Real Stories from People Who Have Experienced Blood Clots – Beth Waldron
I developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and bi-lateral pulmonary embolism (PE) in 2003 at the age of 34.
My clots were not immediately diagnosed. Neither I nor my health care provider recognized my symptoms as due to a blood clot. The leg pain associated with my DVT was initially attributed to a pulled muscle. The chest pain and shortness of breath associated with my PE was initially diagnosed as a respiratory infection for which I was prescribed antibiotics. Only after a second painful PE episode nearly a week later were the correct diagnostic tests performed and an accurate DVT and PE diagnosis obtained.
I was hospitalized for nine days during which time testing revealed that I have a genetic predisposition to clotting: I am homozygous for the Factor V Leiden mutation. This mutation, along with starting oral contraceptives, likely contributed to my clotting episode. Today, I remain on blood thinners and will likely do so for life. Fortunately, I am doing very well and in good health. I feel very fortunate to have survived my clotting episode and am fully recovered. As a result of my experience with blood clots, I am now heavily involved in promoting greater blood clot education for both patients and health care providers.
CDC would like to thank Beth for sharing this personal story.