It All Happened So Quickly: Charlotte’s Story

It All Happened So Quickly: Charlotte’s Story

In September 2023, I was feeling poorly with what turned out to be a kidney infection. I couldn’t move as the pain was unbearable and was bed-bound for a few weeks.

By the end of September, I was unable to walk. It all happened so quickly. My calf swelled up at least three times the size of my other one, the skin was mottled and hot to the touch. My left foot was also so sore that I could barely get shoes on. I remember being in so much pain that it made me not know where I was or what was going on.

Luckily I rang 1-1-1 and my mum spoke to them, describing all my symptoms. The woman on the phone said it sounded like deep vein thrombosis or a DVT.

After waiting in the emergency department for around eight hours in absolute agony, I was finally seen. I had to be lifted onto the bed so that they could do an ultrasound, as I couldn’t do anything with my leg. They found multiple blood clots all in my left leg. I was in shock.

In terms of risk factors, I was on estrogen-based birth control, which is believed to have contributed to the clots.

I was admitted into the ward and then after five days transferred to another hospital to have a thrombectomy because blood thinners weren’t helping the clots. They also found more in my groin, so surgery was the only option. I also had to have a stent to keep the vein open.

The surgery was partially successful — they managed to remove most of the clots, but the ones in my groin wouldn’t budge. I had blood thinners going directly into the vein through the back of my knee for 24 hours.

After 11 days in two hospitals, I was finally discharged with blood thinner injections and a list of medications.

Now in February 2024, I am likely to be on blood thinners for life. I am doing much better, but I suffer now from very stiff legs. If I’m in one position for a long time and then get up, I struggle to walk and they ache a lot. I get some pain from the stent, but I’m so grateful that the blood clots didn’t travel as it could have been a lot worse.

My advice to others is to trust your gut and listen to your body. You know it best. If something isn’t right, don’t ignore it.


Post-Thrombotic syndrome
Living Your Best Life on Blood Thinners
Signs and Symptoms


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