I am a 41-year- old woman. I was diagnosed with a massive pulmonary embolism (PE) and a large deep vein thrombosis (DVT), respectively, in my lung and left calf, in March of 2014. I had no idea what was going on. I was making my kids a snack and got so dizzy that it literally felt like my head was spinning.
The night before, I had trouble lying down without coughing, so I had to sit up and sleep. I figured I had the flu – it was March, I’m in Georgia and it was still cold. I called a ride to the local ER and was immediately rushed to ICU.
I had never been to a hospital outside of having my kids. I was terrified. No one told me what was going on. I was immediately put on monitors, leads, machines, IVs and heart machines. Finally, before I went into surgery, I was told I had a massive PE in my lung and DVT in my leg. I had no idea what any of that meant. That day changed my life forever.
Things are drastically different now. I was once a semi-pro athlete and business owner. Now, I can no longer run and play sports with my kids. I love to cook, but I cannot stand long enough to boil water now.
My family history of blood clots is my only known risk factor. My grandmother and aunt, both on my mom’s side, had clots. Both passed from them.
I have learned that I have to be my own advocate and let doctors know that I have done my research by asking the right questions and actively participating in my treatment and care. I will continue to educate myself and try to find out the underlying cause for my blood clots. The hardest part is that I still don’t feel I have an official diagnosis.