Advocate For Yourself: Heidi’s Story

Advocate For Yourself: Heidi’s Story

In June 2015, I fell and injured a varicose vein (superficial vein thrombosis) with significant bruising. I was told it was not life-threatening because it was an injury to a superficial vein.

In late September, I started having problems breathing and tightness in my chest. I thought it was anxiety.

A few days later, when I experienced some mild lightheadedness, and my husband took me to the hospital. I was admitted for multiple bilateral pulmonary emboli and remained on a blood thinner for a year.

In November 2022, I fell when a leashed dog pulled me in excitement and I developed another SVT. The ER noted it and did not make a recommendation for blood thinners.

In December 2022, I went to the ER for another SVT. It had traveled to within 3 cm from the junction of the femoral artery, classifying it as a DVT.

I am now on blood thinners for life. Even if the varicose veins were removed, the doctor didn’t trust I would not develop a future blot clot. I asked if the clots occurred because I fell. She said, “Lots of people fall and don’t develop blood clots.”

My advice to others is to advocate for yourself. Pay attention and write down your symptoms, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.


Blood Clots and Varicose Veins
Signs and Symptoms
Living Your Best Life on Blood Thinners

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