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When is it OK to return to work?
Started by ergomaniac
Posted: February 14, 2008 at 12:39
Hi everyone. I am totally new to this area and am struggling to get information. Brief history is that 2 weeks ago I was diagnosed with bilateral lower limb DVT and bilateral pulmonary edema. I was started on Fragmin injections with coumadin whilst I was in hospital but then when I went home it was just the coumadin. I am only 40 and have a hectic physical job and a 3 hour commute to and from work each day. I know it is all individual but I'm just trying to get a handle on how long most people tend to have to stay off work for. The doctors are still trying to stabilise my INR - last night it dropped to 1.6 so I had to go to the hospital to get a Fragmin shot and they doubled the coumadin dose to 6mg. Any help/advice for a newbie would be very gratefully received. Thanks :)
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #1 by dero/ www.lifeafterdvt.forumotion.com
Posted: February 14, 2008 at 13:48
Hmmm, ergomaniac...
If your job is physically demanding I (that is what I would do)would wait until you are stabilized between 2.0 and 3.0.
my $0.02.
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #2 by Sue G
Posted: February 14, 2008 at 14:15
I asked the self same question a while back (multiple PE's July 07) you've got to listen to your body, I had episode with PE 3 years previously and was back to normal fairly quickly - this time I was off work for 2 months probably took at least 3 before I felt better and still tire more easily. Main thing is to try and get INR right... think it's a penny for my thoughts in UK - so $0.04 so far.. Seriously be careful don't do too much too soon - keep your leg elevated when you can and try and rest as much as possible - it does get easier
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #3 by Diane
Posted: February 14, 2008 at 17:44

I stayed off work for 3 months and needed that time because I had other complications, such as not being able to drive due to a secondary situation the developed in my right leg (driving leg) while immobilized (long story).

Anyhow a lot has to do with your financial situation and how liberal the sick leave policy is at your place of employment. Can you afford to stay off work for another month or two?

The 3 hour commute sounds bad while taking Coumadin (what are the chances of an accident occurring during all that driving time, and would you bleed to death at the scene if your blood happened to be too thin).

I agree with Sue that stabilizing your INR is your first job right now. The second concern I'd have about that commute is keeping your leg immobilized for that long a period of time.

Some people get DVT's from travel alone (long car rides and air flights) so I would give that a lot of thought and maybe consider if a transfer closer to home or moving closer to work would be within the realm of possibility either now or in the future. I hope you don't sit at a desk once you get to work as that would be 11 hours of straight immobility in a 24 hour day....not good.

Good luck and stay in touch with us. What is your name?
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #4 by Karen aka ergomaniac
Posted: February 15, 2008 at 22:10
Thanks for the replies so far, they have started to give me an insight into the implications. Apologies but I made a mistake in my original post - I had bilateral lung pulmonary emboli not pulmonary edema as I stated (spell checker!).

I've been having some problems getting my INR above 2. The last three days it has been 1.6, 1.5 and 1.6 despite the Drs doubling my Warfarin and also giving clexane injections. Is this usual? How long does it take before the INR levels stabilise? At present I'm having daily blood test in the morning and then another trip to the Drs in the evening which is very tiring at present.

Last question - our standard TED stockings adequate? I've been told yes and no. Does anyone know what level of compression in mmHg the compression stockings should be if you have DVTs?

I really appreciate all your help. Many thanks.
Best wishes.
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #5 by Diane
Posted: February 15, 2008 at 23:40
I think you will get a lot more responses to your questions, but for now I'll share my thoughts on compression hose. My vascular surgeon wrote my first prescription for #20-30 and said knee highs were okay. Your physician may disagree and want stronger for you. I still wear mine 3+ years after my DVT, having accumulated about 10 pair all by prescription. The hold up really well (for years) so in a way you pay no more for these "expensive" socks than you would for regular hose.

