I remember how excited I was. I was five months pregnant with my son. I had just started feeling him kick and move and I was busy planning the nursery, clothes, pictures, and working.
When I left work on a Friday, my left leg was heavy and I was dragging it. Over the weekend my leg and foot became swollen, and there was indescribable pain in my groin and back.
My OB/GYN was out of town, so I saw another doctor who diagnosed me with a kidney infection. By that point, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t walk and had to use an office chair or be carried.
I saw my doctor on the next day, who checked cord blood flow, ordered a venous Doppler, and diagnosed me with blood clots. I was admitted for my first of many hospital stays.
I was placed on heparin and bedrest, preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. I had weekly ultrasounds to check my son’s cord. Despite that, I delivered my only child 9lbs 8oz, 23 inches. He is now 17.
Through the years, two surgeries to stop excessive bleeding from blood thinner, medical appointments all over the country, and 16 more DVTs, I was so defeated. I developed AFib in 2018, and my doctors and I worked to keep it manageable.
In July of 2021, at 40 years old, I developed the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my chest. As a nurse, I made up all kinds of excuses. The next morning I went to the ER and learned I was in the middle of a serious heart attack. A two-inch clot was stuck in my left ventricle.
I was a former NCAA college basketball player. Basketball was my passion, my love, and even after I graduated I still played for fun. But after my first DVT, the damage was so extensive and the danger of playing with blood thinner was so high that I am no longer able to play. My life is not the same.
In terms of family history, my grandfather had factor V Leiden and died from a blood clot at 46. My sister and cousin also have it.
I am so lucky to be here, to share my story, and to now be a Thrombassador. I am a survivor so I can help others who are scared, and spread resources and awareness.
I cannot say thank you enough to the NBCA for providing me with the resources to help me advocate for myself. A lot of people don’t understand, but person by person we can change that.