I Thought I Just Had a Nasty Cold

In fact it was a killer lung clot: It’s the second biggest cause of sudden death, but it’s hard for doctors to spot. 

My first indication that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary Monday was when I coughed in to my handkerchief and saw, to my surprise, a big splodge of deep red blood.

‘Oh dear. That can’t be right,’ I thought. But still I wasn’t too worried. Four days earlier, I’d had surgery to repair a clavicle (shoulder blade) that I’d broken quite seriously in a riding accident. Add to that at least three broken ribs and it was no wonder I should be feeling rough.

Perhaps, I wondered, the blood might be some delayed result of my accident. Maybe the sensible thing would be to get back into bed and continue the nice long rest I’d been having since the operation.

But then it struck me that one of my friends on Twitter was a surgeon. So I told him about the blood; and about how I’d woken up that morning, tried to take the dog for a walk, but been unable to continue because I’d been short of breath.

As an afterthought, I added that two nights earlier I’d woken up drenched in sweat, as a result of what I thought was a fever induced by fighting off a cold. ‘It would be wise to see your GP or go to hospital,’ advised the surgeon.

Even then I wasn’t sure. That word ‘wise’ didn’t seem very strong. Also, I was wary of bothering my wife with my worries. I’ve always been a bit of a hypochondriac, prone to depression and anxiety, and forever thinking I’m dying of some incurable disease.

Read the rest in the Daily Mail.