I’m Grateful for the Insightful Urgent Care Provider Who Saved My Life: Mary’s Story

I’m Grateful for the Insightful Urgent Care Provider Who Saved My Life: Mary’s Story

I had lower right leg pain for more than a month. I finally went to urgent care in October 2022. I described the pain as a pinging inside my leg and I thought it was a stress fracture. The provider asked a few questions about medications. I told her I took tamoxifen to reduce a breast cancer recurrence and that it has a rare side effect of blood clots.

She suspected a blood clot and sent me to the hospital, which saved my life. In the emergency department, two deep venous thrombosis (DVT) blood clots were found in my right leg.

The ER doctor asked if I had shortness of breath, cough, or coughing with blood. I had been coughing for weeks and had slight shortness of breath. He ordered a CT of my chest, and we found several clots in both of my lungs (bilateral pulmonary emboli). I started enoxaparin injections and switched to apixaban a few weeks later.

After several CT scans and MRIs, I was diagnosed with May-Thurner syndrome, chronic venous insufficiency and reflux of my GSV veins.

Months later, the GSV veins of both legs were ablated and shut down. In mid-November 2023, my medical team felt confident that I could stop taking apixaban. On December 1, I began coughing. Three weeks later while driving, I was dizzy and had extreme shortness of breath. I went to the hospital on December 20 and two new pulmonary emboli were discovered.

Currently I am in treatment for May-Thurner syndrome and will most likely receive a stent in my iliac vein. Doctors suspect I have micro clots from long COVID.

It’s been a journey to find answers and a treatment plan. One doctor said I was a walking time bomb. I am incredibly grateful for the insightful, intuitive urgent care provider who asked the right questions and saved my life.

Life is precious. I live for today and not for the future. This experience has led me to be a Thrombassador to provide resources and education. The NBCA Facebook community is a welcoming, accepting forum and a safe place.


May-Thurner Syndrome
Living Your Best Life on Blood Thinners
Know Your Risk

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