Beverly Thao’s Story
I had just been released from the hospital due to a severe allergic reaction. I was allowed to leave, but with some medication and no signs of blood clots. It had been just two days after I left when I began to get a high fever with swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my neck. The next morning I woke up to go to school when I felt fatigued and had a temperature of 102°F. After going back to the hospital I was sedated and put on a ventilator, and soon found out that I had two blood clots in the right side of my neck.
According to my family and a friend who saw me, my head swelled up twice it’s size. Everyone was in disbelief. No one knew that I got a blood clot and did not understand how I got it in the first place. Doctors put me on a heparin drip to allow the blood clots in my neck to deteriorate and to prevent my blood from clotting further. Due to an immediate need to get medication in my body, doctors put a central line in my groin. Eventually, the central line was removed, but the heparin prevented my incision
from healing. Finally, it did begin to heal, but then a blood clot developed around a nerve in my thigh, giving me a horrible pain.
The tension this created resulted in me not being able to use my left leg until the nerves built back up. After a couple of weeks in the hospital I was released again, but the doctors kept a close watch on me. I received Lovenox to stay anticoagulated. Just a week later, I was rushed back in the hospital because I felt a sharp pain in my mid back when I would breathe in and out.
After a CT-scan the doctors once again told me that I had a blood clot, but this time it was at a worse spot. The blood clot that was in my neck had traveled down to my left lung resulting in a pulmonary embolism. The sharp pain I was feeling was the blood clot that had blocked a small airway at the bottom of my left lung, causing a little piece to die with the lack of oxygen. If the blood clot had fl owed anywhere else in my lung, it could have been even more severe. After being released once again, I was put on warfarin to regulate the coagulation of my blood. My experience has made me aware of blood clots, their causes and effects.
Before this experience, I was unaware what blood clots could do to me and how I could get them. Still, the doctors are not exactly sure where my blood clot formed but they speculate that it originated from the central line the very first time I went in the hospital. After about a year of being on anticoagulants, things have been better and I meet with the doctor often since my medication is watched closely. I now know what things can happen and what signs I should look out for to recognize blood clots.