Patient Stories

The Day that Changed My Life Forever: Kelly’s Story

I was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in my lungs, on July 20, 2020, at the age of 28. This clotting was provoked by estrogen-based birth control combined with immobility due to a recent wisdom teeth extraction. This was a day I will never forget and a day that changed my life…

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You Know You Best: Robyn’s Story

My mum saved my life. I was diagnosed with upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or a blood clot in my arm, in late June 2019. I started showing signs and symptoms at the beginning of the month. I was 26 years old, had a 9 to 5 job, and loved going to the gym.…

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Listen to Your Body: Renee’s Story

December 19, 2019, will always be a day I remember. Three weeks prior to that day, I noticed calf pain in my left leg that would come and go. I chalked it up to a running injury. I was in the best shape of my life running 20 miles a week and attending fitness classes…

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Don’t Neglect Health and Wellness: Noelle’s Story

I believe that our daily hustle and bustle, which society has pressured us to believe is normal, convinces us to think that obligations are more important than the health and wellness of our own bodies. Ironically, being a doctorate student unintentionally embodies that notion as curriculum eagerly piles up to what eventually feels like an…

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A Family Affair: Kathy’s Story

“I have shortness of breath.” This was the oft-repeated comment to each of my doctors. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2020. By August 2020 I had major surgery that included three surgeons: breast cancer surgeon, thoracic surgeon, and plastic surgeon. This was followed up by 30 rounds of radiation. I also complained…

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My Doctor Said I Was Fine, My Intuition Saved My Life: Chriselda’s Story

During my first pregnancy at 15 years old, I started to have intense burning and numbness on my left side groin and hip region that my OB/GYN stated was normal pregnancy pain. After giving birth, I followed up with my primary doctor and neurologist. All of my doctor’s visits concluded with no diagnosis. My second…

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How My Reproductive Choice Could Have Cost My Life: Lauren’s Story

I thought I was being responsible.  My husband and I had been married for nearly ten years. We’d mutually agreed that we didn’t want biological children and I’d faithfully remained on the same birth control, having never experienced any adverse effects. I’m a big believer in the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix…

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My PE Gave Me a New Perspective on Health Inequities: Vanessa’s Story

At fifteen years old, I first began taking hormonal contraceptives to relieve migraines. I received my prescription quickly after a brief medical exam where I was asked about my family history. I never imagined my journey on hormonal contraceptives would end abruptly nine years later after an emergency room diagnosis of bilateral pulmonary …

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I’m Still Struggling After Months of Recovery: Melissa’s Story

I was diagnosed in May 2020, but I initially went to the ER in April of the same year with severe pain in my right chest and back area. I couldn’t lie flat, or take any deep breaths, like coughs or sneezes. I couldn’t bend forward to pick anything up, and I was getting fatigued…

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Looking Back With Gratitude: Marianne’s Story

In March of 2016, I was 28 years old and pregnant with my second child. Being nine weeks along, I had severe morning sickness and was vomiting more than six times a day. Everything seemed normal. One morning, I noticed a dull pain on my right side along my ribcage. I assumed I must have…

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