Saturday, October 28, 2006


Weeeeell. I have been away for awhile. It's been a rough two weeks. I was in the hospital for 12 days, suffering from a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) that ran the length of my left leg. I don't usually talk about things other than knitting here, but this has been the most traumatic thing I've ever been through in my life. I thought I was just having ovarian problems, but it turns out that it was WAY MORE SERIOUS. I am a very active, 23 year old, mostly perfectly healthy girl. I have never smoked anything in my life. I rarely drink. I should not have gotten a blood clot. My only risk factor is that I was on birth control, namely the NuvaRing. IF YOU ARE ON THE NUVARING, STOP RIGHT NOW. Or atleast, seriously reconsider your choice. It seemed like the perfect birth control for me. It cleared up my skin and regulated my very irregular cycle. I only had to worry about it twice a month. However, on their website it states,
"The risk of getting blood clots may be greater with the type of progestin in NuvaRing® than with some other progestins in certain low-dose birth control pills. It is unknown if the risk of blood clots is different with NuvaRing® use than with the use of certain birth control pills."
Apparently, even though they knew the ring may cause more blood clots, they did not perform the studies to see just how much higher the risk would be. My doctor did not tell me that the ring might have a higher risk than the pill. I was on Ortho-Tricyclene Lo for 7 years with no problems. I was on the NuvaRing for 5 months.

I now have 3 stents, 10" long in my iliac vein holding it open so that the blood will flow and not clot. During the 12 days I was in the hospital I had to undergo 6 operations where they put catheters through a shunt in the back of my leg to perform veinograms, angioplasty, bust up the clot with powerful (expensive) drugs, or install metal stents. I was in the intensive care unit for 2 days because there was a danger that I might bleed to death because the drugs were so strong. I was forced to keep my left leg perfectly straight while I was stuck flat on my back for 7 days because I had an 7" shunt in the popliteal vein behind my knee. They had to put two shunts in my vein because after the first time they thought they had fixed me, but the clot came back. It came back despite being on a heprin drip 24/7 into my leg becasue my vein was collapsing. I had every painkiller you can think of in the hospital and they were a godsend because I was in serious pain. Morphine was my best friend. Demoral, phentinol, vicodin, percocet... all of my good friends.

And now I am finally home. I am pretty weak from being in a hospital on bed rest for the majority of 12 days. I have good venous return in my left leg now, thanks to the stents. However, the stents run over the bend in my hip. The continual movement and flexing of the metal stent as I move my leg will eventually cause it to fail and kink. When this happens, my vein will be occluded and I will be plagued by a swollen, painful left leg for the remainder of my life. Stents cannot be removed. Your body internalizes them and grows epithelial cells over the mesh. The stent could fail in 2 weeks or 10 years. No one really knows because they don't usually used them in young people, and especially not over joints. I have to wear a support stocking on my left leg for who knows how long. I have to give myself a daily injection of a anti-coagulant in my tummy. I will eventually have to take a daily oral anti-coagulant for probably a year or so. I will never again go on hormonal therapy. I will always live with the fear of possibly having another DVT. Or worse... throwing a clot and having a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). Or even worse... a stroke.

My life has been forever altered. And I am sad.

See other people's stories here.

No comments:

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from manda.ebner. Make your own badge here.

Awesome Blogs!

A Bit About Me

My Photo
CA, United States
I like pizza. And knitting. And photography. This place is to keep track of my antics. Enjoy.

  © Blogger template 'Photoblog II' by 2008 Background by

Back to TOP