My Crohn’s Flare and Hospital Stay Led to Blood Clots

My Crohn’s Flare and Hospital Stay Led to Blood Clots
In my recent column "Virus Leads to Crohn's Complications and Hospital Stay," I described my hospital stay earlier this year that lasted over seven weeks. I was admitted because of a lung infection, and this led to a Crohn’s flare and complications, which included a shutdown of my intestines. When I left the hospital on Feb. 3, I still had many symptoms involving my GI system, as well as my lungs. Once I was home from the hospital, I followed up with my gastroenterologist. We discussed my GI complications, as well as ongoing symptoms, including severe cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. He figured out that I was dealing with a prolonged Crohn's flare as a result of being so sick and having been off Remicade (infliximab) for five months. I needed to start back on Remicade as soon as possible. However, my body had other plans. In the following weeks, I felt my heart racing frequently and experienced shortness of breath while doing simple tasks. I saw a couple of my doctors, including my cardiologist. They told me that it wasn’t my heart or lungs causing issues, but it was likely deconditioning from being in the hospital. It was a plausible cause, but I had a gut feeling it was more than that. Emergency strikes! On March 10, I was standing outside talking to a neighbor. I was very short of breath, so I went inside and checked my pulse and oxygen levels. My oxygen level was OK at 93 percent. However, my heart rate was 176! I called my doctor who sent me to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital and had blood work done, including a D-dimer. This blood test detects protein fragments produced when a blood clot dissolves in the body. My level was very high. My doctor ordered an angiogram, and that showed I had multiple blood clots in both of my l
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