Remember this forum is just a sharing of experiences and none of us have enough medical training (if any) to provide you with expert opinions. That said, we can learn a lot from one another. Where do you live and would you like to be added to the name & condition list I started?
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #6 by dero / www.lifeafterdvt.forumotion.com
Posted: February 16, 2008 at 02:29
Hi Karen,
Sorry you have to be here,as for how long it takes for INR levels to stabilize, it varies from person to person due to your:
a- diet
b- metobilisn
c- your blood
d- ...
it took me about three weeks after I got off of fragim, but then I have been going up and down, two times in two weeks below 2.0. (1.9 & 1.6).
I have heard that some people have problems getting over 2.0
and are given vitamine K supplements (of all things). BUt this is done while under the watchfull eye of a doctor.
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #7 by Sharon
Posted: February 16, 2008 at 06:51
Hey Karen--

Ask to be checked for clotting disorders. This kept me from getting over 2.0 for much longer than most and my INR drops very quickly.

My surgeon made my hose 30-40 psi. It is well known on these posts that I hate them.

I must ditto what has been said about recommending that you give up the 3 hr drive. You'll get another clot for sure. I hope that is the cause of your clot, bcs it is something that can be changed, and that you have no clotting disorders.
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #8 by Janine
Posted: February 20, 2008 at 23:28
I would also say GIVE up the drive. I could NO WAY make a 3 hour drive to work, after an hour I have to stop and walk aroundt the car. Long trips are out for me. Myself I wear 30-40m full pantyhose all the time. The knee hi was not eneough since my DVT was almost my whole leg. The pantyhose is not pretty and they are warm in the summer, but I know I would not walk around for very long without them. Myself I could not return to a full time job, so Iam now on disability social security because of it. I miss working a whole lot, but I know I could not make a whole day. I was 39 when I got my 1st clot and it was like slamming on the breaks, when I was used to going and going. Wear you stockings and keep your feet up when possible and I wish you the bestof luck in the future.
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #9 by ergomaniac
Posted: February 21, 2008 at 21:39
Thanks for the advice. Sorry to hear that you aren't able to return to work at present Janine. I am definitely off work for at least 3 months and my doctor said that even then I may not be up to it and if I am I would need to get back into things very slowly. At least now that I know that I will still get paid there isn't the financial stress as well as the physical recovery. This week I have been totally exhausted, far more so than when I was in hospital, so I am actually really glad that I have a reasonable period of time to recover in now.
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #10 by Sue
Posted: February 22, 2008 at 10:05
the doctor is giving you good advice - give yourself time. I know people say that finance shouldn't matter but it does and the relief and certainty of being paid whilst you recover is good news. You will be exhausted - but every day you'll get a little stronger (expect the odd setback there will be days weeks from now when you think you're never going to be fully recovered). The lighter nights and better weather will be with us soon - you'll be able to take advantage of it as you build up your stamina. Always rest your leg for as long as you've walked and listen to waht your body tells you. I found 3 x 20 minutes walking was much easier than aiming for an hour. Talk to people - use this forum and get well soon
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #11 by ergomaniac
Posted: February 22, 2008 at 11:32
Thanks for the reassurance Sue. I've given up trying to fit against slowing down now. The thing that did it this week is that I've managed to pick up a cold from my numerous visits to the GP. So on top of everything else I am not feeling pretty rotten with that. I just hope it doesn't spread to the chest. When you are so active and busy as I am it is a real shock not only physically to the system but also psychologically and it has taken me the last couple of weeks to adjust to things and I don't think I'm there yet either.

Is this the only forum for chatting to people about these DVT and PE problems?

Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #12 by Sharon
Posted: February 23, 2008 at 05:31
Dero started another formum that is full of information. Here is the link.


You have to register and then you can post questions and answers as well as look at all the info. He has a private chat and email area also.
Re: When is it OK to return to work?
Reply #13 by Ricky OutOf Time
Posted: December 8, 2013 at 14:32
Hi guys!!! Im Rick and I was diagnosed with a DVT about two months ago.....Ive been on Cumadin and my levels have also fluxuated the whole time.....Ive had compression nets but wasn't prescribed any in the hospital.....it seems when I use them it makes my leg and foot look a lot worse when I take them off....I also am anxious to get back to work I recently had to turn down a very good oil field job in North Dakota....it really sux....does anyone know what my possibilities would be to get financial assistance from the Government.....I really hate to do this because ive always worked but with this Obama Care crap I don't have any Insurance. Not to mention if I would have taken the job and something happened I woulda lost the job anyway
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