I Knew Nothing About Blood Clots: Shawna’s Story

I Knew Nothing About Blood Clots: Shawna’s Story

During Covid, I was teaching from home and not as active as I once was. I began feeling short of breath at the start of the week, but attributed it to the bad air quality from fires in the area.

On Thursday evening, I began feeling a pain in the right side of my back and thought my back was sore from the deep breaths I was trying to take. Friday morning, it was extremely painful every time I took a breath. I taught the whole day, and when I went to go lie down, and the pain got significantly worse. I began to hyperventilate and told my husband I needed to go to urgent care.

Once there, I was given a chest x-ray, which made them believe I needed to have my gallbladder removed. They instructed me to go straight to the emergency room for emergency surgery.

Once there, I was given every test which determined that my right lung was completely filled with blood clots. When the doctor told me I had a pulmonary embolism, I was relieved that it was my gallbladder (I clearly had no idea what a PE was).

At the time that I was hospitalized, we had no idea what caused my PE. I wasn’t on birth control, I had had any recent injuries or surgeries. A month or so later, I was diagnosed with factor II mutation. This knowledge changed the course of my life.

I now work out seven days a week to ensure my blood pumps easier. My sister and niece also got tested as a result and it was determined they have factor II as well, which led to them changing to a no/low hormone birth control. I will also have my children tested once they are older. My life revolves around awareness and spreading information because I knew nothing about blood clots until this happened to me.


Factor II
Blood Clot Resource Center
Signs and Symptoms

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