Crash landing…not really, but when you end up in the hospital two days after a wonderful trip, it is definitely a hard landing. The five hour flight from San Francisco to Orlando caught up with me, and a blood clot made a little trip of its own to my left lung. I recognized the symptoms early because I had pulmonary emboli (clots in the lungs) in 2002. When the stabbing pain in my left rib cage and a slight shortness of breath didn’t ease up after a few hours, I took myself to the doc and let them figure it out. I’ll be home in a few days with some blood thinning meds and won’t be taking any flights for a while.
Maybe I’ll don an identifying piece of jewelry–the blood-clot- and-knot necklace.
Okay, I’m kidding around. The necklace is a lot cuter than the medical pix I viewed for this blog. But seriously, if you don’t know about clots, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, check out this site:
I had pulmonary emoboli in my lungs in 2002. The condition is very common following airplane trips, car trips or long stints of bed rest. In fact, my hospital doc said that most people develop some level of clotting after a flight of more than three hours, but their body naturally breaks them down before they can cause any real damage or symptoms. He said that the fatigue we think of as only jet lag is the combo of time/sleep differences and our bodies working on those tiny clots. So take the advice of the experts and move around on the plane as much as you can (even though it annoys the heck out of the flight attendants and your fellow passengers) and drink plenty of fluids during the trip. Wiggle your ankles, stretch you calf and maybe invest in some compression socks or stockings.
These babies are on the shopping list for my next trip.