Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, I resided in Washington State & California for 4 decades before retiring to Victoria, British Columbia, in 2007. My husband and I became “snowbirds” in 2014. We live in the California Desert from October through April each year.
My family, which includes my husband and two adult children, support my work with our MTS Resource Network and have helped me in countless ways. Without their help and extraordinary patience we might not have reached the level that our Network has attained since its inception in 2008. My son designed our legal Disclaimer and my daughter has built and rebuilt this website…kudos to them.
My story: November, 2004, I experienced a massive life-threatening ankle to groin Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). I was treated as a high-priority emergency at Evergreen Medical Center, Kirkland, Washington State, where I spent 6 days. Clot busting drugs (tPA drip) were administered via catheter behind my left knee for two days, followed by one stent placement in my iliac vein.
Coumadin anticoagulation therapy followed for 6 months. This required weekly monitoring (INR levels) and caused numerous unpleasant side effects. At the end of 6 months I was advised to discontinue Coumadin, as it is not required beyond 6 months after a single DVT event with a complete clearing of all the blood clots. Minor residual pain persists 10 years later, but my left leg is healthy, leg swelling is minimal and only occurs after sitting for long periods! Good outcome! No pain meds or blood thinners needed for 9 years following this extremely traumatic episode and lengthy recovery.
Recognizing the lack of understanding, knowledge, education, and support for research for May-Thurner Syndrome, I created the MTS Resource Network on February 1, 2008. Membership grew steadily over the next 2 years. During the summer of 2010, I restructured our group and created 10 small interest groups, as well as a Facebook group, which are available for the members to join. These subgroups and Facebook group function under the leadership of my most dedicated members. To date we have served approximately 300 members, coming to us from 20 different countries.
My story continued: I had sincerely believed that the 2004 DVT and successful treatment ended my blood vessel worries. I was certainly wrong about that! In November 2013, almost 9 years to the day from my first DVT, I had a second one from ankle to upper thigh. This time it was in my right leg and was not considered to be MTS related.
Again tPA (clot busting medication) was administered for two days via catheter into my right leg behind the knee), followed by three more days of close monitoring in the hospital. Once again the outcome was excellent. No stent was required since MTS was not a factor in this clotting episode. This right-leg DVT was attributed to a brief brush with cancer and its related minor surgery. Extensive testing revealed that I have no blood clotting disorders, but clearly I am vulnerable to DVT. The reason for my vulnerability is unknown, but with that in mind I have decided to stay on anticoagulation for life.
I have been fortunate to have a wealth of medical information right at my fingertips through my MTS Resource Network and its many hundreds of knowledgeable members. Putting together this vast store of knowledge, along with my own doctor’s excellent support and encouragement, I have chosen to take the prescription medicine, Xarelto, for my anticoagulation needs.
I have shared a lot of information here about me. I am not altogether comfortable putting this much focus on my story right at the beginning of our Member Testimony section. But that said, it may be important for those joining our MTS Resource Network to know that I am one of you and that we share many of the same concerns.
What follows will be testimonies from my trusted group leaders and active members. I hope you will find what we have shared with you to be helpful and informative. We also invite you to join us if you should feel inclined.
–Diane Peterson, MTS Resource Network Founder & Manager (Victoria, British Columbia and Rancho Mirage, California)