This Needed More than a Tylenol Prescription: Ashley’s Story

This Needed More than a Tylenol Prescription: Ashley’s Story

At 31 weeks pregnant, I was getting ready for the arrival of my baby when I started experiencing extreme pain in my left leg.

I remember going to my baby shower and barely being able to walk. This was very concerning, so after the baby shower, I called my OB/GYN and explained the symptoms I was having. Unfortunately, she wrote them off and told me that the pain was due to my sciatica from the pregnancy and that there wasn’t anything I could do except take Tylenol.

The pain went on for over a week and kept getting worse. One Friday night in November 2021, I came home from work and the pain was excruciating – 10 out of 10. The Tylenol wasn’t helping and my leg had gotten worse. Not only was it extremely painful, but at this point it was blotchy and swollen. I decided I needed to seek immediate care.

My husband brought me to the ER where I was diagnosed with an extensive deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that stretched from my upper thigh all the way down my entire leg. I remember asking the doctor if my baby and I would be okay, and she said was that I needed to be transferred to another hospital in Boston immediately in case I needed to deliver my baby (nine weeks early). I arrived in Boston and was under the care of a new obstetrician who was constantly monitoring my symptoms. Six weeks later, I delivered a healthy baby boy.

Three months after that, I had a check-up and an MRI. That’s when I was diagnosed with May-Thurner Syndrome, a condition where the right iliac artery compresses the left iliac vein and increases your risk of developing blood clots.

Since this diagnosis, I’ve struggled with post-thrombotic anxiety, but I am learning ways to manage it and am thankful to be alive. This experience has taught me to advocate for your own health and listen to your body. It’s been very helpful reading others’ stories through Stop the Clot and understanding that this is a journey. My advice to anyone reading my story is to listen to your body and to ask questions if you feel like your concerns aren’t being heard!


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