In 1974 while still in grad school, I work up one morning feeling
really weird, nothing was working right so I went back to bed. I
was a married 28 year old, non-smoking, normal weight female that
did happen to take birth control pills.
My husband, an internal medicine resident, came home and found me totally not right, he had me admitted to the hospital immediately and I was diagnosed with what they called a "mini-stroke". Treated with heparin and hospitalized for a week and all seemed fine, except for normal healthy 28 year olds should not be having strokes.
I returned to school and graduated and we went on with our lives until 1983 when the week after returning from a business trip to Germany, I woke up with what I thought was a strained muscle in my left calf, as the week progressed the leg continued to get more and more painful, until I couldn't get out of bed.
My husband again took a look, but did not suspect a clot until he compared my left leg to the right. Off to the hospital I went, this time for two weeks on heparin. The clot was attributed to the flight, I was released on Coumadin for the next 3 months, all seemed fine.
This type of event continued for several more incidents over the next 10 years, typically after a long flight, before a new doctor decided to have a hematologist look at me. At last a diagnosis: Factor V Leiden. After 25 years of clots and hospitalizations.
After developing a pulmonary embolism in 1995, it was decided that I would remain on maintenance Coumadin for the remainder of my life.
At 63 now I still work and travel extensively. I have my own monitor and am able to keep my PT and INR regulated, and it helps when your husband is an MD. We never had any children, but I feel able to live a full and unrestricted life.
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