May-Thurner Syndrome, Stent Placement & DVT: One Year Later!

Mummy Confession: I’ve been REALLY bad about updating this blog this year. There are a few reasons. One is definitely my tolerance for sitting in front of a computer in a chair for long periods of time has decreased drastically.

It’s been a year since the discovery of a DVT (which I probably had for 10 days before realising).

A year ago, I walked, limped really, around in pain wondering why that “pulled muscle” just hadn’t resolved after ten days and the just wouldn’t touch it anymore. I put off getting medical help until I was in excruciating pain and until I was laying in bed crying, feeling nauseous and on the verge of passing out while I waited for someone to drive me to the doctors. I should have called for an ambulance (or at least health direct to ask for medical advice) rather than waiting.
I waited in various chairs of the ER before I was able to lie down again. With an hour before I was triaged, 4 more hours until I received any blood tests and a further 5 before I saw a doctor. It was a total of 17 hours from walking through the doors until I could lie down again. Standing was awful but sitting wasn’t much better. I watched my ankle swell up the biggest I’ve ever seen and was told by the ER nurse on duty that it probably wasn’t anything related to why I was there. Then, I watched my entire left leg swell and turn various shades of grey, purple and blue over the next few days as it became more and more useless and hard to move.

A year ago, my life changed and I felt like I aged about 50 years in the span of a week.

In July, a 100mm (3.94in) long stent was placed and my stomach-to-ankle blood clot removed. I would continue with blood thinners, compression stockings and appointments. It was also discovered about six months later that the stent had fully blocked, but for now they have decided to leave it as it is. And all I have as a visible result is a tiny scratch of a scar behind my left knee.

The way that life goes now has changed a bit. I have to be more careful now and even watch the way I sit or stand, and monitor how long I do it, or I feel it later. Even laying down has changed, and I can’t stay on one side for too long. My feet have always seemed a little cold, but my left foot seems colder somehow now (and we won’t talk about the wonky looking toe which I’m sure is an innocent bystander in all this).

I get exhausted easily, and I’m not sure if that’s just my medication or if it has something to do with my leg. I have a fancy Medic Alert bracelet now, too, which will trend any day now with my fellow thirty-somethings I’m sure.

And, if I travel long distances or have any more babies, blood thinners are inevitable regardless of whether they decide to take me off them at my next appointment (which is questionable since we’ve found out my stent is fully occluded). I’m at a higher risk of developing another DVT, and we found out I’m also Factor V Leiden.

A year ago, I also saw the absolute amazing way my family brought itself together with their willingness to help watch/house/feed/entertain/comfort/support the kids for an extended period of time. I saw sensitive little hearts where I could do nothing myself for their comfort but to pray and rely on family’s kindness and energy to manage their little lives and give them some semblance of normalcy while my husband was run ragged back and forth to hospital and home.

My family and friends overseas rallied in prayer and continuous messages to keep updated on my condition, and I tried to keep the family group chat somewhat light-hearted while checking in with any news as I had it.

And, how truly precious and beautiful and gentle are my children! Littlest has prayed for me practically every day for “mummy [to] get her leg better” and my girls have been so helpful when I have to stop and just can’t stand up and do things anymore. Hubs has been the most amazing and patient husband I could ask for, and so very understanding of annoying limitations my body has. I am so blessed to have such a family and so thankful for each and every one of them.

This year has been an interesting one to say the least! But, I very much look forward to my next appointment to see if I can try to be off of the medication (which makes life a little more annoying, too) and stop with the thigh high super gorgeous stockings. I’m excited about what this next year holds, too!

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