A Survivor Speaks: I Am A Mother by Lynda Jurva

I Am A Mother-4

My name is Lynda. I am 35 years old and the mother of 4 beautiful amazing children. My story starts July 28th 2014, one of the happiest days of my life. My precious baby girl was born. As a mother of three boys, this was very exciting! She decided to come four weeks early while we were away vacationing at a cottage. Little did I know that her coming early probably saved both our lives. She is my angel. I felt great after my delivery everything was going smoothly. Two weeks later, I started to get pain in my leg and butt check, which felt like I had pulled a muscle. I joked with my husband saying how in the world did I manage to pull a muscle there?! As the days went on, it kept getting worse so I would ice it and would get a little relief. By Friday (after having this pain since Monday) the pain had moved to my left thigh and was so bad I could barley walk. I kept pushing myself thinking it was just labour and delivery related, and I even when to the mall with my sister that night! I kept telling myself to not be such a baby and just walk it off. When I got home and changed for bed, I noticed my left leg was purple. I called my husband to show him, he started to look things up on Google and we decided it was was just pregnancy related. I went to bed feeling really scared. I was crying and felt like I may die. I have never felt that way before.

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I moved my baby’s bassinet tight against my bed so I could still feed her through the night without getting out of bed. Every time I would wake, my left leg felt heavier and heavier. In the morning, I could barley get out of bed my leg was so heavy and painful. When I looked down at my leg it was not only purple, but at least twice the size! It was then that my husband and I decided it was time to go to the Emergency Room. I had a blood test done that showed I had a high chance of having a blood clot. I thought that can’t be, its probably just a pinched nerve or something. I was sent for an ultrasound and I will never forget what happened next. I was waiting for the results on a stretcher with my husband and three week old baby and the doctor came in looking very shocked. She said, “You have a very large blood clot.”

I instantly felt terrified and started crying. The doctor said, “You have a very rare severe type of blood clot called Phlegmasia cerulea dolens.” It was a solid blood clot from the back of my knee to the middle of my stomach, They said they needed to transfer me by ambulance to a hospital in Toronto, about one and half hours  away for a special procedure. I was later told by the ER doctor when she came to visit me in the hospital that when the vascular surgeon saw my ultrasound he said there was nothing he could for me and they needed to get me out of there right away.

It was lights and sirens all the way there. I was so scared. I am a mother, I have a newborn baby to take care of. I just couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I had a wonderful nurse that went for the ride with me that tried to keep my mind off of what was happening.

Once I got to the new hospital, I was told that there was also some clots in my lungs. My heart rate was 160. The surgical procedures I had was Balloon angioplasty of left femoral, external, common iliac veins, a catheter directed thrombolysis and IVC filter insertion. I spent the night in ICU. In the morning, I found out they had to stop the catheter medication as my body had a rare reaction to it and I almost started bleeding internally. I was told I had to start walking if I wanted to keep my leg! It was so painful I could only take two or three steps and then have to get back into bed.

I spent two more nights in that hospital and was then transferred to my local hospital to be closer to my family. I spent a total of two and a half weeks in the hospital trying to manage the pain, get rid of my fever, be able to walk again and have my filter removed. When I was released, I could only walk with a walker and had to use a tub bench to be able to take a shower. I couldn’t be left alone with my smaller kids as I couldn’t properly care for them.

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It has been almost three months now and I am proud to say I don’t use a walker anymore and all the swelling is gone. I have to wear thigh high compression stockings for the next two years and take Warfarin for six months.  I did find out that I have Factor Five Leiden. I do still get scared with any ache or pain, and I am waiting for the day when I’m not scared of my blood anymore. I am so happy and thankful to be alive! I survived what many don’t.

What I would like people to take from my story is that pregnancy can cause clots and to not ignore the signs your body is giving you.

Are you ready to blossom?

Thank you, Lynda, for sharing your story!

Comments

  1. Hi Lynda, have read your story and just couldn’t get my head around to what your poor poor girl had to experience. Thank you for telling your story, I will certainly tell people about you and that pregnancy CAN cause clots. I hadn’t heard about it prior to reading your experience and it should be a lesson for all Mums-to-be, not just when you have your first baby.
    You all look such a lovely family and it’s good to know that you are “on the mend” so to speak.
    In 2 days it’s a year when I started to feel I was getting the flue, and it took 12 days before I was diagnosed with Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism to all lobes of both lungs. Nobody knew where they had come from and I was in hospital for 2 weeks before I was stable enough to go home.
    I was totally ignorant about PE until I googled for days before I found Sara’s side, and I can honestly say Sara and all the other Survivors saved “my sanity.”
    Sara was my “Rock”.
    Your are not alone Lynda but it will take a while before you will feel 100% “normal” again, but you will.
    I had damage to my heart as well as big clots went thru my heart, and 4 Specialists kept on telling me “I should be dead”.
    Last month I had a Lung Function Test done again and all is back to NORMAL and the Ecco revealed my heart has also repaired itself.
    They doubt that all the BLOODCLOTS have dissolved, unless they do another CT and I had that many I don’t want any because they said I will have to stay on the Warfarin for life anyway, because the clot was idiopathic.
    Even after 12 months I still at times worry when I get a unexplained pain, but I have also learnt so much from Sara and the others and try and draw my knowledge from them.
    Thank you again for sharing your story Lynda and my very best wishes go to you and your beautiful family.
    Kind regards and the very best wishes
    Monique from Australia

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