I had my first deep vein thrombosis when I was 18. I was training for the military and was very active, doing lots of weightlifting and running.
One day, I had extreme pain and swelling in my groin and right leg. Even with those symptoms, I was stubborn and waited four days before getting it checked out.
I was diagnosed with factor V Leiden heterozygous and webbed veins, and these conditions likely caused the DVT. My recovery was tough. I could barely walk without needing a break from the pain. In addition to that, I struggled immensely with what I found out later was depression and anxiety. I had several panic attacks from the thought of having another DVT and struggled with not being as active as I once was.
After six months, I was able to start being active. I began at the complete bottom, walking laps in my apartment complex and lifting light weights. I also was able to start mentally recovering from the DVT and coping with how much my life would need to change. I had to stop contact sports and some other things I enjoyed.
I did have a reoccurrence after about a year when I was taken off thinners, but was immediately placed back on thinners for life.
Over the next 10 years, I was able to recover most of my physicality and have been mentally processing the event.
Putting my health first has helped a lot. I lift weights to deal with my issues as well as hike on a regular basis. I have also done therapy sessions.
In terms of family history, I’ve learned my sisters have factor V Leiden and that my grandpa may have died from complications related to blood clots.
My advice to others is to make your health a priority and be diligent about following up on it. Also, do not be afraid to talk to someone if you need to.