This Took a Huge Toll on My Emotional Health: Holly’s Story

This Took a Huge Toll on My Emotional Health: Holly’s Story

In May of this year, I began to feel bloated and my stomach area became distended. It was very uncomfortable. Shortly after, I started feeling upper left quadrant pain.

I continued on for a day or two feeling increasingly worse. Finally, I went to the ER. They did blood work and an ultrasound of my right side, even though I said my pain was localized to the left side. They saw nothing. They sent me home believing I was having gastro issues.

I went the rest of the day and all night feeling sick. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. It felt like I needed to use the bathroom, but couldn’t go.

By 5 a.m. I could no longer take the pain, which had also started in my left shoulder area. I went back to the ER, hysterical. They did more blood work and a CT scan. They found multiple wedge shaped splenic infarcts. I could tell they were taking this more seriously now.

They admitted me and ended up doing more scans and found an abdominal aortic thrombus. I was told how rare this is, especially for a 45-year-old, and that I am lucky to be alive.

This took a huge toll on my emotional health. It caused significant anxiety. I thought every little thing that I felt in my body was another clot. I would worry I would go to sleep and not wake up. I’m now on anxiety medication which helps a lot.

I continue to see multiple doctors. I will be on blood thinners for life. They have not found any clotting issues that would have caused this to happen.

In terms of risk factors, I am a smoker and I had COVID several months before, but I don’t think I’ll ever know definitively what caused this.

I feel very lucky that part of the blood clot broke off and went to my spleen, which was actually what caused my pain. Otherwise I would have not known and the outcome could have been very different.


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