10 Years After My Factor V Leiden Diagnosis: Deirdre’s Story

10 Years After My Factor V Leiden Diagnosis: Deirdre’s Story

Why NBCA is Meaningful to Me – By Deirdre Callahan

On Mother’s Day 1997, I developed a DVT (blood clot) in my femoral vein. I had been a mother for almost 2 weeks. When I called the hospital, they told me to make an appt. with my doctor in the morning — they didn’t think blood clot since my calf didn’t hurt. Fortunately, the clot didn’t break off and I ended up in the hospital for 8 days. It took another 10 months for the doctors to finally diagnose that I have a blood clotting condition called Factor V Leiden — the gene mutation was only discovered a year or two earlier.

The doctor in the hospital told me I may have to give up biking and running since my leg was swollen from the initial clot and swelled significantly when I trained. I had to cut all the elastic leg holes in my left leg bike shorts. Every bike and run ended with me on my back and my legs up against the wall for 20 minutes. I finally found a website and others with this condition. I posted and answered questions there for a year.

Ten years later, I’m extremely fortunate that I have very little residual effects from this event. It was scary and no one could tell me what I could expect. When I read Lance Armstrong’s book, the part where they told him his treatment was done and he could return to his normal life really resonated with me. You can’t just “return to normal” after something like this without support from others who have been down that path. That is what drove him to form Live Strong. For blood clotting disorders, we have NBCA.

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