had Lovenox injections in my stomach for 9 weeks after surgery but no one suggested anything after that, saying that I was walking enough that I should be fine. But my right foot and leg have been swollen since about 10 days after my surgery 11 months ago today, getting worse in the last 4-5 weeks. I have no idea how long the clot has been there but suspect it’s been at least a few weeks if not months.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m in a Facebook group for spinal cord injury rehab and have gotten great ideas, answers, inspiration, and support from others in the same boat or with worse injuries than I have. I asked there about DVT’s and got responses from many people who have been diagnosed and/or have been on blood thinners since their injury/surgery. Being in a wheelchair, or even walking some but still being mostly sedentary, increases the chance of getting clots and of having them recur. Given that, I’m more than a little annoyed that no one thought to put me on blood thinners. I’ll be talking to my cardiologist about how this gets managed going forward and what symptoms to be watching out for, since my leg is already so swollen. Would really like to see that change.

Although I’m not currently in physical therapy, I talk to my PT via text and asked her what to do about resuming exercise. Originally my doctor prescribed ultrasound for my sprained ankle, but using that could move the clot which would be Bad. My PT didn’t want me walking or doing the NuStep either, until at least 48 hours passed on the new blood thinner, so my weekend was quite boring except for watching “Steel Magnolias” on Sunday evening.

Yesterday I used the walker to go around the apartment as a place to start with walking, and only felt a slight twinge of ankle pain which is good. Unlike most people recovering from a sprained ankle, I’m already walking around in compression socks and a rigid brace that wraps the ankle, leg, and foot and offers protection. I felt stable but could tell that it had been two weeks since I walked last. Today’s plan is to do the NuStep for 20 minutes, which will feel good to get back to doing, and tomorrow I’ll put the AFO’s on again and start walking in the hall – not as much as the last time, but still. I’ll start small and build back up.