It started in 2013 with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in my right leg and a pulmonary embolism (PE). After walking around on a sore and swollen leg for a while, I experienced severe shortness of breath after climbing two flights of stairs.
My brother took me to the hospital, where I was treated and placed on blood thinners for about a year.
In 2016 I developed another PE, this time with no DVT and was put back on blood thinners. Genetic testing did not show an inherited risk for clots.
In 2019, a day after having back surgery, I developed another PE. If I had not been in the hospital already, I probably would have died that day.
After getting through that one, I developed blood clots again in 2021, this time DVTs in both my right and left legs.
But in 2022 I made a near-fatal decision to cut back on my blood thinner medication (anticoagulant) to save money so that I could provide for our new baby.
Just before his first birthday, I started feeling dizzy and then I passed out.
I was taken by ambulance to the nearest ER, which was a teaching hospital. I told them I thought I had another PE, but they ordered tests according to their protocol.
After being on oxygen for some time, I felt better, so I signed myself out of that hospital against their recommendation and went home. The plan was to go to the hospital that my doctors are affiliated with in the morning, since it was very late at night and we had the baby with us.
We got home and my wife made me dinner. After eating, I started feeling dizzy and passed out again. This time my wife asked the EMTs to take me to my regular hospital, where my doctors are located. Upon arrival, my cardiologist immediately sent me for a CT coronary angiogram, which saved my life.
It showed a massive PE blocking blood flow to half of my heart. I spent two weeks in the hospital, and I feel blessed to be able to share my story. I will never miss a dose of my blood thinners ever again!
Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots
Living Your Best Life on Blood Thinners
Questions to Ask Your Doctor After a Blood Clot