Shortly after we arrived in Alaska, I began to feel pain in my right leg. As the days passed, the pain increased. When I couldn’t bend my leg, I discovered a hard lump behind my knee. My concern grew as I have Factor V Leiden which is an inherited blood-clotting disorder due to a mutation of the blood’s factor V protein. My mom also has it and survived a puliminary embolism.

After more research and a long search for a local preferred physcian, I had my first doctor’s visit in November as the clot had grown into a hard cord. We began the appointment with an hour consultation and exam, followed by a duplex ultrasound. The doctor’s office is located in the hospital which made it conveinient and possible to do immediately. The results confirmed that I had a blood clot and began immediate treatment with a prescribed blood thinner medication and thigh high compression stockings.

A week later, I began follow up treatment at a Laser Vein Clinic. We started with a thorough exam and duplex ultrasound on both legs. They discovered the exact placement of the clot, along with additional clots in my lower calf. The results also revealed that the great saphenous veins in both legs have reflux. These veins carry the blood upward to the heart, but mine have a gap in their flap that allows some of the blood to travel down and pool at my ankles due to gravity. It also causes cramps, aches and pains in my legs and feet.

For three months, I continued taking daily blood thinner medication, wearing the compression stockings and going to the clinic for regular ultrasounds. In April, the ultrasound indicated that my blood clot dissolved enough to move forward with part two of my treatment to remove the “bad” reflux veins. Today is the day… for the left leg and tomorrow the right.

May the Lord guide the medical team and my recovery.