Last March, I had turned 35 exactly a week before my traumatic discovery. I had a terrible, terrible, headache. I knew that after a few days of having this head pain, something wasn’t right.
I was flown out of my local emergency room to a stroke center, where I was told I had two brain bleeds that were hemorrhaging and we needed to find the root cause. I was diagnosed with an occluded clot in my brain, also known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST.
I had to undergo an angiogram, venogram, and a mechanical thrombectomy. I was able to come home five days later. At home, I started to notice I had some arm pain. I ended up finding out I had a superficial blood clot in my right arm from my IV.
I had to have another procedure and ended up with a DVT in my left arm. Both arms ended up with blood clots at the same time, while trying to heal from my brain surgery.
After all this was said and done, we did extensive lab work and found I have a blood clotting disorder, factor II prothrombin gene mutation (heterozygous), and protein s deficiency. Testing showed I inherited the clotting disorder from my mom, and my 13-year-old son has it as well.
I never had any indication of any of this before my brain clots. I am a lifer on blood thinners now.
I was off work for five months, and am slowly regaining my strength back. Therapy has helped tremendously. PTSD and anxiety are real!
In terms of risk factors, I had started a fertility pill, clomiphene, and they suspect that this, combined with my underlying clotting disorders, caused the blood clots.
This experience has changed my life. I’m exhausted all the time and my body is nothing like it used to be. I have migraines and headaches more days than I don’t. I have a weaker side after my stroke. I was able to go back to work full-time, but it’s a struggle most days.
I’m beyond thankful because if I had waited one more day, I wouldn’t be here. Let’s bring awareness to these clots!