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Steverpeeps's avatar

What does a blood clot in the arm feel like and is the only way you know here is one by swelling and redness and hot to the touch?

Asked by Steverpeeps (290 points ) July 25th, 2010 from iPhone

I’m concernered I have a clot in my arm. My arm is almost numb and tingling real bad from my shoulder blade through my shoulder hurting most under my upper arm and all he way Down to my hand and fingers with a hot sensations like a burning when you hit you re funny bone. I also had this feeling in my inner thigh. Anyone have exprience? It’s late at night so I can’t go to the dr til morning. I’m nervous about making it through the night.

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18 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Go to the ER if you’re really worried you’ll die before you get a chance to go to the doctor.

JLeslie's avatar

How long has the tingling been going on? If you are very frightened you might want to go to the ER as @papayalily suggested. Are you alone?

JLeslie's avatar

By the way, typically DVT start in the leg, not in the arm. But, I am not trying to diagnose you, it would be impossible over the internet, and I am not a doctor, I just thought you might want to know.

Steverpeeps's avatar

Yes I’m worried but I’m tying not to be all crazy. It really feels aweful. I was going to go to the ER but I took one of my Ativan cause I was getting my anxiety all roughed up so I really can’t go cause I can’t drive while on it. Just wanted to know the likely hood. I did not know they start in the leg most of the time. I don’t have any heart probs or anything. And Im almost 100 lbs so I’m not overweight. It’s been going on for like and hour an a half but my leg one started a few hours ago and has been coming and going but my arm hasn’t stopped yet.

Flavio's avatar

With blood clots you could get swelling, pain, and warmth to the area, but not necessarily. The only sure way to know if you have a clot or not is with an ultrasound.

Your symptoms sound more like they are neurological though. The numbness and tingling generally come with nerve problems. The fact that it extends from your shoulder through your hands suggest that the problem is closer to your spinal cord. This could be as small as a pinched nerve, or something more serious. The fact that you are also getting similar symptoms in your thigh is increases my level of concern. I am a doctor and I have tons more questions. The safest thing for you to do is call an ambulance and go to the ER to get this evaluated. At the very least you should have a doctor take a full history of your symptoms and get a complete neurological exam (strength, sensation, reflexes, etc). Depending how the full story gets flushed out, you may also need imaging of your back or shoulder.

Steverpeeps's avatar

I am wondering if it is nerves too. The biggest reason why is because the discomfort is very similar to when you hit your funny bone sooo hard it ll shoot burning pain down to your hand…. But I did not hit it at all. You started to make me feel better until you said ambulance? And I don’t have insurance so that might be a crazy lot. My husband is with me but our 2 year old is in bed so that makes a difficult situation. I do have a lot of other problems but no reasons for anything yet.

JLeslie's avatar

@Steverpeeps Maybe you could go to a 24 hour/urgent care health type place, where it is not very expensive? Have your husband drive you. Your two year old will probably sleep through it, if you think it is an emergency, having a sleeping two year old is no excuse not to tend to it. If urgent care feels it is an emergency they will send you to the ER. I am inclined to think it is not an emergency, since you have had it before without incident, and maybe you can wait to see a doctor tomorrow, although half an hour seems a long time. I have my arm fall asleep, and I can barely control it when I have it above my head when I sleep. I wake up with horrible numbness, and as it wakes up it is painful. But that sounds different then your situation. Again, I am not a doctor.

Flavio's avatar

I only said for you to take an ambulance because you wrote you can’t drive.
I agree with @JLeslie that your 2yo’s sleep is not your top priority if you are in pain and if you are scared. Same goes for the insurance. If you feel in your gut this cannot wait, don’t let it wait. period.
As a physician, I can tell you this could be a lot of different things, most not dangerous, some dangerous, but I know next to nothing about you, your history, and your symptoms. My advice is to seek medical care as soon as possible to make sure it’s not something dangerous. In all likelihood, it’s not.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, listen to the doc…..to ask this sort of question and then blow off the obvious answer is not very smart. Neither was taking a medication that impairs your driving ability if you think you are having a medical emergency or waking your child so his/her mommy can get some medical attention. Really…whats the point :-?

