I Almost Left the ER: Lucy’s Story

I Almost Left the ER: Lucy’s Story

In October 2020 at age 28, I woke up at 5 a.m. with back pain. It felt like I pulled a muscle. Throughout the day, the pain got worse. It hurt to sit or lie down.

By the next morning, I was vomiting from pain and decided to drive myself to the emergency room. The triage nurse asked if I could have picked something up the wrong way. I had two toddlers at home, so this was plausible. I felt like I shouldn’t have been there and almost left.

When I was called back, there was a trauma patient in the bay next to me. Again, I felt like I shouldn’t have been there, especially since it was during the height of the Covid pandemic. I decided to stay.

I was nine weeks pregnant at the time and they wanted a urine test to confirm. I am so thankful for the doctor who watched me walk to the bathroom. She noticed how out of breath I was. I was so focused on the pain that I didn’t realize I couldn’t breathe.

The doctor determined a CT was necessary, even though I was pregnant. I agreed the risk was worth it. She held my hand while telling me I had a blood clot in my lung. I was hospitalized for three days.

While I was there, my dad remembered my late grandmother had factor V Leiden. I mentioned this to the physician’s assistant who was overseeing my care and she brushed me off saying, “You would already know if you had FVL.”

After I was discharged, I followed up with my OB/GYN. who tested me. I tested positive for FVL and have the factor II mutation.

I made my parents get tested. Both of them have clotting disorders. I now know I got FVL from my dad and factor II from my mom.

After 420 enoxaparin sodium injections, I gave birth to my son via scheduled C-section at 38 weeks. He was born healthy and is now a wild three-year-old. I am on apixaban for life. My family is now more aware of our risk factors. I am so thankful for the ER doctor’s quick action and for not brushing me off.


Factor V Leiden
Factor II

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