Were I a superhero, I’d have a really cool name (still picking), definitely a cape and most likely a tight, slimming outfit that made me look both sexy and dangerous. Because otherwise, really, what is the point? Every superhero worth their super-salt also needs to have a nemesis – and I’m all set in that department. I’m currently, chronically and forevermore engaged in a struggle (at times a vicious battle) with Factor V Leiden. The V is a roman 5, pronounced Factor FIVE Leiden, adding to the mystique of the villain.
So who is Factor V? The short answer is that it is a genetic condition that increases the tendency of blood clotting, causing blood clots, more specifically DVT’s (deep vein thrombosis). Blood clots can be pesky little bastards, causing anything from inconvenience to death, depending on the location of the clot.
This gene mutation is more common in northern Europe and was originally discovered in the town Leiden in Holland. I am Icelandic and therefore obviously come from a long line of heroic vikings. I can see the benefits of clotting quickly back in the days when axes and long-swords were used to settle disagreements, but in this day and age, it’s just annoying.
In my case, the diagnose was made after I had a DVT a few years back, and that sucker is now on my permanent record in the health care system. No amount of ‘doing time’ will erase that felony. Pregnancy is considered a risk factor – to both me and the baby – so for the duration and for 6 weeks after delivery, I inject myself daily with blood thinners. That part is not fun, but done for a very good cause so I keep the cussing to a minimum. Except when I manage to jab a vein and end up with a chicken-egg sized bruise – then I swear liberally because that shit hurts.
For the record, I’d like to state that I mostly cuss in Icelandic, to protect my unborn child from foul language (earning me a multitude of good parent points).
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy fatty-pants.