The Pressure and Pain Were Unbearable: Autumn’s Story

The Pressure and Pain Were Unbearable: Autumn’s Story

No one will ever forget when the world shut down because of COVID in 2020. A few days later, I started to lose feeling in my left leg. Whenever I stood up, my leg turned purple.

While everyone else was taking walks to pass the time during lockdown, I was finding it harder and harder to breathe. When I went to the local emergency room, they told me I was completely fine and that the stress from the pandemic must be causing this. Yeah, because stress turns everyone’s left leg purple.

Within a few days, I lost all feeling in my leg and could not even stand on it. The pressure and pain were unbearable. Through a telehealth appointment, my doctor told me to come in right away.

I went, they did another ultrasound, and found blood clots in my left leg and my lower abdomen. I would later find out they were in my lungs as well. I was in the hospital for what felt like weeks, since I could not have any visitors, it being the peak of the pandemic and all.

In terms of risk factors, I was taking estrogen-based birth control and I was also diagnosed with May-Thurner syndrome.

Even four years later, I still have pain in my left leg when running, hiking, swimming, or any type of intense exercise. It is tough sometimes to realize you are not able to do some of the things you used to love. Despite my blood clot, I graduated college, which I am pretty proud of! I am now a master’s student and I feel lucky to have the life I do.

My advice to others is: When you know something is wrong but you are being told you’re fine, fight for yourself. Be your own advocate when others can’t.


May-Thurner syndrome
Know Your Risk
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