Tough times don’t last, but tough people do

My name is Priya.  I was diagnosed with a Dural Sinus Thrombosis, a Pulmonary Embolus and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in July 2015 when I was 24 years old. I had also had a stroke and seizures that were caused by the blood clots, an intercerebral haemorrhage and a blocked artery. –  It started when I was sick for a week with Gastroenteritis.  At that time, I just thought it was food poisoning. I was taking birth control pills to regulate my menstrual cycle, which is the likely reason for my health issues, and it changed my life forever. I went to the emergency room (ER) at Sydney Adventist Hospital because I had a lot of weakness in my left arm & foot. On arrival, they said it would be a two and a half hour wait, but it was only when they were taking me to get blood tests done, that they realised how serious it was as I started having a seizure. I was seen by Professor Brian Owler (you may have seen him in ads on tv regarding road safety)

Within the Next 2 days, I was transferred to the ICU at Royal North Shore Hospital as they were better equipped with machinery an excellent team of doctors. I had to have a thrombectomy twice as there was a lot of clot in my brain and wasn’t able to talk for two days. I was tested for blood clotting disorders, but none were found, nor has anyone in my family had a blood clot.

I think this illness changed my life because if I didn’t have those two procedures, I wouldn’t be here.

I was in ICU for about 9 days and then got taken up to the step down ward.

While I was there I was being monitored every 2 – 4 hours and as my heart rate was high, they did a lung scan and that’s when they found the clot in my lungs, so they decided to do a leg scan and they found DVT. While I was in hospital I had 2 falls, a vasovagal and a fall backward which caused me to hit my head on the bathroom rail. I was in hospital for 3 and a half weeks.

I was eventually transferred to Royal Rehab in Ryde where I was discharged within 2 week as I was recovering so well and so quickly. I am now getting back to my normal routine at home with exercising and healthy eating and looking to start work again soon.

I had the most amazing team of doctors and some amazing nurses which I would like to thank, especially my Neurosurgeons, Dr Assaad and Dr Faulder (Macquarie Neurosurgery) and Dr Ward (RNSH) who said he has never seen anyone with blood clots in all three places at once and calls me a Star 🙂

I learned more about blood clots and the blood thinners that treat clots and the risks for blood clots, including birth control pills.  It’s very important to spread the word about the signs and symptoms of DVT and its associated risk.

I look at life differently now, and I am thankful every day when I wake up. I now appreciate everything life offers, both good and bad.  I’ve learned that life has lessons and that life can be so short so make the most of it. I’m so blessed and fortunate that my blood clot was caught before it was too late and I am grateful to my family and friends who have supported me the whole way. I’m also glad that this was caught now and that I could recover so quickly from it. My advice to others is to stay healthy, move, and keep in shape to keep your blood flowing.  It is also important to be aware that birth control pills carry risk for blood clots. Disclaimer: This is based on my personal experience and you should always seek advice from your own medical practitioner if there are any concerns.

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