I have PCOS, so I don’t get a normal period. This particular time, I was bleeding for close to 6 months. The last two weeks were the worst. It was more than I had ever seen. I ended up going to the ER because I was starting to have fainting spells. When I got there and told them I was bleeding to death because of my period, they pretty much laughed me off. The doctors ended up doing labs and my Hemoglobin was at 6. They did apologize for not taking me seriously when I first arrived and ended up doing a blood transfusion. I spent two nights in the hospital. My OB prescribed an excessive amount birth control pills to stop the bleeding for which I was instructed to take 3 pills a day for 4 or 5 days. The doctor knew I was smoking and still prescribed these anyways.
A few days later, I went to have a check up and asked him about a charley horse I kept getting in my right calf. He told me to take potassium. He didn’t even look at the leg. I am pretty sure I had a clot in my leg at this point.
A few days later, I couldn’t breathe. I went back to the ER. I was having an awful pain in the dead center of my chest. They took labs, x-ray and a CT. The CT was not clear. They said that they couldn’t see everything in the scan, but they didn’t see any big clots in the areas that they could see. They sent me home, gave me Ativan, told me that I needed to lose some weight and to follow up with my regular doctor for a good plan.
I went to my doctor the next day and I was sobbing. I knew something wasn’t right. Just walking from my living room to my bathroom had me feeling like I ran a marathon. She believed me and because she is an amazing doctor she sent me to a pulmonologist. They put an oxygen monitor on me and had me walk very slowly down a short hallway. My heart rate went up to 130. This was even with me walking at a slow pace like an elderly woman. They sent me to have another CT scan the next day and I indeed had multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms. I spent a few days in the hospital and was sent home with Xarelto. Unfortunately, I had a reaction to the medication and had to switch to Coumadin.
After six months, I had another CT and was approved to stop taking the blood thinners since I had been tested for all the clotting factors and was fine. I’m three years out, but the anxiety is still there.
Through this experience there were was postitive takeaways. It forced me to quit smoking and lose 70 pounds. I can no longer take any hormonal birth control. I’m happy that I’m still alive and that I had a doctor who believed me.