{Hearts on 22} Why I Go RED

Left: 2009 /  Right 2013  Looking back and celebrating 4 years of Survival

Left: 2009 / Right 2013 Looking back and celebrating 4 years of Survival

On October 14, 2009 I had my annual check up and birth control renewal appointment. My Doctor asked me if I had any concerns. I said yes. “Yes I do, I have this incredible pain in my leg and it won’t go away. My leg is deep red in spots and I am having head aches.” The doctor said and I quote “oh you just need to exercise and drink more water. You will be fine.”

October 22, 2009, 7:00am I was driving through rush hour traffic when my chest started hurting. At first it was just annoying and I thought “oh I will just take some Tylenol when I get to work. It’s nothing.” The pain kept on getting worse and worse, my heart started racing, at this point I could barely breath. Again I though “I will make it to work, take Tylenol and I will be fine.” I kept on driving. My situation wasn’t improving, my arms were starting to feel numb, I was becoming light headed. I thought to my self “should I call my mom. No, don’t do that she will panic. Should I pull over and dial 911? No, don’t do that you don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road. Oh look Lexington parkway. Take the exit.”

I did take that exit and somehow by the grace of God I drove myself to the hospital in Woodbury. The last thing I remember is seeing the security guard hold out his arm and I collapsed. I woke up to a nurse telling me “I can either cut your clothes off or you can help me take them off.” The staff had all ready hooked me up to monitors and an EKG machine.

The doctor came in and said “well we know you are not having a heart attack but something is wrong. I think you might have an infection in your lung. Well take an X-ray and get you some meds and you will be out of here in no time.” Ok I said. Then he stopped turned around and said “are you on birth control.” Yes I said. He ordered more tests.

My heart had been in sinus tachycardia for over an hour, my oxygen level was below 40 and I was fading fast. The D-dime test came back positive and a CT scan was done. A blood clot the size of a 10 cent gum ball was blocking the main valve to my heart and my body was being starved of oxygen. Within minutes of this discovery, I had a stroke.

The ER staff was kicked into high gear and the life saving efforts began. Clot busters were injected, they gave me the highest possible dose of Heprin, and my life was saved.

But what gets me is this “this all could have been prevented if my OBGYN had truly listened to me, she could have ordered the d-dime test and the clot would have been found and it would never have traveled to my lungs.” I almost died 5 days before my 27th birthday. I got the best gift in 2009 and that was my life.

So please listen to your heart and mostly your gut. If something doesn’t feel right keep on pushing until you find the one doctor who will listen to you. Don’t end up like me, I learned the hard way. Now I never take a doctors word at face value and I ask questions.

One moment changed everything, I was robbed of my youth and now I am going RED because no woman deserves to fight alone.

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