A month after I gave birth to Atreyu, I suffered from a massive blood clot. At first, no one could tell me one thing as to what caused it. It could have been from the horrible swelling in my legs during pregnancy, or the extended rest I needed from the swelling, or the clotting factor that they gave me after child birth to stop the bleeding. They didn't know, but they did say that I needed 2 surgeries. 1 to place an inferior vena cava filter, to protect my heart from any clot that might break up, and 2 to remove the top and most dangerous part of the clot. I was immediately started on a heparin drip, lovenox shots into my stomach, and warfarin pills.
The surgeries went without a hitch, and I was on my way to recovery. Sorta. My leg is not the same. There was scarring in the vein affected, causing a improper blood flow. I get swelling in my leg, and discoloration around my ankle from blood pooling. My leg tires out faster then the other, from lack of oxygenated blood circulating to my muscles, and I have varicose veins on my calf from blood being redirected naturally to veins unsuited for that much flow.
Now, that was almost 2 years ago. I have been on blood thinners ever since. The side effects from them are not great. I suffer from chronic fatigue, which within 30 minutes of taking them, I'm out like a light. My hair is thinning, and i have to be very stringent with the other medications that i can take. Almost anything over the counter interacts with the warfarin. Naturally, I wanted to get of them, so i sought help from a hematologist. First he told me that i have a blood mutation called Factor 5 Leiden. A hereditary mutation that affects my liver and platelets, by screwing up how much natural blood thinner is secreted by my liver, and affects the behavior of my platelets, making them to clot more unnecessarily.
The Dr I had was very understanding of my desire, but wanted to be very thorough before taking me off the thinners. So, he ordered some blood tests. One was a genetic test to see which hereditary genes are mutated and which aren't. Depending if one parent, as apposed to two, gave me the mutation, I could have the choice of getting off the medication. And a few other tests to see how my platelets and plasma reacted to non mutated plasma and other factors.
The results came back, and changed my life forever.
Turns out that i do only have 1 hereditary mutated gene (which is good) but also have a blood clotting disease called Lupus Anticoagulant. Which is not regular Lupus. Lupus Anticoagulant means that my platelets like to adhere together and aggregate. So I'm stuck with a double whammy. Not one blood disorder, but two. My Dr said that i really need to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life.
Now, this just doesn't affect me by needing to take a pill every night. It means that i have to get regular blood tests, around every 3-4 weeks, adjust my dosage if necessary, wear a medical id bracelet or necklace, making sure that if anything happened, medical personal do not give me clotting factors or vitamin k. Also, this will make it difficult for me to get medical insurance and life insurance.
Sadly enough, as I could have died when i had my first clot, I was forced to think about my own mortality. This is where things get real. As I get older, my health will deteriorate, as most older peoples do, my medical condition will probably get complicated, and I hate to admit this, this condition might be the way I go. Blood thinners aren't a 100% safety net. They only go so far. They just reduce my chance of a clot. But, that's enough of death talk.
I am sad about this. Not only was i not able to get off my blood thinners, but learned that i have another blood disease, and have to stay on them for the rest of my life. But at the same time, i already dealt with the knowledge of having Factor 5, and came to terms with it. I'm angry, concerned, and at the same time, I'm OK with it. This doesn't really change anything now. It just doesn't change anything later. I'm going to take my pills tonight, and I'm going to take my pills 10 years from tonight.
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