Stephen Rodner, a retired attorney from New Jersey, experienced venous thromboembolism (VTE) around 12 years ago. He noticed a pain in his leg but chalked it up to something he did at the gym. A couple of weeks passed by and the pain remained.
One day while watching TV at the gym, Stephen watched a news report that Dick Cheney was diagnosed with deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that forms in the deep veins, after an overseas trip. “I thought it looked like what I might have,” said Stephen. Dick Chaney’s story, plus the insistence of his wife, gave Stephen the final nudge to visit his doctor. Stephen’s doctor took one look at the leg and called a radiologist, who diagnosed Stephen with DVT.
A series of blood tests were conducted and it was discovered that Stephen had thrombophilia, a condition in which the blood is more likely to clot. Stephen was put on a blood thinner.
Since his experience with DVT, Stephen’s quality of life has not changed much. He continues to take his medicine and hasn’t experienced another blood clot. Because he is taking blood thinners, Stephen wears a medical alert bracelet, just in case.
Stephen served for eight years on the board of the National Blood Clot Alliance to educate people about the signs and symptoms of VTE. “It’s important for people to know what factors would put them at high risk. This is a real issue, and a lot of serious problems can be prevented by people knowing about it,” Stephen said.