Don’t Ignore the Ache: Demi’s Story

Don’t Ignore the Ache: Demi’s Story

In September 2022, I gave birth to my second child, a little boy weighing 9 lbs. and 11 oz. Sadly, he passed away at 12 days old due to issues during my labor, which caused brain damage, specifically hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

At my six-week checkup with my general practitioner, I mentioned pain in my stomach and an ache in my leg. She sent me to have an ultrasound to check for retained placenta, which was all clear.

A few days later, I felt a thump in my leg, followed by a deep dull ache that I just couldn’t shake. It felt like I had pulled a muscle really badly.

Within a couple of days, I started to struggle walking on my left leg. I woke up in the middle of the night in tears and looked at my leg, which had turned blotchy with a purplish tint to it. I called 1-1-1 who told me to go to the emergency department.

At the hospital. I was told it was probably deep vein thrombosis and was prescribed apixaban. They told me to go about my day as I normally would, which was ridiculous as I couldn’t walk.

I was to return for an ultrasound in five days. But two days later, my leg was hard to the touch, had increased in size and I was in agony.

I returned to the hospital and waited for five hours before I left as I was in too much pain sitting in a hard chair in the waiting room. I returned the next day, but this time went straight to the department that saw me the first time.

I was finally admitted and had a CT scan which revealed a huge clot that spanned from my pelvis down to my knee. I also now had a pulmonary embolism. I was transferred to another hospital and underwent a clot-buster procedure, which was successful.

In addition to my DVT and PE, I was also diagnosed with May-Thurner syndrome. I was discharged from the hospital three days before my son’s funeral.

My advice to others is: don’t ignore the ache. Get checked out and advocate for yourself when you know there’s something wrong.


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