Survivorhood is messy. You have your amazing days right along with your down right awful days. Sometimes I wish I had a guide book or that someone would have told me “it won’t be perfect, but you will do alright.” No two survivors are alike and each story is dffierent from the next, no one but you can write it.
The nuvaring will always be a part of my story. In one disastrous moment I found my purpose, I shined, and I never looked back. As much as I want to hate the nuvaring, I can’t because without it I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I never would have gotten involved with advocacy or given a speech in D.C. or posed for a billboard and walked in a fashion show. That one terrible little ring brought me so many opportunities to educate women about why their health should always come first. That ring turned into a beautiful red dress that has allowed me to make a difference in the lives of women all across this county and for that I am thankful.
As I put on my red dress I feel a twinge of guilt in my heart. A twinge for the four people who died so I could be the one out of five who survived. For other stroke survivors who are struggling and will never get back to their pre-stroke selves. My heart knows early intervention would have changed their story but not everyone has access to care. For all of the women who died from injuries caused by the nuvaring, their missed tomorrows are what we are fighting for. Every woman deserves a chance at tomorrow. I will not give up this fight until there are none.
It’s been seven years and my heart cannot get over the fact that all of this could have been prevented. Yes, my massive pulmonary embolism with infarction and stroke did not have to happen. If only my doctor had taken the time to really listen to what I was saying, she could have ordered a d-dimer test and my clot would have been found long before it reached my heart and lungs. I ignored my gut that day, the doctor didn’t seem worried so I brushed it off and one week later to the day I found myself fighting for every breath I took. On October 22, 2009 five days shy of my 27th birthday my life changed forever and I’ve never looked back.
I take the good right along with the bad. Everything in life happens for a reason and in the end it will all work out. My hope for year #7 is motherhood. My heart she maybe weak but she aches for a child of her own. I have two children in heaven and just want to take a baby home. To have a chance to prove to the world that yes stroke survivors can be mothers too. My body she’s confused but I am finally working with a reproductive endocrinologist who believes in me and my dream. I have faith that Jay and I will catch our rainbow and that borrowed year #7 is the year I add “mother” to my resume.
A Thank You
It takes a village to raise a survivor. I did not get to this point on my own and I have many to thank. I am forever in debt to the fast acting ER team, doctors, nurses at woodwinds health campus in Woodbury, for they gave me the start to my second story. My INR nurses who listened to me complain and stuck me with a pin religiously for six months, we never did get my numbers right. My parents filled my strength tank when I had nothing left to put in. Sherri who just happens to be the best friend a girl could ever ask for, I cannot do life without her, she is my voice of reason. The American Heart Association’s You’re the cure and Go Red for women their advocacy and research saved me. My survivor sisters, my nuvaring survivor sisters, you are who I am fighting for and I will not stop until there are none. This pharagrpah is starting to ramble, i have to many people to thank, there are not enough words in the English language to describe how thankful I am for all of you. All of you (you know who you are) have made a difference in this survivors life. I thank you from the bottom of my surviving heart and I will shine on!