My blood hates me. Weird, huh? I have a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden which predisposes me to blood clots.

Guess who got a DVT (deep vein thrombosis, ie blood clot) when she was in her late 20's? Yep - I did.

It's apparently pretty rare for young people to get DVTs.  During the week I was in the hospital with my lovely blood clots, numerous medical students came in and out of my room to "study" me. Gimme a break. If you want me to get any rest, get the hell out!

This disorder is one of those that you'd never know you had unless you asked for a blood test or you were tested because you had a blood clot. I think they may test you if you're pregnant, but since I've never been pregnant, don't quote me on that. (Editor's note:  It is not one of the common prenatal blood tests, but it can be requested as part of a screening panel.)

Factor V Leiden is dangerous and it's scary. Great! ANOTHER dangerous and scary illness for Mrs. One Day. Woohoo! Bleh.

When I had my DVT, I didn't know I had Factor V Leiden of course, and I was on the pill.

I also didn't know I had endometriosis, was infertile, and would end up with a hysterectomy at 38, but that's a story for another time.

Because I was on the pill, doctors assumed that was the reason I had the DVT. In fact, they didn't even test me for Factor V Leiden in the hospital. Smart, huh? They fucking assumed! Jesus!

I found out a couple of years later from a fertility doctor who read my file and thought it was a good idea to test me for it. Bingo! We have a winner!

I was on blood thinners for about a year and couldn't eat spinach (because of the vitamin K), which pissed me off. Vitamin K deficiency comes with a whole new set of problems. 

Blood clots are scary as hell and can kill you. I found out I had mine because of a misdiagnosis.

The doctor told me I had been bitten by a spider when I went to him with a bruised ankle, red and swollen leg. When it didn't go away, I went back to see him. 

It got much worse. My leg was bruised from ankle to inner thigh. It was so painful I couldn't do my job as a pharmacy technician because I couldn't stand all day like my job required. I showed my boss my leg and he told me to call an Internal Medicine doc across the street that was supposed to be good. I did and he saw me that day. He took one look at my leg, said it was thrombophlebitis and sent me for a doppler ultrasound. 

My now ex-husband and I waited and waited and waited for what seemed like forever for the results. I honestly didn't think anything was terribly wrong. All I could think about was how hungry I was because it was dinnertime.

Finally, someone came in the room and told me my nurse was on the phone for me. I thought, "That's weird," and answered it. She told me,  "Leave immediately, but DO NOT WALK. Get in a wheelchair, go from there to the car and from there to the emergency room where they are waiting for you."

Now I was scared. She told me that I had two blood clots on the verge of breaking off, and I needed to be treated right away. So we did what she told us. I don't think either of us said a word until we got there. We were in shock, I suppose. 

I was in the hospital a week with blood thinners, anti-coagulants, and pain medication being pumped into my bloodstream night and day. The ex was really good about bringing me yummy food instead of that garbage they try to pawn off on sick people in the hospital.

When I finally got out, it was a relief because I was alive. No blood clots to the lungs or brain. I was safe for the time being. I'm still a high risk (thanks a lot, genetics!), but at least I know what I'm looking for now. 

I wish I could tell you something that could help you prevent having Factor V Leiden yourself, but I can't. It's a genetic disorder and there's not a damn thing you can do to prevent it. Don't you love that?

Really I'm just writing this for the same reason I write everything else regarding my plethora of health issues: awareness. You need to be aware of this condition, and I figure I'm as good a person as any to put it out there for you. 

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