Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mo's blood clot more scary than knee injury

I thought watching Mariano Rivera go down with that ACL injury was the scariest moment of the week. I was wrong. Hearing he has a blood clot is much, much worse.

Mo and I don’t have much in common, but sadly I’ve had a similar experience. About 4 ½ years ago, I went to my doctor with what I thought was a pulled muscle in my right leg, one that was preventing me from walking without severe pain. After examining my right calf, my doctor quickly determined that I had a blood clot and sent me to the hospital, where an MRI confirmed the frightening news. I spent the next five days in the hospital, scared and exhausted, before I was sent home with prescriptions for blood thinners, which I was forced to take for 7 ½ months.

The New York Yankees legendary closer will have to be on blood thinners until his clot dissolves and I sympathize with him because having to take that medication changes your whole way of life. I had to take a blood test once a week and constantly fill and refill prescriptions with the right level of blood thinners. Me being a Weight Watchers devotee, I had to adjust my diet to avoid large amounts of healthy foods such asparagus and broccoli because their Vitamin K levels can interfere with the way the medications work. I could not drink alcohol for more than seven months, including at an annual St. Patrick’s Day get together with my old colleagues where I sipped diet soda all night and was probably the only one in the bar with a non-alcoholic beverage.

But the worst part was constantly being afraid of a head injury, which could be fatal for people on blood thinners. I never left my doctor’s office without him reminding me that I should go straight to the hospital if I ever hit my head. I had a scary moment when I bumped my head after the bus I was on swerved unexpectedly. I was OK, but it was truly terrifying wondering how much time I had.

Recovering from his knee injury was going to be bad enough, but the blood clot will complicate Mo’s recovery even more. But I got through that awful situation and Mo will too. 

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