It seems in life that we never care about a cause until it directly affects us. If you would have asked me about blood clots and pulmonary embolism back in 2008, I would have laughed you off and said “that only happens to old people.” Working for a prescription benefit company I had seen the drug names, warfarin sodium, coumadin, lovenox, and heparin millions of times. I’m sure I even complained when I had to take the extra steps to get the costly medications covered under someones plan. In my mind I had always pictured these people as 80 year olds who had heart problems, strokes, and who knows what. I just always said to myself, I am going to be healthy so I will never need those meds.
As fate would have it almost a week to the day I left my job at the big pharmacy benefit management company in 2009, my life was depending on the very drugs I had sold and fought to get coverage for. There I was, the picture I had built up of these sick old people was suddenly shattered and lay on the emergency room floor. I was suddenly depending on these drugs to save my life. I lay there on the maternity floor of woodwinds health campus with a Heparin drip, my blood constantly checked, and doctors telling me welcome to your new normal. My new normal would be living as a survivor, they said “you should be dead” and ‘Your 26 this isn’t suppose to happen to girls like you.” Well it did, it did in deed, and I wouldn’t trade that horrid experience for the world.
Its March or should I say National Blood Clot Awareness Month. A month that lets the world know that hey people survive these things and heck look this just doesn’t affect old people. I guess I am supposed to celebrate and be a beacon of hope for those who are just starting on this twisted journey we call survivorhood. So, as a survivor I feel obligated to advocate, to lobby, and to live for those who didn’t. To make each day worth it and make each of my days matter, because they mattered to someone.
Over and over again I am told how lucky I was, that I cheated death, I don’t believe in cheating, I believe that God still sees something in me and believes that I can help you save your life by sharing the warning signs. Every life, every story matters, and maybe mine will bring you comfort or save you in ways you never imagined.
But please take time to remember, like I do each day, that thousands of people have died from something that can be prevented. Every second counts, every moment matters when you have a clot.
Please help me spread the word and prevent blood clots in those you love!