It’s Important to Listen to Your Body: Dan’s Story

It’s Important to Listen to Your Body: Dan’s Story

On Valentine’s Day 2013, I woke up with what I thought was a stomach virus. A few hours later, I was in the ER with a diverticulitis attack that split open my intestine and spent 10 days in the hospital.

A few months later, I had another diverticulitis attack, but I caught it early and didn’t require hospitalization. As a result, it was determined that I needed a colon resection surgery to remove parts of my intestine.

This surgery was successful, but while recovering at home, I developed my first DVT in my right leg. I was unaware of what a DVT felt like, but as an active person and athlete in my younger days, I figured my leg was just stiff and sore from not being active and I tried to walk off the soreness.

Well, it got to the point where I couldn’t even stand up. A sonogram showed I had a DVT and was admitted back to the hospital. I was discharged seven days later with a diagnosis of factor V Leiden (homozygous) and a prescription for warfarin. I remained on warfarin for a year.

After consulting my hematologist, it was determined that because my clot was a provoked clot and I have an active lifestyle, I was more at risk of bleeding being on warfarin than having another blood clot.

Eight years later, in February 2023, I developed a second DVT, but in my left leg this time. However, I didn’t have the excruciating pain like last time, which would have tipped me off.

I did notice that I was losing my breath when climbing stairs or riding my bike, but I would recover quickly. I figured I was in my late 50s and just feeling my age.

What finally scared me to the ER was when I was at a high school wrestling tournament two hours away from my home and I was unable to catch my breath walking from the car to the arena and then up stadium stairs to my seat. I told my buddy we need to leave. We drove two hours home, I immediately went to ER, and was diagnosed with a saddle pulmonary embolism and admitted to hospital.

In terms of family history, my daughter was also diagnosed with factor V Leiden.

This experience has taught me that as I get older, it’s important to listen and react to my body.


Factor V Leiden
Hospitalization and Blood Clots
Living Your Best Life on Blood Thinners

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