My name is Kelly Nobles, I'm 35, the wife of Eric for 14 years, mother to 4 daughters and follower of Christ. Welcome to a little piece of my life, my daily struggle of living with a DVT and all that comes with it! I am 13 months in the fight of my life. I just had my 7th surgical procedure. Over the next few months I will go back to the beginning of my battle and re-tell the story of where I was, where I am and finally where I hope to be. My heart is to be transparent and to help others. I hope to educate prevention but even more than that I would like to offer a gentle embrace to those affected by this silent killer. So welcome to my neck of the woods, may you be blessed!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Going to War post 7 DVT Testimony

So now that I got the fact that my pregnancy didn't cause this off my chest we can dive into the real reasons why this happened.  While we are in the "wait and see" season I am taking twice daily Lovenox shots and healing from childbirth.  We were also able to do some investigative work.  The first step was a CT scan and PVL Ultra-Sound.  The scan revealed an anatomical deformity that had been hidden for quite some time.  I have a condition called, May-Thurners Syndrome.  The iliac vein and artery cross in the abdomen area but when you have MTS (May Thurners Syndrome)  they don't just cross, the artery pinches off the vein causing pooling of blood which turn into DVT's or blood clots.  Only 2% of people diagnosed with a blood clot have MTS.  DVT's (complications from them) are the number 3 killer of Americans, in fact they kill more people than Breast Cancer.  One in three DVT victims will die of complications such as pulmonary embolism.  Surprised, I know I was.  The longer the DVT goes untreated the more likely you are to have a deadly complication, here I was with a clot nearly filling my leg.  That doesn't happen overnight, I can date pain back months maybe even a year or more! 

I administered Lovenox Shots to myself twice a day in my belly.  I developed lots of bruises and lumps under the skin.  They are expensive and painful.  I stayed on them for a total of 6 months.  After a month of shots another scan revealed the clot had not shrunk at all.  Time for drastic measures.

My surgeon scheduled a 3 part series of surgical procedures.  I would spend 3 days in the ICU.  Day 1: Insert a catheter through length of the clot, inject it with high doses of heparin(strong blood thinning drug) then hook it up to a sonic wave machine to further break down the clot.  Day 2: Remove catheter but oh wait, still more clot so we had to catheterize with a slightly smaller tube and stay hooked up to the sonic machine for another night along with some hefty doses of heparin.  Day 3: Remove catheter, balloon the vein and put 2 stents in the vein to keep it open.  Normally a clot is jello like, my clot had congealed so much it was the consistency of a pencil eraser.  It was so hard the surgeon wasn't sure if he would be able to get the catheter inserted through the clot!  That surgery which usually clears the entire clot cleared about 40% of mine, leaving me with quite a bit of clot still!  After the surgery my doctor came in and told me how blessed I was to even be alive.  He said that he doesn't usually see patients alive with the kind of clot I had! 

This 3 part series marked the first battle of this war.  It was very painful, no relief and the ICU stay was scary.  At this point my baby was just over 1 month old!  We'll stop here for now.  Do you see the Lord in that surgery, I do; rescued from a certain death.  Thank you Lord for saving me, saving me by the cross giving me the gift of eternal life and for saving my life here on this Earth granting me another day with my family. 

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