The ER Sent Me Home With No Answers: Emily’s Story

The ER Sent Me Home With No Answers: Emily’s Story

When I was 34 weeks pregnant and 25 years old, I started experiencing pain in my left calf. Being a nurse, I started to question when I should be concerned about the pain. I reached out to my obstetrician and was advised to drink more water and walk more often.

The following weekend, I traveled in a car for six hours because I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. The day after the wedding, I woke up with swollen hands and feet and high blood pressure.

After driving another six hours back home, I went to the doctor. This is where it all began.

I was admitted to the hospital immediately, and diagnosed with gestational hypertension and intrauterine growth restriction, or IUGR, which is when is when a fetus does not grow as expected, and my baby needed to come out.

After a failed induction, I had to have an emergency C-section. I was admitted for six days and restricted on how much walking I could do around the unit. I had calf pain and I voiced this to the nurses and doctors. They applied compression devices and dismissed it.

Two weeks went by and I developed an incision infection and was placed on antibiotics. On day 7 of the antibiotics, I began having a fever, chills, tachycardia, and major low back pain.

I went to the ER. They performed a CT and sent me home with no answers. They had me take another antibiotic, thinking it was probably related to my incision infection.

Within a week, I was still having a fever, chills, and an elevated heart rate. I became unable to walk because my left leg swelled up four times the size of my right.

I went back to the ER and they found two clots in my left leg. After a week of Loevnox injections, my symptoms were worsening, which led my hematologist to order another CT with contrast.

I had eight visible blood clots on the scan, with one clot being in my inferior vena cava (IVC). I was admitted and had an emergency thrombectomy and angioplasty.

During the procedure, I was diagnosed with May-Thurner syndrome. Three months later, I did a blood studies work up where I was diagnosed with factor V Leiden homozygous.

My baby is a miracle and I am extremely blessed to be here.

In terms of family history, my parents are both heterozygous carriers for factor V Leiden. One of my sisters is homozygous like me.

My advice to others is to listen to your body and advocate for yourself. Request additional tests if you think you are not being heard.


May-Thurner syndrome
Factor V Leiden
Pregnancy and Blood Clots

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