Out but not quite about

I’m back home now. I feel fine, except for the fact that I’m quite the bleeder. Just before I was discharged, a nurse removed a … whatever they call it… one of those things they keep in a vein, so they can swap bottles of fluids that drip into you. And put a cushion of absorbent material over the wound, held down with a tight bandage. As I was wrapping up the power cord for my laptop, I noticed that blood was dripping on the floor. It was mine, coming from the puncture on the back of my hand. We stopped it with fresh dressing, but it was interesting to watch spilled blood that dried faster than it clotted. That was wierd.

Anyway, other than that, I’m cool. Or so I’m telling myself, anyway. Very eager to press on with work.

Meanwhile, I’m going to get some good rest tonight, take it easy for the next few days, and count my blessings. That the clot went to my lungs rather than my heart or my head means I won at a kind of scary roulette.

Thanks to everybody who has written, called, texted and posted their best wishes. All of it helped, tremendously.

26 comments

  1. Zadi’s avatar

    So glad to hear that you’re okay. What a scare. Take it easy and get some rest. Sending good vibes your way!

  2. Mark Finnern’s avatar

    Hi Doc,

    Great to hear that you are out of the hospital and in good spirit. Please take it slow. Munich will understand.

    Thanks, Mark.

  3. Jay Deragon’s avatar

    Doc:

    Whew…..just found out you were down….so sorry….I’ve been sending emails into cyberspace wondering if you were OK and now I understand.

    The body sends signs and sometimes there is deeper meaning, believe me after two heart attacks and stroke I am listening to mine closely…..glad to hear your OK for now and please do get some rest…..

  4. Howard Greenstein’s avatar

    Get better soon! Thinking of you and hoping to catch up soon.

  5. Rob Knight’s avatar

    Just saw your tweets about the hospital stay. Good to find out your doing ok. Even if it took awhile, you did listen to your body and got help in time. I’ve only just become aware of your work through your visits with Leo Laporte on TWiT. I’m glad to know you’re doing well and there’ll be more to hear from you in the future.

    Best wishes and take care.

  6. Paula Thornton’s avatar

    Positive energy coming your way. I’ve just started and am in love with Power Healing, Leo Galland.

  7. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Two heart attacks and a stroke?!? Wow. You’re a cat, man.

    Glad to hear you’re fine.

    Thanks, and let’s talk soon. Lots to do. :-)

  8. Dave Politis’s avatar

    Doc:

    Glad to hear you’re doing better. Best wishes for continued health and happiness.

    Dave Politis

  9. Carlos Leyva’s avatar

    Doc,

    Glad to see you back. We need you around for at least another 40 years or so, to help us with our sanity. Nice that the good Dr. W was nearby.

  10. Keith Hopper’s avatar

    Good to hear you’re out, man.

    The extra blood was likely the thinners, not you.

  11. Richard Bennett’s avatar

    It seems to me that massive quantities of alcohol should thin the blood, but I ain’t no doctor.

    Get well soon.

  12. Harl Delos’s avatar

    You’re luckier than you think. If left untreated, about 30 percent of patients with pulmonary embolism will die.

    And if treated? Well, it’s the third most common cause of death in hospitalized patients.

    Three days ago, you posted pictures from an airplane. Pulmonary embolism often occurs in people who’ve recently flown. I’m no doctor, nor do I play one online, but the cause is fairly easy to guess – you developed a deep vein thrombosis from sitting in the plane, and the clot traveled from there to your lungs.

    In 1980, my wife was sitting on a footstool, opening Christmas presents, when she suddenly found herself sitting on the floor. She said it felt like someone had kicked her in the lower back. As you say, it doesn’t necessarily hurt where the clot ends up.

    It took weeks to diagnose the cause in her case. She had systemic lupus erythematosis, and ended up dying a decade and a half later from the massive doses of steroids that kept the SLE from killing her earlier. It turns out that people with lupus are also prone to pulmonary embolism.

    You probably got some pretty heavy doses of heparin, so you’re lucky in yet another way. If this had happened a few months ago, you might have been given some of that contaminated bad heparin from China.

    You might want to take it easy for the next few *weeks*, Doc, rather than just a couple of days. No point in rushing to an appointment in Samarra.

  13. Russell Nelson’s avatar

    Good to hear that you caught it, and bad that it happened. Take good care of yourself, Doc — nobody has a greater incentive than you!

  14. Halley Suitt’s avatar

    Doc, so glad you’re better and when I picked you up at the hospital and seemed overly worried about you, now, as I read these comments, I see I wasn’t wrong to be concerned and see how serious this type of illness can be.

