Michelle's Story

I am a 30 yr old women, married, with 3 busy little kids and a dog that acts just like the kids do. To look at me, I seem like any other woman my age and in many aspects, I am. However, one thing that sets me apart is that I have an antithrombin III deficiency and boy, does that make a difference!
When I was 20 yrs old, I went to get a physical so that I could go on a mission for my church. I told my doctor that I had always bruised easily and that perhaps he should check me for anemia. (Ha! I'd much rather have that!) When he got the results he called me at work and told me not to cut myself or hurt myself or even shave! He said my platelets were incredibly low and I could bleed to death. (Don't worry, I still shaved!) So, I saw a specialist who determined I had portal hypertension due to a blood clot in my portal vein. Also, because of this my spleen was enlarged and possibly holding all my platelets. His advice was basically to be careful and to get a transfusion of platelets before surgeries or delivering any babies.
I married a few years later and at 23 was pregnant with my first child! I was recommended to some wonderful specialists to help me through it. It was very very risky, but I felt very very strongly that I needed to have children.
I had a really tough time delivering. For my first and last children I was completely under so I don't remember them being born (which is really hard for a mother). During my second child I was awake and hemoraged something awful. I remember them just reaching in and pulling out huge clot after huge clot for a long time. They check me and pulled clots out for days. I think that was my first blood transfusion. They pumped so many fluids in me that I was bigger when I came home than when I went in.
Eventually I did add a hematologist to my team of doctors during my last pregnancy and what a blessing that was. He found out right away that I had antithrombin III deficiency, as well as a protein S deficiency. I really didn't understand too much about it and what that could mean at the time. Then it just meant that I needed to be on blood thinners toward the end of my pregnancy.
When my youngest child was a year old I found out I had severe pulmonary hypertension, due to small clots in my lungs. That was a hard blow and meant some real changes for me. At that point I felt like I went from an active, normal mom to one who gets winded and a racing heart beat just from loading her two year old in the car.
That is where I am at right now. I am still adjusting to my newest disease (the pulmonary hypertension) and am working on a few other things. My portal hypertension has not only affected my platelets and spleen, but also my liver which is in turn affecting my body's ability to get rid of excess hormones. Honestly, I feel like a big walking mess.
Still, I am thankful that I am here, that I have three kids and a husband. I can't walk my dog, but he still seems to like me. I am very grateful though, that the Lord is on my side and that even though I have never heard of any way to cure this deficiency that just loves to reek havoc on my body, it is treatable, which is enough for me.
shellemabelle shellemabelle
Dec 11, 2012