~Only 1 out of 3 people SURVIVE a Pulmonary Embolism~
I thank my lucky stars that I was that 1 who got to walk away and live my life for the other 2 who died
Pulmonary Embolism: Signs and Symptoms:
Blood Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal
■Sudden shortness of breath
■Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
■Rapid heart rate
■Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus
Call an ambulance or 911 immediately for treatment in the ER
350,000—600,000 people in the United States develop blood clots every year. About 100,000 people in the U.S. die each year from blood clots.
Reference: The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism, US Dept of Health and Human Services, 2008.
Life is funny. We are born and then we grow old. So old that we no longer recognize the child on the scrap-book page. Life is truly a gift and a dream worth fighting for.
On October 22nd 2009 my life changed forever. One can say that this was the day my Heart Healthy Lifestyle began. Its true one moment in my life change my path forever. It made me realize just how fragile life is. An it taught me that blood clots and strokes occur in young people. Folks still can’t believe their ears when I say ” I am a Pulmonary embolism / Stroke survivor.” They do a double take and then the look of pity comes.
Pitty is something I never asked for nor is it something I want. My life is a gift. I am lucky. Luck has nothing to do with it. Then again if you ask my parents they would tell you “She is working on her third life.” Its true I am. Three separate times death knocked at my door and each time I walked away. I walked away humbled knowing that only God truly knows when my day will be done. But until that moment comes, it is my job to live a life filled with meaning and faith.
Faith is what got me through recovery. It is what allowed me to inject myself with blood thinners, swallow more pills than I could hold in my hand, and got me through therapy. Mostly faith is something I hold on to. Because if I didn’t have faith then heaven wouldn’t exist and my son would be floating around in an abyss. Part of me wonders if I didn’t have faith, would I still be standing here?
Standing up for myself and letting the Drug Company know that one day they will pay for what they did. Anger is something I feel when the God Damn “Ring” commercial comes on TV. I yell back “Bull shit, fucking convenient my ass. Tell that to me now. Tell me how easy it is?” Of course my TV never answers back, yet sitting in an office in Inver Grove are over 1 million pages of expert witness testimony. Those pages are riddled with answers and one day they will speak for me.
The only thing I can do now is speak up. Over the past two years I have criss crossed the country sharing my story. Educating women about the risks of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack associated with hormonal contraceptives. I tell them don’t be a statistic like me, listen to what your body is telling you. Don’t let doctors blow you off. If you have the symptoms for a clot ask them to check your blood. I learned of my clot when it was too late and I am paying the price every day.
Trust me if I could go back and do it again I would leave the ring where I found it. I can’t go back. I can only go forward. Aspirin, Viagra (Yes Viagra. It is a heart medication for women), and anti-inflamitories have become my BFFs. They keep my heart and lung healthy. Mostly they provide me with peace of mind and remind me that I have a life worth fighting for.
My Birthday is on Thursday and the best present you could give me is to live a heart healthy life style. Go to your doctor for a heart check up. You only get one heart and once your heart goes you are done. Learn they symptoms of a blood clot, stroke and heart attack. Heck even learn a little CPR in honor of me. Heart Health is the best present you could ever give to me. Because in 2009 I almost died 5 days before my 27th birthday. I got the best gift that year and that was life. I want you to get life for your birthday as well.