Blood Clots in the Arm are Rare, But I Had One: Kiersten’s Story

Blood Clots in the Arm are Rare, But I Had One: Kiersten’s Story

About 15 years ago, my dad had a blood clot in his leg (deep vein thrombosis) and testing showed he had factor V Leiden. Since it’s a genetic disorder, my two sisters and I got tested.

I tested positive for factor V Leiden as well as one of my sisters and one did not. So, I’ve always known that my risk for clotting was higher than others.

About four years ago, the sister who does not have factor V Leiden developed a blood clot in her arm due to fertility drugs she was taking. Her symptoms were severe swelling and a large rash.

With all of this in mind, I feel I was aware of the possible symptoms I could have if I ever got a blood clot.

About a week ago, I went to bed and woke up every 30 minutes because my arm was throbbing in pain. I had been having shoulder and arm pain and numbness for months, and I thought it was poor circulation, so I had been seeing a chiropractor.

As the night went on, I put a heating pad on my arm, hoping that would ease the pain and throbbing. But then I noticed a large rash on my forearm and some minor swelling. I called my sister who had the blood clot in her arm and she told me I should definitely go to the ER.

When I got there, my arm was in so much pain I could barely think straight. It felt as though my arm was going to fall off. The ER doctor had told me that blood clots in the arm are rare, so they didn’t think they would find one.

I requested an ultrasound and, sure enough, I had a large clot in my forearm, or deep vein thrombosis. As a 29-year-old, I never imagined I would have blood clotting issues, but blood clots don’t discriminate.

I am just at the beginning of taking blood thinners and I know there is so much more to learn, but I feel so blessed that I knew some of the signs and symptoms of a blood clot.

This experience has given me crazy anxiety, but I know I need to make some lifestyle changes that will help. I’m just grateful to know there is an organization like this because it’s not talked about enough!


Factor V Leiden Resources
DVT Diagnosis
Know Your Risk

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