2015 ended up with discomfort in the left leg calf for Pere. Pere, a 45 year old man very used to the mountain and physical work, had already suffered from pain in the knee before, “although never before was so intense”, he remembers.
Days passed by and by mid-January he experienced “pain in the chest and chocking sensation. A very intense affliction” with apparently unknown reason. “Two days before he had been loading furniture, so I thought it was just muscle pain”. It was late at night in his neighborhood with bad telephone coverage, and he decided to go to bed without calling Emergencies or any friend.
“On the next morning I felt less pain. I talked to a couple of friends and, according to the symptoms, both ruled out that it was something related to my heart. Maybe some damage in the pleura”, they ventured to say. As time went by, discomfort disappeared. However, he started to feel small ailments in the leg and chocking sensation, which Pere attributed to tobacco, something which Pere had learned to live with.
Coexistence broke up at the end of February. “Pain was getting more intense until I realized that if I kept my leg up it improved, but every time I put it down, pain came back. That is when I started thinking that maybe the pain was not some traumatic, but it may be related to uric acid (I have it high since many years ago)”.
As time went by, discomfort disappeared. However, he started to feel small ailments in the leg and chocking sensation
He spoke once again with a friend “who has medical knowledge and he told me about the possibility of a vascular origin of my discomfort”. It was then when Pere decided to visit his family doctor: “with just a couple of questions he immediately referred me to hospital, just to “rule-out””. And he spent one week at hospital.
“You have been very lucky”, doctors told Pere. Thrombosis that had just started on his leg by the end of the year derived to a pulmonary embolism, the reason of his chocking sensation and chest oppression. “I had never heard about venous thromboembolic disease before”, he sustains.
“Pain in the leg started to disappear on the fourth or fifth day of being at hospital, thanks to heparin injections”. A treatment that Pere should keep for nine months and that he copes with alternating the abdomen area, where he has his daily injections.
When at hospital I was told that a month before I had suffered from a pulmonary embolism I felt very vulnerable. A weakness feeling that made me think about death
“When at hospital I was told that a month before I had suffered from a pulmonary embolism I felt very vulnerable. A weakness feeling that made me think about death, but that went away on the next morning and which I did not pay much attention to” I took notice of the magnitude of what had happened a month after the incident. I think that if I had known about it, I would have worried right away, especially due to the relatively geographical isolated area where I live”.
Since his admission at hospital, death has turned into something more present for Pere. However, with no further consequences than the awareness of human vulnerability. Pere has quit smoking and he continues with his daily life.
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