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Nancy Mello Miller's Fundraiser:

Nancy's tenacious audacious journey to STOP the CLOT

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13 days to go and major setbacks.
October 09, 2017

13 days until the Marine Corps Marathon and unfortunately I've had some major setbacks. On Friday I was diagnosed with anemia and need an iron  See more
Nancy Mello Miller

THE STORY:

My name is Nancy and I'm a blood clot survivor.

In April of 2014 I joyfully learned I was pregnant with my 3rd child, after tragically loosing my daughter at birth that previous August. At the time I learned I was pregnant, I was training for a half marathon. The Dr's approved my continuing to run and in May I ran with a nagging calf pain. About a week after the half marathon, I visited my Dr to have my calf looked at, as it had not improved. My Dr asked me the basic questions I had been asked every single time I had gone in with a running injury- did I or my family have a history of blood clots? Had I travelled over 8 hours in the last two days? Satisfied with my "nos" my PCM declared it was just a sprain and to RICE. (Rest, ice, compression, elevation.) I followed his orders to a T, wearing compression socks and enjoying the break from running.

Two weeks later my calf was still not getting better. It was still a "nagging" pain that didn't ever seem to go away. My anxiety got the best of me, and I began to "DR GOOGLE" my symptoms. Every symptom I had pointed to a DVT, or a blood clot. I found www.stoptheclot.org and read story after story of people my age without a family history with similar symptoms being diagnosed. My pregnancy was another risk factor that jumped out in terms of having a blood clot. Armed with this information, I went back to my Dr. and insisted on an ultrasound, citing the very fact that I was pregnant as a reason to at the very least check it out. The Dr called me paranoid to my face, telling me I was over-reacting and my grief from my child-loss was getting the best of me. Still, he relented and ordered an ultrasound.

The first ultrasound was negative. I went home and rested, but I still had this odd feeling that something wasn't quite right. One week later, the pain still hadn't gone away, and I was getting more anxious there was something wrong. I went back in and they ordered another ultrasound. Again it was negative. (More "paranoia" the Dr told me.) They prescribed me Ativan to "help the baby" I went into therapy where my therapist tried to help me work through a new fear I was having- thinking I was going to die. Even my new therapist didn't believe me.
Another week later, the pain was still there and I was getting "hot spots" I would have my husband feel my calf and check for swelling daily. He too, thought I was loosing my mind and that I was looking for something to worry about.

They ordered a third ultrasound to "convince me I was fine" and that too, was negative. My PCM, OB both told me to have a glass of wine and drink more water. The stories from stoptheclot.org stayed in my head. I asked the Dr's if it was possible for an ultrasound to miss a clot. "But you have nice veins" one ultrasound tech told me. "It was very VERY rare to miss one," they assured me. I wanted to believe them, but my gut told me differently. Something was there.

The fourth ultrasound the following Friday was different. The tech stayed on one spot for a very long time. I watched her face. She saw something, I could tell by how intently she was watching the screen. A supervisor was called in to double check, and assured me it was nothing. I was sent home in tears.

Sunday the pain was so bad I was in limping. I decided to go back to urgent care against the wishes of my family. The DR on call looked at my history and shrugged his shoulders "Why not?" I remember him saying as he ordered the ultrasound.

The fifth ultrasound was by a tech that had done a previous one of my ultrasounds. He remembered me and said hi. I asked him to not let the fact that he had already looked weeks earlier color his judgment. He assured me it wouldn't and I settled down as he looked on the ultrasound.
He found a clot. It was down in my upper part of my left leg, exactly where I had been having so much pain. I cried openly as I was told- vindicated that my gut was right, and scared.

I immediately was put on lovenox in Urgent Care, and given a prescription to be filled immediately. I was shown how to give myself shots every 12 hours.
I found out the next day that the Doctors at urgent care were in such shock that a clot was found (and missed 4 times) that it was reviewed FOUR times within 24 hours by different Drs. No one could believe it. Except me.

I was assigned a new Doctor- a hematologist who found that a genetic mutation- MTHFR that (along with pregnancy and the calf sprain) amounted to the DVT. I safely navigated the rest of my pregnancy with appointments every 2-3 weeks with my hematologist who would check my blood work and ensure the Lovenox was doing it's job. I gave birth to a health baby boy in December of 2014, and safely navigated off of Lovenox 3 months later.

The road forward has not been easy since my DVT. Diagnosed with post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) my calf will "ache" without rhyme or reason. My vein where the DVT was, is now damaged, perhaps permanently. The distance running that makes my soul soar is now hard to obtain. I have had many, many, false starts back into running- each time being sidelined by PTS and calf pain that lasts weeks.

I refuse to give up on what I love simply because of my DVT. I am finding ways to run distance- incorporating massage therapy, weight-training, and always, ALWAYS- wearing compression socks. My calf aches daily. Yet, I will not quit.

I am honored to be running the MCM for the organization that helped save my life. Without the stories on stoptheclot.org, I probably wouldn't have pushed as hard for repeated ultrasounds. Regardless what is thrown at me during this training, I will not stop. If I get truly injured, I will find another way to continue to train.

Please join me in supporting an organization that works to educate and inform people about the signs, symptoms, and danger of DVT/PE

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$1,250

MONEY RAISED
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  • Amy Kearbey

    $25

  • Bob and Cindy Miller

    $100

  • Helen Winter

     

  • Tristan

    $50

  • Mary von Dorster

    $20

  • Sharon Dobson

    $100

  • Jenn Taylor

    $50

  • Susan Goldman

    $25

  • Jack and Jo

     

  • The Cizek Family

    $25

  • Kate Richards

    $25

  • jack mello

    $100

  • Liz Duarte

    $25

  • Hilary Grant

    $25

  • Stuart W.

    $100

  • Anni Rodgers

    $50

  • Michelle Maitland

    $15

  • B Crispin

    $50

  • Roland "The Clot Buster" Varga

    $115

  • Angela Mock

    $50

  • Desai Family

    $25

  • Mary Welander

    $25

  • Kate Conetta

    $25

  • Erica Patrick

    $25

  • Eva

    $25

  • Debbie Miller

    $50

  • Hope

     

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62% Raised of $2,014 Goal

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The Team: $1,250 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

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Donor Comments

Hope

Hope

In honor of your persistence. 2 weeks ago

Debbie Miller

Debbie Miller

DONATION: $50

In Memory of Penelope 2 weeks ago

Eva

Eva

DONATION: $25

1 month ago

Erica Patrick

Erica Patrick

DONATION: $25

1 month ago

Kate Conetta

Kate Conetta

DONATION: $25

1 month ago

Mary Welander

Mary Welander

DONATION: $25

1 month ago

Desai Family

Desai Family

DONATION: $25

1 month ago

Angela Mock

Angela Mock

DONATION: $50

1 month ago

Roland

Roland "The Clot Buster" Varga

DONATION: $115

NEVER EVER STOP! You are inspiring others to get up and try! I hoping to put your story on my blog to help spread awareness about your story of overcoming and fundraising. KEEP IT UP and keep making those polka-dots look amazing! 1 month ago

B Crispin

B Crispin

DONATION: $50

2 months ago