“Don’t worry, you don’t have anything. Just make sure you rest your arm and that’s it”. “Oh, no, this has nothing to do with me”. These were the reactions of the first doctors Laura visited so they could tell her what was happening in her right arm.

Fall 2012. Laura was 19 years old, she did not drink alcohol or smoke, she had a balanced life but she had spent several weeks with her limb somehow swollen, with tingling, asleep and warm. “More than pain, it was discomfort” she explains. “I am used to complain for anything and my surrounding did not give it importance”, but after several days feeling discomfort in her arm she went to hospital

In the first hospital they did not give it importance. Some days later she visited another center, a wider range one, and after seeing several different specialists one of the doctors discovered the problem: “your blood does not circulate in here. You have a clot blocking the circulation”. And she was admitted in hospital.

She spent five days at hospital and that is how Laura and her family got to know, all of a sudden, venous thromboembolic disease (VTE). “For me and for my circle it was a stranger”, she remembers. The clot that was blocking correct blood circulation was in the right shoulder blade. That was the reason of my discomfort in the arm and the exaltation of the veins of my chest that, nowadays, four years later, you can still see.

19 years old, no VTE records, no recent surgery or bed rest. What was the reason of the thrombosis? “I was taking contraceptive pill by that time, she indicates. Almost certainly this was the triggering factor of the thrombus “I could tell about it when I was diagnosed with the thrombosis. I knew it could happen, but I thought it was something that would happen in the leg, not in my arm”.

I do not like needles, and the injections left me with many bruises

Laura

During her hospital admission she had a treatment of daily injections of low molecular weight heparin. “I do not like needles, and the injections left me with many bruises”. “When she was discharged, they changed the injections for antivitamin K, Sintrom® pills, for three months. “It was hard to reach the adequate dose, so at the beginning I had to combine heparin and Sintrom®”.

During the first weeks she had to go to hospital every two-three days so she could have monitored her anticoagulation point (or INR). And while she was on treatment, she could not practice any high-impact sports and even “avoid mosquitoes!”

Laura was discharged a few months ago, at the end of 2015. Three whole years with thrombosis. With frequent visits to the specialist, which were later on spaced out. Learning to adopt new customs, no combined hormonal contraceptives, and controlling the volume of her arm until her total recovery.

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