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My name is Arianna, and I was only 21 when I got the worst Penna Arianna Photounexpected news of my life. A couple days before I got the terrifying news, I had noticed I had what I described as an “air pocket” in the upper left side of my back that was uncomfortable and wouldn’t go away. It eventually went away and I never really thought too much about it until September 23, 2014 – a day I will never forget.

I woke up that morning and was doing my usual routine to get ready for work. I noticed just straightening my hair I was getting out of breath, but again I didn’t think too much about it. I was a housekeeper at the time and noticed after I started cleaning that day that just sweeping back and forth I was out of breath, which was unusual. I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath no matter how hard I tried. My chest hurt to take a deep breath in, my mid/lower back hurt, and I had a small cough. I used to donate plasma, and I would feel weak afterwards from time to time. So, after work, I went to donate and then I went to Walmart and while there, I noticed my right arm went completely numb. I got very hot, and I felt like I was going to pass out at any second. I put everything down and hurried to my car.

Once in my car, I put my AC on full blast. I thought I was feeling like that because I had just donated, so I went home and laid down and I still felt horrible. I had my mom come and pick me up to take me to the ER. After seven hours of waiting, I finally got called back and, at first, doctors couldn’t find anything wrong and they decided to do one more test, which was a CT scan. As we waited for the doctor to come tell us the results, the nurse came in and told me to change into a gown and I didn’t understand why I had to do that until a couple of doctors came in with a very funny looks on their faces. They broke the bad news to me and my mom, explaining that they had found multiple blood clots in each of my lungs. They called it saddle Pulmonary Embolisms (PE’s).

They had asked if I was on birth control pills, and I told them yes. I had to stop taking them immediately, because they suspected that was the cause for my PE’s, but weren’t sure. I was immediately given a blood thinner shot in my stomach. They explained to me I would be put on blood thinner injections, and they told me I would be admitted to the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), where I stayed for four days before I was moved to a regular room.

To top that off, I was put in the same exact room in the MICU that my Papa was in when he was fighting for his life a couple of months before. Talk about scary! I stayed in the hospital for a week, and after I was released I was put on blood thinner pills and I had to get my INR levels checked weekly.

While in the hospital, the doctors said It was important that I not get pregnant, because I was going to have a D-Dimer test done to see if I was still clotting and a genetic test done to see if it ran in my family. Two months later, I ended up pregnant and very upset because of what the doctors had told me, only to find out the baby would be okay and was I placed on the same injections I was on in the hospital. I had to inject myself twice throughout my whole pregnancy.

Today, I have a healthy three-month old baby boy. On October 19, 2015, I finally had the D-Dimer test and genetic test done and for now, I’m not on any blood thinners. The results take a week to get back, so I’m hoping for good news and to hear I will not have to take blood thinners for good. The only thing about not taking blood thinners is, I’m going to constantly worry if I’m going to get another clot. Any little ache or pain I feel I’m always wondering.

I’m sharing my story today because I want to make other ladies aware of the contraceptives that they take. I’m lucky to have such a great supportive family who stuck by my side and are still right next to me. I’ve learned to never take your life for granted.

To learn more about birth control and blood clot risks, please click here.
Author: SW

13 Responses to "Know Your Risk for Blood Clots: Arianna Pena’s Blood Clot Story"

  1. Tamara
    Tamara Posted on February 1, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Great story. I too think I got my blood clots from my birth control. so very scary.

    I am glad everything is great with you.

  2. Denise
    Denise Posted on February 10, 2016 at 12:26 am

    What an awful thing you went through, my god ! Im so happy for you getting through it ! And im sooooo happy for you having a healthy baby boy, congratulations ! Ive been a nurse for over 25 years and nothing surprises me anymore because of seeing so many shocking things like this . Life is very precious, however very unpredictable. Enjoy each and every moment of each and every day with your baby. Bod bless you both. Denise

    • Arianna
      Arianna Posted on February 23, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Thank you Denise. I had to see a High Risk Dr throughout my whole pregnancy and my hospital is a teaching hospital so I would always see the students first and then the Dr would come in, and it was always a different student and they would freak out after reading my chart. They would always say your lucky to be alive or somethings else along those lines. I would always leave the Dr’s office in tears because I knew how lucky I was especially hearing it over and over again. I thank God ever day for my baby boy and I thank him that he is healthy. I am now off blood thinners. My genetic test came back and it did not run in the family and the D Dimer didn’t show that my blood was still clotting. I have a follow up appointment in October. I have been feeling great though. All though the Dr did tell me I would probably have to be put back on the Lovenox enjections for the next baby which is no fun at all but I’ll do what I have to do to keep me and the baby healthy when ever that may be.

