Hi 3Stooge and Lillybee,
It is interesting to me that others have this too. Are you both women? I get the nasty blue bruises too. In fact, I get those on other parts of my body sometimes. I never remember hurting myself.
To answer, I never fully resolved this. I used an estrogen patch for a year with no problem and then my ob gyn said I could not do that and must start taking progesterone in pill form to "oppose" the estrogen. A few weeks after I started the progesterone is when I got the first blood clots, a whole lot of them over several weeks. They were large and really painful. I got several at once one day right after pumping gas and drove straight to the clinic--I was driving by and it was just so weird. The urgent care MD who saw me saw how big they were and said to stop taking the hormones (blaming the estrogen, though that's not consistent with what happened), to take low dose aspirin and see a rheumatologist. The urgent care doctor took it very seriously. He also told me to cancel a rock climbing class I had signed up for.
But I couldn't get an appointment with the rheumatologist for at least 6 weeks. By then the clots had subsided, do to time, the aspirin, and maybe getting off the progesterone. He couldn't see anything and basically didn't believe the urgent care doctor's report--or that's how it seemed. The rhumatologist said my "arthritis factor" was up but that I did not have arthritis and told me to see a dermatologist, which I thought was dumb, because the problem was not in my skin but under it. I didn't go.
Later, the clots would come back periodically, one here or there. Over a few months, it happened less and less. Now it mostly happens if I use my hands for rough work, like shoveling or raking, too bad because I like to work. But it can also happen if I'm just pumping gas or doing really ordinary things. Nothing happens when I do these things and then one day I'll get 2 to 4 clots all at once and they hurt a LOT. After a day or two they soften and turn into gigantic blue bruises and gradually go away, leaving tender blue lumps.
When my hands are cold and pale, I can see the specific places where the veins enlarged on different occasions leaving blue bumps that definitely were not there before this all started.One enlarged vein that has swelled up repeatedly is in a joint and sort of hurts all the time if I push on it. As far as I can tell, this is like varicose veins of the fingers. I don't have this anywhere else on my body. I am lean, don't smoke,and am taking only one drug, which shouldn't cause this. I am not post menopausal yet. My 18 year old son had it once and hasn't complained again since. I was more worried about him having this.
But it's weird for sure and hurts, and having clots is dangerous if they get loose and get to the lungs or brain and block the circulation. My sister had a blood clot in her lungs after surgery and nearly died... I'm thinking taking low dose aspirin would be good, but I already bruise easily. It makes no sense...
Lillybee, you are so young. What prescription did they give you? It's true about the smoking and birth control pills being a bad combo for clots. Do you have the strength to quite smoking? I know it's hard to do, but not impossible at all, and the health benefits for the rest of your life would be huge.
Quitting dramatically reduces your risk of both lung cancer and heart disease, which together kill about 400,000 smokers each year. With the blood clot thing, it seems like a pressing issue for you. Smoking also increases the likelihood that you'll have respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia and miss more work than average and increases your risk of emphysema, which is a terrible disease. (I watched a friend die of it.) I don't mean to be morbid, but it would be so great if you could get off the cigarettes now while you are still young and healthy. And it might help with the blood clots in the fingers.
Good luck to both of you.