An Example of Life Being Messy – My ER Visit Last Night

Yesterday I wrote a post titled Life Is Messy For Everyone building off of Nick Grossman’s great post Everyone is broken and life is hard.

I was in a nice rhythm after being back four days from my month long sabbatical. I felt completely relaxed, I had an awesome day long offsite with my partners, I was generally caught up with things and was loving being home. I’d scheduled a Monday trip to San Francisco to do something important with one of our portfolio companies and overall felt like I was ready to roll through the rest of the year, including committing to ramping up my running with a goal of doing another marathon in Q115.

The only thing that was bothering me was a sharp pain in my calf. I coincidentally had my annual physical yesterday afternoon. My doctor and I talked about it and she took a look at it. It wasn’t obvious what it was and she decided, after we went back and forth, to have me go to BCH (our local hospital – which is just awesome) and have an ultrasound.

I went over at 4:30pm. They finished at 6:00pm and put me on hold (e.g. wouldn’t let me leave until I talked to my doctor). That made me a little nervous. At 6:30pm I was at the ER in triage for a blood clot in my leg. I was supposed to have dinner with my friend Raj at 6:00pm – he left the restaurant and just came and hung out in the emergency room with me. Amy drove in. By 9:30pm, I had a full regiment of blood thinners, prescriptions, I’d learned to to give myself an injection since I have to do that for a week, and knew what all the risks were in the short term given the size and location of the clot.

I’m doing fine, but it’s yet another reminder that there are many uncontrollable things in life. I’ve got a good attitude about it, everyone in my office was amazingly supportive, Amy and Raj helped me stay mellow, and I learned something new yesterday (how to give myself an injection). Obviously I won’t be ramping up for a marathon (the cycle I’m going to be on is a three to six month one) and I’ve now got something new in the chain of health stuff that happened this year to process.

Even when things are amazing in your life, they are still messy.

  • Wow, I hope you are feeling better and get back on the trail Brad.

    • Thx. I’m a little weary of the health stuff and think it’s all linked together. Right now I’m just focusing on getting completely better.

      • take time to heal Brad. Sending you healing vibes from Iceland

  • Same as Bala, wishing you well!!

  • Adrian

    I’m glad you are doing ok – thanks for sharing. These things can recalibrate your compass a bit in a ways that are not immediately obvious. Usually in a good way.

  • Whoa so random. Yoga, man!

    • I will probably add a bunch of yoga in once I get better since I doubt I’ll be ramping up the running in Q1.

  • StevenHB

    Wow. Best wishes for a complete – and quick – recovery!

    • Thx man. Hope y’all are doing well.

  • John

    Scary news but good to hear you’re doing fine. Silver lining? Better yesterday than one month prior, for obvious logistical reasons. Thanks for sharing…

  • vimadan

    Long flights. Make sure to do exercises in your seat when taking long plane flights – even simple things like point your toes up and then point out, tensing your leg, arm, back, chest muscles in cycles (think isometrics) and walking up and down the aisles a few times every couple hours all helps (along with plenty of hydration). Glad you’re okay.

    • Yup, although I think it developed in Bora Bora before the flight. We’ve got some hypotheses about why. I was ambiened on the overnight flight so I was mostly lying down the whole time since we were in business class and they had fully reclinable seats.

      • What a coincidence. There was literally just an article on BI about how to take sleeping pills to knock yourself out on long flights and a nurse advised against it, saying that it increased the risk of DVT. Synchronicity.

  • Was that like a DVT? Wow…God speed for a full recovery.
    Would an operation help?

    • Yup. DVT. None of the docs think an operation is necessary.

  • Get well soon 🙂

  • tchazzard

    Heal up. Glad that bad boy did not let go and travel to your heart or brain. Scary stuff.

  • Sheila Lamont

    Health stuff is always challenging and so stressful!

  • Sigh…the vicissitudes of being a mere mortal. Any indication of what caused the clot?

  • Welcome to the club of those who know how to give themselves shots. Good luck with that. It’s messy business the first few times.

  • Glad to hear you’re doing well. Stay healthy! *High five*

  • Krista Marks

    Man. That is scary. I’m so glad you’re okay.

  • I’m so glad you’re okay. So great that you had that physical on the calendar. A reminder for me to do the same. Big hugs.

  • Glad you are ok – ugh! But thank you for the humble reminder that we are all only human – even super Brad who amazes us often!

    Also great lesson on proactive medical care – that possibly would have gotten worse if undetected or unaddressed..

  • So glad you caught this early, Brad. Get well soon!

  • Mark Boslet

    Hope you recover quickly. Good luck.

  • MorganHoward

    Blood clots are scary – good thing you caught it. It is a reminder about how any minute life can go sideways. I hope you’re back to full speed real soon.

  • Yikes — best luck for a speedy recovery!

  • Geetha Chathoth

    get well soon

  • Uff Da. The Norway version of “Oy”.

  • Harsha G

    Glad you are ok. Get well soon!

  • Blake

    Wow, really glad you caught it early, Brad. A couple years ago, a friend of a friend died from this after a long flight.

    Ever since I heard about that, the compression socks that I normally use for recovery after long cycling rides are a permanent addition to my carry-on bag.

  • That sucks…what about hiking on those beautiful Colorado trails… Take care – wishing you a speedy recovery!

  • JLM

    I learned to give shots in the Army. They taught us to give them to oranges. Oranges are like real skin.

    I was an officer in a unit that had to have a cross trained medic so I learned to give shots and to sew people up. Luckily the medic never went down.

    If anyone stumbles on a sick orange, I’m your huckleberry.

    Good trick — pinch the Hell out of the shot location. As hard as you can and it won’t hurt. Nowadays the needles are so damn sharp, it really goes in and out fast.

    See, Bora Bora can be a dangerous place.

    You’re going to be fine. [I never did get any training on bed side manner.]

    Be well.


  • Caryn

    Hey, Brad. Sorry to hear about this. Coincidentally, I finished my three month stint with this same issue on 12/12 – just as yours was starting. I found it to be incredibly anxiety-inducing in the early days, especially coupled with exercise restrictions (a huge challenge for us in CO, for sure), and a serious lack of folks who’d experienced it to discuss this with. I’m sure you’re covered there, but if you need to bounce your experiences off someone, let me know. Take good care.

  • MassifMo

    founder>gets important ‘leg up’ (no pun intended) from famous awesome beloved tech leader>goes to SFO to start the dance>runs hills after landing>pops knee>r.i.c.e>gets cramp/cramp gets bad>goes to hospital (no insurance but got great servers)>ultra sound> not allowed to leave>missed meetings>dvt? whats a dvt?>answer=not good feeling>cancelled the rest of trip>injections (frack! how I hated those!)>one of 2 percent whose therapeutic drug failed>lovonox for 12 days X 2 times per>new meds>roll forward what seems like forever> “doc when can I run again?”>”doc when can I work/fly again?”>feeling alone/ashamed/>getting that ‘omg I am mortal feeling’>worried about company/worried about loss if invincibility>wife brings balance to situation (thank god for our better halves!)>reminded of blessings>recovering>back to normal-spinning instead of running=safety

    thank god you’re ok brad>recovery sucks-but better than alternative…think spin bike 🙂 best online resource for