welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Monday, March 7, 2011

pulmonary embolism serena

so serena williams may have just become the new spokesperson
for pulmonary embolism (pe) and deep vein thrombosis (dvt)

she was diagnosed and treated for a pulmonary embolism (pe)
it could easily have been fatal

when diagnosed it is usually easily treated with injectable
coagulation shots (ever had those after surgery or when in icu
then you will remember them because they are usually given in
the abdomen and they hurt like hell)

later then you are started on a long term blood thinner called
warfarin that requires regular blood tests to keep the blood thinned
just right
you have to take the meds for 6-12 months or some people
for a life time

why did she get this
she was partially slowed down by having foot surgery

pe and dvt can occur after surgery and immobilization

she had recently just traveled on a long trip and was probably
immobile for awhile

she may have been on birth control pills or patches which can
incresase your chances of getting pe and dvt (read the package
smoking and increased age with the pill or patch also increases
the chances of a pe or dvt

she could have a genetic predisposition to blood clots
she probably will be checked for this
some of these conditions require anticoagualation for life

why did some of my patients get pe or dvt over the years

40 year old man with severe dehydration from a stomach virus
and was bed ridden for several days
he developed calf pain and swelling
he was diagnosed with dvt and was treated for 6 months

38 year old smoker had an iud removed and was placed on the
patch she developed right upper abdomen and chest pain and
shortness of breath
she had a pe and began treatment for 6 months
this scared the %^$# out of her and she quit smoking

50 year old women who had a pe with her first pregnancy at
17 years old
she was treated with a filter in her vena cava to filter out the clots

years later she had a dvt and was treated for a while
she stopped the warfarin on her own
she again in her 40s developed another dvt
she was worked up for a blood clotting disorder which was positive
her dad probably died young with a pe
she needs to be on warfarin for the rest of her life

a young female just had a baby and was found dead in the
bathroom of her hospital room
she had had a pe

a patients grandmother flew from a another state to visit
after the return trip home she was found dead at home
she died of a pe probably from prolonged sitting in the plane
and airport

what are the symptoms
chest pain especially a pleuritic sharp chest pain worse with cough
or taking a deep breath
may feel like your are having a heart attack
shortness of breath
feeling of doom (not like the kind we have now because of the
economy and gas prices)
fast heart rate or weak heart rate
calf pain with or without swelling

seek attention immediately if you develop these symptoms

how to avoid them
dont smoke
get up and walk around on long flights
get out of your car and walk around on long trips
stay hydrated especially on long trips or if you are ill
if there is a strong family history of pe or dvt consider getting
evaluated for a clotting disorder

so serena you have your chance to educate people about this
preventable and treatable disease
you can probably save some lives if you will

just do it

the organicgreen doctor


  1. My mother was just in the hospital with pe. Hers was most likely from the tomoxafen (sp?) that she's taking. It's a scary thing, but I am so thankful that there is a treatment. So sad for Serena, but hopefully she will be a great spokesperson and educate the world.

  2. jg
    hope your mom is ok
    tamoxifen can cause this but its needed in breast cancer treatment
    several meds have the potential to cause pe and dvt
    most are hormonal related