I was diagnosed with COVID in February of 2020 and had severe symptoms, including extremely painful breathing.
I developed an internal jugular vein thrombosis (IJVT) in my neck during the initial COVID-19 infection. I had symptoms from the IJVT for two years, but it wasn’t discovered until I had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, in February 2022.
Further testing also led to diagnoses of residual vein thrombosis (RVT) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) a few weeks later. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, my diagnosis happened during Blood Clot Awareness Month.
Six months later, I was diagnosed with additional DVTs in my arm and leg. I’ve been dealing with long COVID for the last three years, which has also left me in a hypercoagulable state.
My blood clots have negatively impacted my life and lifestyle in so many ways. My fitness hasn’t been the same, and I feel like I am constantly at war with my body now. However, I’ve also gained some positives, such as stronger faith.
I’ve learned to advocate for myself and to be just as involved as the doctors during the process of piecing together the puzzle and finding the right diagnosis.
My advice to others is to advocate, advocate, advocate. And if you’re dismissed by a medical professional, keep searching to find one who will help.