What does the future look like for those surviving a DVT? Statistics say that half of the people recovering from a DVT will do so completely. The other 50% will develop PTS. Post-thrombotic syndrome is a condition that can occur as a long-term complication of a DVT, it can cause chronic pain, swelling and discomfort. I have personally fallen into the latter 50% of people. This condition can permanently affect your life, physically and mentally. If you have post-thrombotic syndrome you may be left with several symptoms, or just one, it is different for everyone.
Post-Thrombotic Syndrome: (PTS, also postphlebitic syndrome or venous stress disorder)
- Unspecific discomfort of extremity
- Discolored Skin
- Heaviness, tiredness, cramping of the extremity
- Bluish toes, fingers, foot, hand, etc.
- Dryness of the Skin
- Hardening spots of the skin
- Skin Ulcers
- Formation of Varicose Veins
- Swelling of the extremities (Edema)
- Chronic Pain
- Impairment of regular activities
- Self-Esteem Impairment & Other Social or Psychological Impairments
Post-Thrombotic Syndrome, has affected myself in many ways, when I think about it, I can say it has touched my family members lives as well. Personally, I experience symptoms of leg swelling, heaviness, tiredness, cramping, and dryness of the skin. Sometimes I experience pain and cramping in my pelvis and legs. Living life after a DVT has left me with some anxiety, it has impaired my ability to sit for a period of time, or stand for a period of time, both will cause my legs to swell and become uncomfortable. It very much has played a part in my self-esteem. My left leg swells much more then my right, so they now appear different in sizes, my skin feels tight always and appears stretched. Each of my legs have varicose veins, each has discoloration looking as if they are bruised in some areas.
After a clot you will likely be prescribed an anticoagulant or blood thinner medication. The medication can help keep your body from developing another clot, it can also help stop an existing clot from growing larger. Blood thinners do not dissolve your clot, but they will help to give your body the time it needs to heal and dissolve clots. The first time around I was taking Warfarin along with Lovenox the second time around I was prescribed Eliquis, now I am back to taking the Warfarin. Your doctor should advise you on the different medications and help you choose what is best for you and your lifestyle. In another post we can discuss medications the pros and cons, and I can share with you my experience between the medications that I have taken.
The duration for taking medication will be different for everyone. I have personally been moved to the life long list, I do not wish this for you. A doctor will review with you the length of time you must take the medication. Many factors will play a role into the length of time, such as the location of the clot, your risk factors for developing another clot, and your risks for staying on the anticoagulant. If you are a first timer, your risks will be much less, if you however have factors that play a role in you developing further clots, you will be on an extended treatment plan. The more factors that contribute to clotting the greater the risk, and the higher chance you will be on extended treatment. A few contributing factors include age, being overweight or obese, if you smoke, were pregnant, on hormone replacement therapy, cancer, an inflammatory disease, family history of clots, if you have had surgery, and if you are on bed rest.
If you are off of your meds now, that is awesome, there are things you can do to keep the ball rolling in the right direction! If you are still on medications like myself, you must continue to pay attention to the same things that those who are off the meds are, and more because your chances of bleeding excessively are now greater. So let’s now list some treatments, and always follow your doctors orders!
(BECAUSE WE CHOOSE PROGRESS)
- Get your butt moving after a surgery, you must get blood flowing!
- Do not sit for more then a few hours ( I would say even less then hours with an s)
- If you are stuck sitting in a car or plane and can not get up, move your toes, flex your legs, rotate your ankles … If you can get up and walk do so! ( Have you ever seen the movie Finding Nemo, and that little fish Dori, well she sings a song … Keep swimming, keep swimming … well keep moving, keep moving… and now its stuck in my head)
- Let people aware of your situation. Not only can this help save your life if you were in an accident, but on another note you can bring awareness to others, now that can save a life!)
- Drink Water
- Keep a Healthy Weight
- If you are at a healthy weight, maintain your weight
- Quit Smoking
- Strengthen the extremity muscles
- Pain Management
- Compression Pumps
- Vascular Interventional Radiology Procedure
- Compression Stockings
The future looks different for each of us, but we do not have to go at it alone! If you would like to share your story with me, you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you don’t mind me sharing bits of your story please include that into your email. If you want to share treatments that have worked for you, please comment below, sharing your story with others! I am always happy to connect and share with you!
I hope you have the best of weekends & I wish you well!
** I am BLESSED and EXCITED to be working on one of my very first compression designs! This compression stocking will be available for purchase in the next few weeks! I would love to hear your thoughts on this design!
Check out my sneak peek below!