Jennifer Murray – My Blood Clot Story
My name is Jen. I am 37 and from Dublin. I am a carer for adults with disabilities.
I was always active all throughout my life. I was also always a big girl. I carried weight throughout my teenage years and adulthood. I have also always had bad Varicose Veins.
In 2009 at the age of 25, I had them removed and that is when I got my first blood clot in my right leg. I was treated with blood thinners for 3 months.
Life went on. I worked, went on holidays, and enjoyed my life with friends and family. My weight went up and down and in June 2017, aged 33, I was taken into hospital with bad swelling in my leg, pain, and a leg that was hot to touch. I was told I had thrombophlebitis in my right leg and again I was treated with blood thinners for 3 months.
Life went on and my weight went up and down. In July 2021 aged 36 and eleven months since I had Covid-19. I was brought into A&E with leg swelling, shortness of breath, and severe pain in my leg. This time I was admitted and diagnosed with a Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) two clots in my right leg and four pulmonary emboli in both lungs. I was very scared and six weeks later it is still hard to take it all in. I am now on a DOAC blood thinner called Apixaban and I have to take it twice a day for the rest of my life.
My lifestyle had to change. No more weight going up and down. This time it had to go down and stay down. I also had to learn to take it easy and rest sometimes, especially after 24-hour shifts in work. People kept asking me was it from Covid-19 or the Vaccine. After consulting with my doctors, I can say I find peace in knowing it was not from either.
My clots are hereditary and my weight gain over the years and 18 years on the contraceptive pill added to my risk. It is so important that people know the signs and symptoms of a blood clot and the many things that put them at higher risk of getting one.
Thrombosis Ireland has helped me feel more confident about this journey and I feel less guilty about being a survivor.
I cannot do anything about my hereditary risk but I am not taking the contraceptive pill anymore and I am losing weight and will keep it off permanently. Two changes out of three ain’t bad.