Carol McIntosh of Caroga Lake, New York was 32 when she was diagnosed with her first incident of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). After a second recurrence two decades later, she became determined to spread the word about blood clots.
Now, Carol creates and sells DVT awareness jewelry through her Etsy shop, generously donating a portion of her sales to the National Blood Clot Alliance.
“I’m sure there are other stories like mine,” Carol said. “I’m hoping that by selling my DVT awareness jewelry that others become more aware of this potentially fatal health issue.”
When Carol was first diagnosed, she was the picture of health. She worked out every day, ate healthily and never smoked. She had no obvious risk factors for a blood clot.
When Carol’s left leg pains began, she saw her primary care doctor several times over two months with the same complaint. But because she exercised frequently, she was misdiagnosed with a pulled muscle. Unfortunately, this story happens far too often.
It wasn’t until she went to see her doctor one last time that she insisted perhaps it was a blood clot because she was taking birth control. An ultrasound showed that Carol was right, and she was finally diagnosed with DVT.
After seeing a hematologist, blood work showed that Carol also had factor V Leiden, a genetic clotting disorder. Her blood clot was considered “provoked” due to the birth control pills (which she was no longer taking), so doctors felt it was safe to come off blood thinners (anticoagulants) once the clot was gone.
She went 23 years without another blood clot, until 2019. This time, when she felt that familiar pain, Carol knew immediately that it was a DVT and must now stay on blood thinners indefinitely.