Below is the speech that I recently gave at a gala that was held at Harra’s New Orleans.
How many of you know what a Ninja is? I am not talking about the ones that throw kicks and chops. However I am speaking about the one that lies with in your soul. You know that little voice that takes over when you feel you cannot go on? That my friends is your ninja…….your inner ninja. It will never steer you wrong, it may cause you to veer and that veer is exactly where you needed to be.
In life we veer all over the place. Each decision we make is either based on our own will or what society thinks we should be come. In truth each one of us controls our destiny. No one is going to make the tough choices for you. You and only you can make those decisions.
Decisions are simple. Yet difficult to make. An attorney once told me “it all comes down to a judgment call. who is going to call it first.” I heard those words on a Friday night and made the decision to walk away from my marriage on a Sunday. I didn’t need a separation period or therapy. I knew it was over and that was that. That one all be it huge decision brought me to you. You see if I were still married I’d be sitting at home raising the kids and dogs. I wouldn’t be here talking to you today. Folks, this brings me to my next point.
If I had never of made that decision to switch my birth control I probably would still be in Minnesota and not here. That one decision lead me down a path of silent danger. I had no clue that back in December of 2008 that my birth control was going to almost take my life in 2009. If I had stuck to the patch my stroke probably wouldn’t have happened and yet the ring it seemed so promising. So I switched. I made that decision to switch, I took control of my own destiny. Right then and there my course had been set. Little did I know it was going to be one hell of a blunder.
That blunder occurred on October 22nd, 2009. It was the day I chose to live and not be a victim. I followed the doctors orders to a T. I wanted my old life back, God I longed for it. That was a wasted wish. I know now almost two years later that my old life isn’t coming back. The day I had my stroke, I lost a part of my self. I lost my trust in doctors, in drug companies, but mainly my zest for life. I didn’t want the new life that laid before me. I wanted the old care free AmandaJean back. That is what I wanted. I didn’t get that. However what I got that day was a lot better than my old care free life. I got the chance to live! That was the day my inner Ninja took over and gave me the strength I needed to survive.
Did you know that only 2 out of 5 survive a pulmonary embolism? If you ask me those are not very good odds. Every day thousands of Americans are walking around unaware that they have a clot. Most never notice the blood clot until it’s too late. All to often I hear stories of young people dying as a result of a blood clot. That is when I realized I am one lucky woman. You see the blood clot was blocking the main valve to my heart and I was seconds away from death. Yet, here I am. An I am reminded each day that three people had to die so I could live. Live a life filled with meaning. So I made the decision to educate the world about heart health, blood clots, and stroke. My story is changing lives and is giving a voice to a deadly cause.
I owe it to those three people to share our story and to speak the words of awareness. Words that they heard when it was too late. Warning signs that would have possibly saved them. I made that decision and this folks is what brought me to Harra’s New Orleans. Just always remember this: “When you have a blood clot or think you may have one every Fucking second counts.” Blood Clots are no laughing matter and they will change your life forever.
My life has changed in more ways than I could have every dreamed of. I know more about low vitamin K diets, blood thinners, and heart healthy life styles than I do about Twilight. I’ll tell you a little secret. I talk in my sleep. As in have real conversations in my sleep. My friends like to ask me things and one of their favorite this is to say _________ is a vitamin K free food right? Apparently I shout back a yes or a no depending on the food type. So you see folks I could do this in my sleep and that is what I call passion.
Passion is what drives me and helps me get through the “why me and what if moments of life.” There are days where I want to drop the ball and just be a normal 28-year-old woman. That is something that will never be. In those moments a tiny voice says “You can do it. We’ve got this. Lets get up and go.” That voice is my inner ninja and when I listen to her my heart busts wide open. Wide open with passion and light that allows me to change the world.
Each of you have a ninja deep inside of you. In moments of doubt stay quiet, listen to that tiny voice, and let the ninja take over. Take over when you don’t think you can go on and make decisions that come from the heart. The best decisions are always based on the heart. The mind knows what it wants, however your heart always knows what you need.
You only have one heart in this life and without our hearts we are shells walking this earth. So please I urge you to take care of your heart and live a heart healthy life style. You owe it to yourself and to your families to take care of your hearts.