Thursday, March 7, 2024

National Blood Clot Awareness Month

This is slightly edited from a Facebook post I made. Feel free to follow me over there, by the way. 

I became aware that March is Blood Clot Awareness Month, and today I am celebrating what I call my 18-year do-over-versary.
Photo credit: National Blood Clot Alliance

Often the first symptom of a pulmonary embolism (PE) is death. I was one of the lucky ones.

For me, I had all the classic signs leading up to it: I had a broken ankle and developed a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) in my lower leg after being laid up for a while. Unfortunately, despite showing symptoms (swelling, calf pain, etc.), having high-risk factors, and intuitively knowing something was very wrong, I could not get a single doctor to take it seriously or even test me for it for 3 weeks. 

THREE WEEKS they ignored me and let me just about die.

When someone finally decided to test me and found my leg full of clots, he let me go home again instead of immediately admitting me to the hospital, with the instruction to take an anti-inflammatory for my fracture pain.

Even when I ended up in the ER unable to breathe, the staff there did not follow a blood clot/PE protocol, making me walk around on crutches for countless tests until it finally became too much for my body. 

The last thing I remember was my vision getting smaller and smaller, til I couldn't see anything around me, but I heard my then husband telling me he'd gotten ahold of my parents and they were on their way from Dallas, TX, as well as a lot of rushing around and frantic beeping and someone telling me to stay with her as I basically suffocated. 

Do you know how painful suffocation is, by the way? Try holding your breath beyond your capacity to do so. It hurts, right? Multiply that tenfold. A hundredfold. I don't know. It freaking hurts.

So I guess I decided to leave HERE for a while and go THERE—somewhere way less stressful—and now I’m able to tell you about it. 

I’m one of the lucky ones. According to the eMedicineHealth website, 25% of people with PE were diagnosed because they died. 23% of those diagnosed who don't die right away die within 3 months, 30% die within 6 months, and there is a 37% chance of mortality after one year. 

Miraculously, I fully healed, even after being told my blood vessels were permanently ruined. Miracle of miracles: every single one of those blood vessels rerouted and created clean, new pathways.

Since then, I've told many doctors my story, and they've all been horrified at how I was treated against protocol and amazed I lived through it and healed.

Please: familiarize yourself with the signs of DVT, PE, and other blood clots. You can find more info here:

In conclusion, our time here is short, even if we’re here 90 years. How will you spend that time? I’ve learned a few things since 2006, and I’d like to share some of them with you:

Live *your* life, not someone else's.
Have gratitude. 
Love more.
Be happy.
And know all will be well. 

#bloodclotawareness #pulmonaryembolismsurvivor

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Book Recommendation: The Illumination Code by Kim Chestney

(Following links on this blog may result in my earning a small fee. As an Amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.) [Adapted f...