Survivor Spotlight: Sheldon E Jackson

  My Story

I will be 56 years old next month. I grew up in Washington, DC. I am an Environmental Services Director at a local Nursing Center. I have been divorced for 17 years now. My daughter is 30 and son 24. I noticed problems with my legs when I was 12 years old. Swelling, stiffness and pain all the time. I thought it was normal and everyone felt this pain. Constant unbearable pain and swelling. I suffered with this pain until I was 45 years old in the year of 2006, when everything changed. I use to walk or jog for 3 miles daily. One day at work I was moving furniture and I thought I bruised my thigh. I checked out the bruise daily and began to think to myself, is this bruise moving and getting bigger and hotter? The pain got so bad that I began to crawl at home. I continued to work and one day I decided to show it to someone at work. She told me to go to the ER, I worked at a Hospital at the time and they referred me to an oncologist specialist. They told me they thought I had cancer and would have to do more test. All the the while having me go to a cancer clinic. I was so scared and confused and did not know how to tell my family. They keep asking me what was wrong with me? and blaming my smoking cigarettes for the problem. I never felt so alone in my life. I kept getting hospitalized for thing like loosing my balance walking, resulting in me hitting my head on the wall twice and bleeding both times. One day I went to see my doctor because I was crawling again and it took me 34 minutes to get to the office, when usually it took 7 minutes. They did a Doppler and the nurse went upstairs to see my doctor and it took her so long to come back that I went home. When I got home my doctor called and told me to go straight to the emergency room. He said I had 9 blood clots and had a PE. I fell into a deep depression and would not tell anyone I was in the hospital. My doctor told me later that they found out what the problem was. I was born with not one but two genes that cause my blood to clot. I was put on antidepressants and they inserted an IVC filter and I had to take very painful injections of Lovenox in the stomach and put me on Coumadin for life. While on Coumadin, I still developed many blood clots and had 2 PE’s. Was hospitalized constantly. Since then I switched to Xarelto and have not had any problems.

sheldon

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