BeckySix years ago, in 2018, I was just 19 when I was diagnosed with a blood clot that changed my life. It was an extensive deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot in my right leg. The hospital discovered at that time that I have a blood clotting disorder called factor V Leiden, which increases my risk for a blood clot.

I spent two weeks in the hospital and received 72 hours of aggressive treatment, with two titanium stents placed in the vein and also a rod placed in my leg in an attempt to break up or bust the clot. Unfortunately, this procedure was unsuccessful. I came home after a two-week, bed-bound stay in the hospital and had to learn how to walk again.

I’m lucky to be alive, despite having to continue to manage the challenges each day that go hand-in-hand with the clot in my leg and the risk for clotting posed by factor V Leiden. I wear full length compression stockings routinely, have blood tests weekly, and take anticoagulation medicine or blood thinners daily. Also, I have frequent scans to keep an eye on the clot over time.

There’s no doubt that I have suffered with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as a result of this experience. PTSD is a real thing! But, I remain strong in my efforts to manage this situation and live life to the fullest. I hope to be able to raise awareness and help people understand how blood clots and genetic clotting disorders can impact people at any age.

Learn more about factor V Leiden and other inherited clotting disorders here.