Kelly’s DVT felt like a charley horse.
- Clotting Disorder
- Birth Control Pills
Most people don’t take clotting issues seriously, nor do many know about Factor V or other risk factors for DVT. But they should.”
I had just turned 32. I was very active, and led a healthy lifestyle. In other words, I was in the best shape of my life. So when I began feeling pain in my right calf one day, I thought it was just a charley horse. I never imagined it could be DVT.
I went to several doctors because the pain wasn’t going away. But even after an ultrasound they all thought it was just a pulled muscle. Months went by and the pain continued, along with swelling and discoloration. That’s when I really began to worry. I had also developed a painful chest cold and a heavy pulse. My boss mentioned the possibility of a clot, then made me go to a local urgent care center.
The doctor there dismissed it as varicose veins and anxiety. He referred me to a specialist, and gave me a prescription for my nerves. He said that if it really was something bad I would have red, hot lines running up my leg, have severe chest pain or feel faint.
I dragged myself back to work limping around barely able to walk. Four hours later I had red, hot lines running up my leg, felt like I couldn't breath and almost fainted.
I went immediately to the ER. After waiting more than three hours, my exam revealed that I had DVT and a PE on my right side. I was in shock, and I was terrified. I was also a little angry because I knew something was wrong but they hadn’t believed me. A blood test revealed I had Factor V Leiden and that the birth control pills I was taking at the time contributed to the severity of the problem.
I never would have thought this could happen to me. I’m very lucky to be alive, but the lack of prompt treatment left me with the disabling Post Thrombotic syndrome. I will take warfarin for the rest of my life, and have to wear custom compression stockings. Most people don’t take clotting issues seriously, nor do many know about Factor V or other risk factors for DVT. But they should. More people need to know their risks, especially for any medications like birth control, and how they can contribute to DVT and PE.