I injured my ankle in 2017 and needed surgery. Shortly after, I woke up in the middle of the night with intense pain in my back. I knew it was bad, as I was having difficulty moving. My husband took me to the ER, where I was fortunate that they did take me seriously. They found a pulmonary embolism (PE) in my left lung. I was admitted to the hospital and treated with blood thinners.
I went to a pulmonologist who did all the usual testing, but could find no explanation for my clots. I took the blood thinners for several months and then was taken off. Just nine months after the PE, I was walking through the grocery store when I started feeling pain in my calf. Again, I knew something was not right, and I was sent in for a Doppler. A deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, was found in my left leg.
A hematologist did further testing and found that I had the MTHFR gene, and would be on blood thinners indefinitely.
Fast forward to last month, March 2023. I was walking in the grocery store again and had that same intense pain, but this time it was in my right calf.
I was confused and scared because I was a blood thinner. I was sent in for a Doppler where an acute blood clot (a new clot) and a chronic one (an old clot) were discovered. I didn’t even know I had the old clot. My hematologist switched me to Eliquis and we will see how I do.
I must admit, getting a new clot while being on blood thinners concerns me. I do my best to stay positive, but this latest episode was scary. I’m learning to adjust again and look forward to hiking with my husband.
My brother and son-in-law are also survivors. Friends from church lost their 23-year-old daughter. Many family members and friends have also been affected. My hope is we can all share, and together we can spread awareness. Know your body. Know the symptoms and risks. You could save your life or the life of a loved one.
MTHFR Mutation Resources
Psychological Impact of Blood Clots
Know Your Risk