As a healthy, nonsmoking, 24-year-old woman, you don’t expect chest and leg pain to mean blood clots. I had been on hormonal birth control since my early teens.
Over the years I had frequent migraines, and in response my doctors increased my pill to types with even more estrogen.
In 2019, I had a severe Charlie horse in my left leg for a few weeks. One evening my chest started aching, then a shooting pain in my leg and my heart started racing. I took a shower and went to bed, thinking it was anxiety. The next morning I was sweating and couldn’t catch my breath as I got ready and arrived to work.
When I got to the ER the doctor said I was “lucky to be there.”
After numerous follow up appointments, my doctors will not pinpoint a “smoking gun” cause of my deep vein thrombosis (DVT, blood clot in leg) and bilateral pulmonary embolism (PE, blood clot in lung). Now that I am off hormonal birth control I feel better, and I immediately stopped having migraines and gaining weight.
If only someone had explained the risks of hormonal birth control, as well as the symptoms of blood clots.