Karl Arnold Belser
11 July 2017

I got a deep vein thrombosis (DVT)in my right leg whose blood clots caused severe bilateral pulmonary embolisms (PE). The cause was my long trips to South Africa and a 3000 mile trip to Durango in which I did not get enough circulation. This was a near death experience per the following statistics:

Estimates suggest that 60,000-100,000 Americans die each year of DVT/PE (also called venous thromboembolism). 10 to 30% of people will die within one month of diagnosis. Sudden death is the first symptom in about one-quarter (25%) of people who have a PE.

I was completely blind sided because the symptoms were a mild discomfort in my leg and shortness of breath. I just thought that I was getting old and that my body would heal itself. So I waited until acute leg pain flared up.

I was in the ER for two days and am now taking a blood thinner called PRADAXA.  I will probably have to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life.

I also had atrial flutter in December of last year (6 months ago). The cardiologist wanted me to be on blood thinners at that time but I refused because I had no second incident in the next month during which I wore a heart monitor.

I consider these incidents the threshold beyond which I need outside intervention in order to keep living.
Last updated July 11, 2017
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