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About Martin R. Lemieux

"My story started about 20 years ago with my first blood clot, since then I have experienced a great deal - which has helped me to amass a wealth of knowledge." MRL

Timeline of HealthCare Events:

Below you'll find Martin Lemieux's thrombosis history and experiences.

1996

BLOOD CLOT #1


When I was 19, while working for a landscaping company, I had pulled my back shoveling snow for a commercial property. At the time, I was recommended to get as much rest as possible, no movement, and no exercise in the fear of hurting my back further.

While on my back resting, unbeknownst to me, my left leg developed a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). After visiting the hospital, the specialists on call made the assumption that my DVT was caused due to my lack of movement (which in hindsight was a correct call).

TREATMENT TYPES:
I was put on a 7-day heparin injection treatment, with a 4-6 week treatment with Coumadin (anticoagulant).

1998

BLOOD CLOT #2


More than a year had passed since my first DVT encounter with no complications. Without warning, my left leg once again showed typical signs of a DVT, including; swelling leg, tightened skin, change in colour, pain from the calf, and a swollen foot.

Having the "clot nightmare" (fear of sleeping and dying from a clot), I immediately went to the local ER at St. Joe's Hospital where I was once again given an ultrasound confirming about DVT within my lower left limb.

TREATMENT TYPES:
I was put on a 7-day heparin injection treatment, with a 4-6 week treatment with Coumadin (anticoagulant).

2002

BLOOD CLOT #3


Over the years, I developed a lot of signs of PTS (Post Thrombotic Syndrome). My left leg was weaker than in the past. Running was at a slow crawl, and walking short distances was never the same. My leg started to swell due to atmospheric temperature changes and the shifting of seasons.

I began to ask more questions about my future, treatment options and reasons for my health concerns.

At the time, I was working from home at a computer for long hours of the day. Most days, I wouldn't move from my station for far too long, preventing blood flow and exercising even less. See back then, we didn't have blood clot awareness like we do now. The public wasn't aware of risks due to lack of movement like they are now.

Around when I was 23-24, I developed my third blood clot. Afraid for my future, me and my family started pushing for answers as to why a man my age was now going through yet another DVT.

After extensive tests, the hematology department determined my condition was in fact hereditary, a known condition called; Factor V Leiden.

2003

FACTOR V LEIDEN


Finally, some answers! As with many rare illness sufferers, knowing what is wrong is as important as understanding what to do next. Me and my family finally had something to research and to understand.

FVL (FAK-tur five LIDE-n) is a hereditary condition which is passed on by family members. A person needs to have the active gene which makes them prone to clotting due to changes in their blood clotting factors (ie Factor V).

TREATMENT TYPES:
Anticoagulants for life. Lifestyle changes. Knowledge and understanding.

2003-2010

RIGHT LEG & PELVIC AREA


As you now understand, blood clots are literally "in my genes" so to speak. It's safe to assume that having FVL posed serious health risks over the years.

Over time, I have developed multiple clots in the left leg, a clot in the right leg and a blood clot in the left pelvic area.

I am very lucky to have survived many DVT over the past 20 years.

2008

LEG ULCERS


Around 8 years ago, as my condition progressed, I started noticing a purple circular spot on the outside of my left ankle about the size of a quarter.

While the spot was extremely sore, I didn't assume anything was wrong, but life was about to throw me a huge left turn. One day after a gutting a home for a rebuild, I took off my socks, except this time the purple spot tore off with it.

With what you can imagine was excruciating pain, I did what I could to bandage the now open wound and went to the ER once again.

TREATMENT TYPES:
Wound care bandages. Anti-inflammatories. Pain medication.

2013

LIVEDOID VASCULOPATHY


The ulcer I suffered from was a scary experience, but over the years, my legs have opened multiple ulcers. A very large ulcer on the outer left leg the size of a football, another hole the size of a baseball near my left ankle and another ulcer the size of a concert ticket on my lower right leg.

After seeing specialists after specialists, it took years to understand my condition which is even more rare than a blood clotting disorder.

Factor V Leiden & Livedoid Vasculopathy:
There's not much data on this topic, which it is my hope to one day prove, but I have a theory that FVL sufferers can develop a condition prone to chronic venous ulcers called; Livedoid Vasculopathy.

LV is an extremely rare condition which affects the arterial system. LV is known as a chronic venous insufficiency which is tied to thrombosis and ulcerations.

TREATMENT TYPES:
Low-molecular weight heparin. Anticoagulant therapy (some cases). Compression therapy. Pain therapy. Exercise and diet.

Now

WOUND CARE MANAGEMENT


For the past 8 years, I have had to adapt and learn. My wounds are extensive and my bandages have to be changed 3x a week. This process takes me about an hour at a time and is very painful.

Nowadays, I manage my own wound care from home, but need to visit a local wound care clinic to help measure the progress and to ensure there's no potential infection.

Infection is always a growing concern. Over the years, I have been guaranteed in the hospital and almost lost my left leg, but with education and understanding, we have managed to prevent future infections.

2016

THE FUTURE


As you've come to understand as I have, I don't seem to have luck on my side. The future is unknown really. The "best of the best" professionals in the industry have had a hard time understanding the relationship between my blood clotting condition and chronic venous ulcers.

I was told years ago that I may have only 20 years left while using my legs, but that doesn't stop me. Maybe someday medicines will advance to help my situation.

For now, I hope to help educate anyone who needs the help. With over 20 years’ experience in and out of hospitals for more times than I can remember, my vast knowledge can help patients to overcome their fears and to tackle their healthcare needs head on.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

”Your path might be a lonely one, but you’re not alone!”
~ Martin R. Lemieux

Future

Download Martin's PDF Illustration:

Martin Lemieux Body Illustration

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