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Five years ago, at the age of 23, I developed dozens of blood clots in both of my legs, my pelvis, and my stomach. The development literally happened overnight. Two weeks earlier, I was experiencing daily back pain on my lower right side. My OB-GYN chalked the pain up to ovarian cysts, which had never been a problem before. I visited the emergency room twice in the days before the blood clots appeared, and finally on the second visit to the hospital, I was admitted. After several tests with no apparent results, they decided they would take out my appendix the next day.
That night, at around 3:00 in the morning, I woke up in horrible pain. When I tried to move, I couldn’t move my legs because they were hard, heavy, and swollen. After several minutes of several doctors and nurses looking at me, an OB-GYN happened to walk by and asked if anyone checked me for blood clots. Thankfully, she walked by and asked that question, and thankfully I still have my appendix!
In the days to follow, I had every test in the book preformed on me. They found dozens of blood clots – so many that they couldn’t give me a number as to how many were in my body. I spent days in the ICU having both legs injected with clot busting medications. After a week in the hospital, I was ready to go home.
How did this happen? I ask myself that question every day. I have heard several answers from several different doctors. It could be that I have a Protein S Deficiency, that I was on birth control pills for a few years prior to my blood clots, and/or that my inferior vena cava is completely blocked, either by a blood clot or by a birth defect. No one knows for sure.
The reason I am sharing my story now is because I’m 29 years old, and I have been with my now husband for almost 10 years. I want desperately to start a family. I’m sure that this story has been heard before, but I can have a baby. My body can do everything that it needs to do in order to have a baby. The problem is that I have been told different things by different doctors. Some doctors are completely optimistic, which is of course what I want to hear.
On the other hand, there have been some doctors along the way who think that having a baby will severely interfere with my hormones and create more blood clots. Since my clots happened so quickly and without much warning last time, it could be fatal for me to have more blood clots. So, what do I do? I’ve never met anyone who has had a combination of issues that are close to mine. I’m hoping that by sharing my story, I can connect with people who have success stories of starting families.
Regardless, I hope that women are aware of these issues and don’t take certain symptoms lightly. Back pain was never a symptom that I read about, yet I had the worst back pain of my life. I hope that my story can shed some light on that as a possible symptom of blood clots. Also, question your doctors and don’t let them perform unnecessary surgery to remove an organ. If my blood clots would have waited one more day to rear their ugly heads, I would be missing my appendix right now.