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Forty year old male here. Seventeen months ago I had a big bilateral PE. Been experiencing some chest pains since then, which from reading posts here is not an uncommon experience. The latest bout of chest pains started after Christmas and have been constantly present since then, sometimes worse than others. My cardiologist assures me that because they are not related to exertion they are not heart related. I am on permanent anticoagulants (dabigatran/pradaxa).
Overall I know my health has been downhill, certainly in recent months. The thought of going for a decent walk (even just 4km) has me doubting my ability to manage it without needing a seat half way.
A week ago I noticed shortness of breath beginning. At first it wasn't much, and I tried some old asthma inhalers to see if they helped (no). No surprises as the shortness of breath did not feel like asthma. On Thursday I visited my GP and she did blood tests and renewed my asthma inhalers. Over the course of the week the shortness of breath when doing physically mild activities (like walking around the supermarket) grew to the extent that I feared I might faint a couple of times. On Saturday night I decided that I wasn't happy being at home in this state and drove myself to the emergency department of the local hospital.
The staff at the hospital were very attentive and I quickly had ECG, x-ray and MRI. While under rest in the ED my heart rate and blood pressure dropped considerably. (I note that, unlike my PE, my blood oxygen levels were never a concern.) I was moved to a medical ward overnight, and, because the tests did not show any clot or items of major concern (some evidence of small clots in my lung, but they may be a remnant of my PE and unlikely to be of interest apparently), I was quickly discharged and sent home.
The doctor thinks that the chest pain is possibly muscular pain in the chest wall following the PE and not of concern. No explanation is given for the shortness of breath.
So, here I am. Very glad to not have a clot, but with no answers for the relatively recent onset of shortness of breath. A walk to the letterbox makes me breathless. Walking to my kitchen to make a cup of coffee is enough. This experience of breathlessness feels very similar to my PE. It seems that the medical hope is that it will improve automatically.
Has anybody else experienced this in their post-PE journey? Any wisdom to bring?
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