    Can I second what Harl Delos says above:

    You might want to take it easy for the next few *weeks*, Doc, rather than just a couple of days.

    Please let me and all your friends help out now. Yield man. Come on, you can do it.

  15. mary hodder’s avatar

    Doc,

    So glad to hear you are doing better. As Halley and Harl say, take it easy for weeks.

    I’d really like to see you exercise every day, because basketball once in a while doesn’t cut it. If you need an “exercise buddy” we can make that on twitter so you can share the burden with all of us. But pls once you are rested walk or bike every day, or whatever you choose. But I’m happy to encourage you.

    You are a great friend, and I want to help however i can.

    mary

  16. Howard Greenstein’s avatar

    twitter exercise buddies – I love it. And what they all said – take a week or two to relax. Seems only prudent while new med doses etc take effect.

  17. Matt Griffes’s avatar

    I am a huge fan. You are an inspiration to many people.

    I second the points made by Harl regarding the link between PE’s and airline flights – Henry’s Law in relation to Decompression Sickness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry%27s_Law; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decompression_sickness.

    Might be worth reconsidering any future travel plans that require an airplane.

    Get well!

  18. vanderwal’s avatar

    Wow, very fortunate. I am wishing you well on your recovery and take it easy. If you need anything…

  19. Trump’s avatar

    Have a beer, bro, love from downtown Bangkok……

  20. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Trump, are you Charles Lee, perhaps? If not, he can be my beer proxy for you there. Great guy, and an ideal ex-pat docent.

  21. John Stanforth’s avatar

    Best wishes, Doc. Glad to hear you’re on the mend. I still owe you a cup of coffee (or something healthier maybe) when you’re back in Santa Barbara. Or maybe we’ll go for a short walk instead of sitting somewhere. :-) Take care.

    PS: Maybe a photowalk? I got the Canon 5D last year, as you recommended to me at the last Bloggercon. Excellent advice, thanks!

  22. Michael O'Connor Clarke’s avatar

    Crikey, Doc – I had no idea. Been flat out the last three days, and way behind on my reed feading (for a change).

    Please – do what Halley and others are saying here: take it easy, for at least a couple of weeks. You’re way too valuable to us all, Doc.

    Never mind Ray K popping pills to stretch out his time ’till the singularity cometh – I just want to see you hang around long enough for everyone to have read, understood, digested, believed in, and acted upon worldofends.com. That’s a singularity I can get behind.

  23. Kevin OKeefe’s avatar

    Take care Doc, we cannot afford to lose you. Relax and enjoy what may be warm weather headed your way from a 70 degree day in Seattle.

  24. Dave Burstein’s avatar

    Doc

    There’s a scare in a note above about PE, but the facts are fortunately much more encouraging.

    After you make it two or three days and are on blood thinners, you usually do just fine and the risks immediately go lower. Without more details I’m guessing, but based on what I found in the literature the odds are better than 90% you’ve live until something else catches up with you.

    A few things to remember.

    They’ll probably keep you on blood thinners for six months to prevent another clot, and you’ll have to monitor that closely with blood tests. Coumadin or whatever you take has a very thin margin between the dose that protects you and the dose that raises your risk of other problems, so they have to check often.

    The one thing some doctors should recommend but sometimes don’t is to wear medical grade “compression socks.” To my amazement, the medical studies on this show a significant decrease in future PE from the simple, non toxic intervention. “Support hose” are similar, but the medical ones go up to the knee and are made more carefully. They actually are quite comfortable and feel good, although you have to learn to put them on.

    Down the line, you’ll have to make some decisions about blood thinners and/or aspirin for further prevention. Avoiding airplanes for a while is probably a good idea, as is walking around and stretching when you do go back to flying. There’ll be especially careful in any future surgery you have, sometimes installing a removable shunt during certain procedures. Do tell your dentist when you’re on blood thinners. It’s probably not dangerous, but you will bleed more.

    The key takeaway I want to leave you with is that a clot with an obvious cause (your flight) has a much better prognosis than one that arises without evident cause. If the clot forms after flying, beneath the cast of a broken leg, etc. that means recurrence risk is much lower.

    Best of luck, and give me a call if you want some reassurance from a friend who’s done very well despite.

    Dave Burstein

  25. Bill Kinnon’s avatar

    Doc,
    I’ve been off-line for the better part of three weeks and you’re freaking me out.

    Know that I’m praying for you.

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