Margot thought she had migraines…

8 augustus 2022

Margot (23 years old) woke up last October with a terrible headache. She had to throw up and couldn’t stand any light anymore. The doctor thought she had migraines. Margot herself too.

“A few days before my admission to the hospital, I woke up with a headache. This kept getting worse. I had to vomit and not tolerate any more light. I just lay in bed with the curtains drawn. My GP thought I had migraines and I believed this myself. The complaints got worse and I even started to suffer from symptoms of loss. I couldn’t use the right side of my body anymore. All my strength was gone.

A blood clot was blocking the draining blood vessels in my brain.

My mother and brother then took me to the hospital because they did not trust it. Luckily they did, because the doctors discovered that I had a sinus thrombosis had. A blood clot was blocking the draining blood vessels in the front part of my brain. I was also dehydrated, because I had vomited a lot. In the hospital I was given blood thinners and heavy pain medication. The headache was unbearable, so I didn’t get much. I slept a lot and was happy when I could get pain medication again. I also once nearly passed out in the hospital because I was so weak. I then had another scan, because they were afraid that I could have an epileptic seizure. Fortunately, that was not the case.

My boyfriend, and my mother and brother came by every day. Other family members also came by and I got a lot of cards. That was very nice! I received good guidance in the hospital. I even got a walker because I couldn’t walk properly. It was weird to walk with a walker as a 22-year-old. Luckily we were able to joke about it!

Thrombosis can’t get me down

After 6 days I was allowed to go home. I still needed help, because I was very weak. And I still had bad headaches and sometimes threw up. The thrombosis service also came by, because I was taking blood thinners and they wanted to know my INR. A few weeks later, I learned to prick myself so that I could check my INR through a device. I was able to pass this on to the thrombosis service by telephone. That gave me a little more independence.

I tried to pick up my life as soon as possible. A few days after I got out of the hospital, I went to a restaurant to have a cup of tea. That was exciting! By always going one step further, I have shown myself that thrombosis does not make me feel small.

Factor V Leiden

Furthermore, it has been discovered what caused the sinus thrombosis. I have a blood clotting disorder Factor V Leiden. I also took the contraceptive pill. This combination has caused the sinus thrombosis. In the meantime I have started taking other blood thinners, where I no longer have to prick myself. My family members are also getting themselves tested for Factor V Leiden, because this is a hereditary blood clotting disorder. We have now found out that it comes from my mother’s side. My mother has been on the contraceptive pill all her life and has never suffered from thrombosis. Having a blood clotting abnormality does not immediately mean that you will develop a thrombosis. I was mostly unlucky. Research into factor V Leiden in my family continues, because it is useful to know. They can pay attention to the risk factors, which reduces the chance of thrombosis. They don’t have to go through the same thing as me.

I was reminded how short life can be

Frankly, it was tough and sometimes it still is. I can’t handle stimuli well, so I sometimes get (slight) headaches. Also, sometimes my vision becomes blurred and I can’t concentrate well. As a result, I had to miss half a year of my studies. I am now studying again. I don’t manage to study fully and sometimes that makes me sad and angry. After the summer holidays I hope to fully study again.

I’ve been through a lot in my life, because my father is 17e died of cancer. Again I was reminded how short life can be. I missed him very much when I was in the hospital and the recovery period after that. Still, I manage to stay positive, because I want him to be proud of me. At the hospital they said I will make a full recovery. So I can pick up my ‘old’ life again. That has already been achieved to a large extent and I am proud of that!”

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