Where Can I Find Support Personal Stories Stephanie

Stephanie’s DVT happened after routine surgery.

Stephanie

Risk Factors:

  • Major Surgery
  • Pregnancy

DVT has changed my life forever. I can’t have any more children, I’ll be on clotting medication for the rest of my life, and have to watch my diet religiously and avoid any strenuous activity.”

My first DVT went undiagnosed for three weeks following knee surgery when doctors dismissed the pain in my leg as normal post-operative pain. After a weekend of extreme pain & swelling, followed by several frantic phone calls, my doctor finally ordered an ultrasound—and immediately discovered I had DVT. By the time I reached the E.R., the pain was so excruciating I was unable to walk. The next morning, the doctor said my CT scan showed that a blood clot in my leg had broken off and moved into both lungs. My doctor’s next words will stay with me forever: “You could have died from this.” I was numb. How could he have missed this? I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. After all, I was athletic, in good shape, and ready to start a family.

Several years later, I had DVT again a month after my daughter was born. Labor was complicated, so I needed an emergency c-section. Two weeks later, I was still in the hospital with a fever of unknown origin. Thinking that I might be suffering from “drug fever,” the doctors stopped all my medications. Unfortunately, the choice was made to stop my blood thinner, which triggered a massive DVT two weeks later in my upper thigh and pelvis. The second I felt the twinge in my leg, I knew. This DVT was massive and more painful than anything I have ever experienced in my life. I was devastated with this diagnosis, especially since I’d given myself anti-clotting shots during my pregnancy to prevent any problems.

DVT has changed my life forever. I can’t have any more children, I’ll be on clotting medication for the rest of my life, and have to watch my diet religiously and avoid any strenuous activity. Because of this, I’ve gained 30 pounds. I even had to alter my career path—I wanted to become a nurse, but now I can’t spend that much time on my feet. However, through all this, I feel extremely grateful to be alive.

DVT can happen to anyone. They do not discriminate and it can be fatal. Be an advocate for yourself. Listen to your inner voice, to what your heart and mind are telling you. Educate yourself. And if something feels wrong, don’t delay for a second.