March 28, 2018

All I thought I had was a pulled calf muscle…could have died…

By uclahealth

My primary doctor at UCLA is Dr. Ryan Aronin in the 100 bldg at the medical plaza.  He is young, thorough, effcient, and wise.  I have Atrial Fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat.  It puts me at risk for blood clotting, which could cause a stroke, heart attack, or death.  I also have low Testosterone levels, for which I self inject prescribed low doses of testosterone.  But that thickens my blood, and increases the risk of a blood clot.  Otherwise, at 69 years of age, I’m very fit and healthy, so (since I hate taking pharmaceuticals) I was only required to be on baby aspirins to thin my blood.

But the low doses of testosterone weren’t doing any good.  So at another doctors suggestion, I increased the once a week testosterone dosage.  Soon after that I developed pain in my calf.  I assumed the pain was a result of pulling a muscle in my calf at the gym.  When it didn’t get any better, I went to see Dr. Aronin.  He ordered some blood tests, one of which was a D-dimer.  It shows how likely your blood is to form a clot.  Anything over 500 on the scale is risky.

On a Sunday afternoon, I got a call from Dr. Aronin.  He told me to get to the emergency room immediately to have an ultra sound done on my femoral artery to see if there was a clot there. My D-dimer blood lab had come back extremely high at nearly 3300 (over 6 times higher than it should be).  Turns out, I did have a clot. Dr. Aronin got me in to see a hemotologist the next morning.  I was put on blood thinners immediately.

Obviously Dr. Ryan is concerned and conscientious enough to check his patients’ blood labs from home on a weekend!  He called me on a Sunday.  A SUNDAY!  Never heard of an “office hours” doctor doing that.  He certainly saved me from a stroke or heart attack, or worse, when all I thought I had was a pulled calf muscle...  Thank you Dr. Aronin!  More doctors like you please.

The following story has been written by a UCLA Health patient or his/her family member and has been published as submitted. In some cases, the patient’s name has been changed to protect patient privacy.

Tags: atrial fibrillation, blood clotting, blood thinners, Doctors Day, Dr. Ryan Aronin, emergency room, featured, femoral artery, heart attack, hemotologist, Internal Medicine, irregular heartbeat, low Testosterone levels, Primary Care, stroke, testosterone, ultrasound

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