My Symptoms Felt Like Indigestion: Amy’s Story

My Symptoms Felt Like Indigestion: Amy’s Story

In March 2016, I had only been on estrogen-based birth control for a few months and decided to take a four-hour road trip with some friends. A few days after, I started to feel like I had heartburn. At first, my symptoms felt a lot like indigestion — pressure in the chest, but not painful. It was familiar enough to not worry about it right away, but it never went away. I went to bed that night not thinking anything of it.

After a day of trying to treat the “indigestion,” the pressure turned more and more painful, making it hard to breathe. I was not able to sit up straight. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with multiple pulmonary emboli and further testing showed I had heterozygous factor V Leiden. I immediately went on blood thinners and will be on them for the rest of my life.

It’s easy to feel invincible at 21, but it’s so important to listen to your body before things get serious. I was very fortunate to have a team of doctors who recognized the symptoms right away and were able to treat me quickly.

I’m coming up on eight years post-clots with no recurrences and have managed to live a healthy life since then. I graduated with my bachelor’s and master’s, got married, bought a house — all things that seemed so impossible years ago. Clots can feel isolating, scary, and overwhelming. Just know that you’re not alone!


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