A Survivor Speaks: A Blood Clot and A Beautiful Baby Boy

March 7, 2013 initially started off like every other weekday morning. I was getting ready to go to work, but for some reason I was having a tough time walking. I had been really sore the last few weeks: back aches, side hurting, and uncomfortable sitting down. I thought it was because of being pregnant at my age of 37. So, I pushed through the pain and discomfort and went to work. As I sat at my desk trying to schedule something, I couldn’t get off the phone quick enough to stand up. I became so uncomfortable at that point that nothing was helping. I looked down at my legs while describing my pain to a coworker and realized my left leg was swollen twice the size of my right leg, was ice cold to the touch and was turning blue. I mentioned it to my coworkers and they sent me home.

Eventually, after running a few important errands, I went to my OB’s office to have them check me. As soon as I walked in the door, the head nurse sent me to the Emergency Room. She said if she didn’t know any better, she thought I had a blood clot and that I did not need to let it go unchecked any longer. I got into my car and called my mom on my way to the hospital to have her meet me there.

Once I got to the ER, they immediately took me back and started drawing blood. A vascular surgeon came in, and upon examining my leg, immediately ran out of the room and ordered an ultrasound of my leg. The ultrasound was very uncomfortable because of the tech having to push down on my leg, but it also became another scary situation: they couldn’t find a pulse in my foot or any blood flow to my foot.

The vascular surgeon came back into my room shortly after the ultrasound to let me know I was being admitted for a couple of days. He said I had a DVT, but that he was so happy that the coloring of my leg was improving some the longer it was elevated. He said if it had stayed blue they may have had to amputate my leg! At that point, I took a trip outside of my own thoughts, as I couldn’t bear to think of losing my leg and was really only concerned at that moment of what all of this meant for my unborn baby.

Come to find out, my DVT is from groin to knee and wraps around behind my knee. I’ve been on Lovenox injections since March 7, 2013. I was told on March 9th when I was released from the hospital that I should be able to go back to work and resume normal activities in a couple of days. I have not been able to return to work, as I’m not able to sit without being in a great deal of pain, so I ended up losing my job.

I still deal with pain daily and have trouble walking and functioning like I used to. I have had doctors give up on me by refusing to treat me anymore, thinking I can’t get any better. I’ve had doctors that have also told me I’m making up all the pain and trouble with moving, and that I should be a fully functioning person within a month of being diagnosed. I’ve also been told that DVTs do not cause pain.

Now, I’m in the process of working with a vascular surgeon that specializes in interventional radiology who believes I have May Thurner Syndrome as well as some other issues with the veins in my leg. It pays to keep pushing forward to find a doctor that really listens to YOU. I’m working daily towards getting better. The great part is that I have a healthy, happy, beautiful baby boy that will be turning 6 months old the day after my one year DVT anniversary.

*Editor’s Note:  Thank you, Debra, for sharing your story with BCRN! Connect with Debra in the comments below.

 

Comments

  1. Dear Debra,

    When I read your post this morning my eyes filled with tears and my heart ached for you.
    You poor poor darling, welcome to the world of DVT/PE survivors……..what a TERRIBLE ordeal you had. It would be terrible for ANYBODY but being pregnant as well, how cruel is that!!!

    And to be told that they would have had to amputate your leg if the colour wouldn’t have changed etc ………… I would have freaked out altogether.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    It is so sad tho that due to this you lost your job and that you are in pain daily. It’s a long road but you seem to be a strong person and you are so right in saying to push forward until you find a Doctor who LISTENS to you and believes in you!
    And whoever told you that DVT doesn’t hurt must have got his certificate out of a Cereal Packet!!!
    Why are we told then to report unexplained pain in the calf to the Doctor?
    Hang in there Deb and enjoy each day with your beautiful little boy
    I wish you the VERY VERY best and that things will slowly improve for you

    My thoughts are with you from “down under” in Australia,

    Warm Love,
    Monique

  2. Thanks for sharing a terrible, but reasonably lucky experience. I feel as you did. I was diagnosed in early October with a clot from my left foot to my groin and the actual blockage totals at least half that. When my leg gets so painful and such a worry to me & my family I attend the hospital. The first time my GP had phoned through to say she had sent me there as an emergency and they made me wait 14 hours before I seen a Dr. That is not my main worry however, it is when they always say, “and why are you here today and what would you like us to do”. Many times I have had INR readings over 10, so then give me a shot of vitamin “K”, some panadol if I’m lucky, then send me home. I am now on Xarelto and bleeding hard and often. My other leg sometimes, like right now, swells as much as the guilty one, but the hospital claims it’s ok. When I read how you felt about the situation, I do understand, but you must have been terrified when Drs started talking about removing parts and a baby on the way to also deal with. At least I have the comfort of not getting pregnant with a DVT. All the best for 2015 & thereafter. Debra.

    • Thank you so much for reading and sharing your story. I sincerely hope things are getting better for you in this new year. Thinking of you and wishing you the best.

      • William Yates says

        I hope you and your baby are well and recovered now Deb. I continue to have major swelling and pain in both legs, even though the first clot is in my left leg. A few weeks ago I had another Ultrasound which confirmed I still have the first clot and it hasn’t reduced in size, but has moved up the body a bit. This new Ultrasound also confirmed that I now have a second clot in the same leg. Even since then, my leg has had more problems so I had another ultrasound last Friday, but have yet to find out whether I have a third clot which I think the Specialist suspects could be so. I have swelling around most of my body due to fluid, but I take all the meds the Dr prescribes and I still get clot problems and fluid problems. My weight has increased from 68kls to 90kls. It has also now been confirmed that I am a Factor 5. I have looked into family history and have found out that there have been some casualties with family on my Mother’s side. One cousin passed away at the age of 25 with a clot on the brain. I’m usually a person who doesn’t worry too much about things, but I’m approaching 60 this year and still have a young daughter I want to see finish her education and perhaps start her own family while I’m still around. I know it would really knock her out of the park if anything were to happen to me now. I guess I’m more worried about whether I’m really getting all the treatment that I need as the problem is becoming worse and no improvements at all. I’m looking forward very much to getting the results of the ultrasound from last Friday. It is only Sunday and the Dr won’t be working again until next Tuesday.

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