  3. Denise
    Denise Posted on February 10, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I meant to say GOD bless you both , not ” bod ” ! I dont like texting because of my eyesight ! 🙂 lol Denise

  4. Doug Evans
    Doug Evans Posted on February 11, 2016 at 3:55 am


    It would be terrific if you could share the results of your genetic testing


    • Arianna
      Arianna Posted on February 23, 2016 at 8:01 am

      Hey Doug about a week of waiting after the test were done the results came in. I am officially off of blood thinners. It wasn’t genetic it was from my birth control pills and the D Dimer test didn’t show that my blood was still clotting. There’s hope!


  5. David
    David Posted on February 12, 2016 at 2:04 am

    God bless you,im dealing with the same thing but im 60 years old and a EX bodybuilder,im at at 6 months now and doing great back to a strict diet and riding a stationary bike which shouldn’t be done until 3 to 4 months,im off my blood thinner zeralto,and taking all natural products except for my asprin,i suggest bromelain,turmeric,garlic,cayenne,vitamin C,and drinking lots of water,stay hydrated,especially younger victims you dont want to stay on bloodthinners unless your hemotologist determined you problems with the your blood,its very scary and your allways thinking about it but dont let it rule your life,it will if you live a good clean life,good luck to all,and move forward with a positive mind,and don’t let the internet consume your mind!

  6. Imely
    Imely Posted on February 13, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Thank you for sharing your stories ladies! My 30 year old daughter-in-law discovered she has a blood clot in her in/near her brain. I’m trying to learn about this as much as I can. God bless you both

  7. Carol
    Carol Posted on February 14, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I am now struggling with two blood clot in my left leg i am now on blood thinner I was deeply depressed but after reading your story I regain confidence in myself just before I read your text I cried out I decided to go on the internet and do some research until I came across your text I feel so confidence knowing there is great results.

    • Arianna
      Arianna Posted on February 23, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Hi Carol, I’m happy to hear my story helped you regain a little confidence. I had a lot of rough days too that’s all I could think about sometimes. It’s a very scary thing to go through and I felt alone. I’m so glad I discovered this website and read stories of other patients just like our selfs. I didn’t feel so alone anymore. I no longer have to be on blood thinners and I have been feeling great. There is hope! I wish you the best and I hope for a full recovery for you.

  8. Lydia
    Lydia Posted on February 18, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I had a clot in my leg about 2yrs ago a couple weeks after I had my daughter. It was one of those things I thought would never happen to me… I was on blood thinners for 6mo. I foundout I have a genetic clotting disorder. I was considered high-risk and had to have injections for 6wks post pardum. I am so worried now but I am just trying to let go and put it in God’s hands.

    • Arianna
      Arianna Posted on April 29, 2016 at 9:39 am

      I had to do the injections twice a day throughout my whole pregnancy and i too had to continue to do so for 6 weeks postpartum. I had to have a C section because my baby was breech so i was so very worried about loosing too much blood but the Dr’s told me not to take a shot the night before i had to go in and after my c section i had to wait i believe it was 24 hours before i could get my next one and take it like i normally would twice a day but a nurse came in and gave me my shot and it had only been 7 hours after my c section. I tried to tell her no i wasn’t suppose to have it but she said that in the computer it said i was to get it so me not knowing any better i said okay and the next morning my Dr came in and was very upset that the nurse gave me my injection because i could have bled out from the inside and not have known it. I had a rough pregnancy and delivery experience because of all of that. I’m just so thankful everything turned out okay for me and my baby. Even though I’m no longer on blood thinners, my high risk Dr told me i would more than likely be put back on blood thinner if i have anymore children. I hope all is well with you Lydia. I will say a prayer for you. Never lose faith.

  9. Ana
    Ana Posted on February 22, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    I’m sorry you went through such a scary time due to having blood cots. My GP told me when I was about 34 y.o. that I should never take pills ever again because of the way my legs were at time. I followed his instructions. I’m fine.