Steverpeeps's avatar

Because I don’t know if it’s an emergency….most of my problems they can never find a reason or cause for them and so I don’t want to waste my time. My whole point of using and asking questions on fluther is because I want people with experience and good advice. I don’t post because I’m an idiot and don’t know what to do. I post things because I want to hear from people with experience’s advice. And my 2 year old is not an excuse. She’s important especially because she doesn’t sleep well. My point is I’m not going to wake her up and go to the ER for them to say we don’t know go home. I know it’s better to be safe that sorry, but I’m not the type of person to cough and run to the dr. And I know I won’t know if they’ll say they don’t until I would get there, but that has happened to me every time. And there are a lot of things the ER can’t do which are the things/tests I usually need. They are actually quite pointless unless you have a broken bone or something. All they want to do if give you meds and not find out what’s wrong. I have a lot of problems and just want answers, not even really looking to be treated.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well a real Dr. here on the site gave you an answer so I’m curious as to why that doesn’t seem to be good enough for you.

Whatever opinions the rest of us have in this particular situation are not nearly as significant since we have neither medical experience nor training in that field.

I must admit to being a bit puzzled as to why the advice of someone with the type of experience and training is being rationalized away.

Are you just hoping someone will come along to reassure you that everything is hunky dory?

I really don’t get it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Steverpeeps I so so so understand. :)

Steverpeeps's avatar

Thanks JLeslie :)

Buttonstc:
Let me help you understand. I don’t get on fluther and ask questions to be told to go to the dr or ER. There would be no point of even ever asking anything. I ask to get info from people who have gone through these things or drs inputs as to the seriousness or just to simply throw some things out there that are possibilities. My med history wouldn’t be helpful because I don’t really have anything in it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Steverpeeps Seems you made it through the night :). Is your arm better? I do have one simple recommendation if docs are not diagnosing you, get your vitamin D and B12 checked if they have not checked it yet. I know someone who had significant seemingly neurological and muscular problems that got better with vitamin D. I had a severe deficiency, but have not seen such significant changes, although I have been better lately, without going into my whole history, but I have changed more than just Vitamin D, so I cannot be sure what is helping what. Many years ago I found out I was B12 deficient, and so did my sister, and we both feel it helped to get out B12 up. Do you go in the sun without sun protection, or take vitamin supplements?

Steverpeeps's avatar

Hey, yes I did make it. No it is not better at all! My dr can’t see me until next monday. Yes I have been checking into different vitamin deficients and I do believe I need them badly. i am not on any at the time. I was wanting to start prenatals beforew my husband and I try to have a baby and also because I need them and for “just in case”. I wouldn’t doubt I’m missing some stuff, well a lot of vitamins. My dr checked my potassium and calcium awhile ago, but I don’t know if anything else. Since we have central air I really don’t get in the sun much anymore unless we go to the beach once in a while. I am going to the er this evening because I can’t wait til monday. And I’ve been having all my nausea and dizziness for couple weeks and now I have some very interesting cramps and I’m not on my period or late. So, all I’m hoping for is a answer to something!

JLeslie's avatar

@Steverpeeps Did they check your thyroid? Some of that sounds like it could be thyroid. nausea dizziness, or pregnancy of course. Is your blood pressure high or low? Do you feel like your heart is pounding or racing sometimes? Do you have muscle pain, is that why he checked your potassium? Muscle pain is typical of thyroid.

Mega D is not a good idea if you are trying to get pregnant (I mean the big time prescription 50,000 IU) but D in a multi at minimum sounds like a good idea for you, I would say probably at least 1000 IU a day. I still recommend letting your doc run the blood test for it so you know where you stand. If it is very low it might make you feel better that there is possibly some explanation for the crap you are going through. Oh, and test the B12, don’t forget, and Iron. I have fewer muscle cramps if I keep my iron up and my thyroid in line.

Steverpeeps's avatar

No they didn’t check the thyroid. Yes I had palpitations which is why I got on them and the dr from the ER said it is a good I ldea to get off cause he said I shouldn’t be on them other then as needed. He said that could be causing my dizziness too. So I’m weaning off and going to my dr Monday to let her know.

JLeslie's avatar

@Steverpeeps I get very dizzy when my thyroid is too fast and heart palps (low TSH Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). If you have your lab tests thyroid would be:
TSH
T4 Free
T3
on the test result sheet, just in case they did the test and you don’t realize. I am dizzy when my TSH is below 2, which is unusual. I also get dizzy when it is above 20. Normal is considered something like .5–5.5, but endocrinologists would consider anything above 3.5 to be high.

Thyroid seems like a very obvious thing for them to check on. At minumum they would run the TSH. It is generally not an expensive test.

If you feel the front of your neck or look at it in the mirror do you have a lump in it? When you swallow you would see it move. Is your hair falling out more than usual? Dry skin? Dry eyes? Unable to sleep as long as you used to or more exhausted? (actually since you have a young child it migh tbe very hard for you to evaluate your sleep and exhaustion :))

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