Patient Blogs | Deep Vein Thrombosis
How My DVT Diagnosis Affected My Career Options
photo of woman cutting fruit on cutting board

Work is something I never mind doing. I love to provide for my family and show my independence. When I was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, I was put on blood thinners, and after several months I healed from the condition. I was a preschool teacher. However, I decided I was going to make a career change.

I started working at a nursing home in diet and nutrition services. I was so excited to work and help senior citizens. When I was sick, my mother helped me, and I wanted to help others. I had experienced what it was like to not be able to help myself with the small things in life, like preparing my own meals and dressing myself. So, I started working in the kitchen. Things were going well for me until I noticed my leg was swollen after working an 8-hour shift. It was only my first day of work. I thought to myself, “It’s no big deal, I just have to get used to working again.” I had been out of work for almost a year, on bed rest for 3 1/2 months, due to the blood clots in my right leg.

I went into work for my second day at this new job and noticed my right leg swelled up again. It felt hard and stiff. I knew I had to keep going, so I pushed myself to get through the day. It was a good day, because I started washing dishes and sharpening silverware. A couple days later, I had an appointment to see my cardiologist. I informed him about my new job at a nursing home and that my leg was swollen by the time my shift was over. He asked if I was standing a lot and handling sharp objects like knives, and I said yes, being honest.

Well, that conversation changed things for me. My cardiologist told me that I needed to leave that job because it was too much standing. That's what caused my leg to swell, becoming stiff and painful. My specialist told me I need a job where I could sit and stand. That wasn't the worst part. I was also informed that I should never work at a job with knives or anything that could cut me, because I'm on blood thinners. If I get cut, it will be harder to stop the bleeding.

I had to quit my job after only 2 days of working. I started a new search looking for a job where I could stand, sit, and not work with sharp objects that would put me at risk of getting cut. It was kind of hard to find work. I went back to teaching children. I didn’t mind because I went to school for early childhood education. I’ve learned that if you had or have a condition like DVT and you take medication, talk with your doctor. Even if you can do the job, it still might not be best for your health, and that’s more important.



Photo Credit: Maskot / Digital Vision via Getty Images

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Caroline Kelly

Caroline Kelly

Diagnosed since 2007

Caroline Kelly was first diagnosed with DVT 2007. She has had two recurrences since then and has been on blood thinners for the past 10 years. She is passionate about print modeling and fashion shows and enjoys playing soccer and watching basketball.

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