Somewhere in this country a woman is experiencing the worst day of her life. She is in pain, she is scared, and she will never be the same. In the coming days, weeks, and months she will learn that her birth control was the cause of her worst day. That her birth control caused her stroke or heart attack or blood clot or pulmonary embolism. She knows it was her birth control because she survived. Many families never learn why their wife, mother, daughter, sister or friend suddenly died. They live their lives only knowing that she is simply gone.
Gone. If it were not for my fast acting care team, I would be resting in a little urn on a shelf. My mom literally came this close (shows fingers) to picking out my urn instead of my 27th Halloween themed birthday cake. I was lucky, I was the 1 out of 5 who survived a massive pulmonary embolism with infarction that lead to a stroke. Because of research I saw my 27th themed Halloween birthday cake, it had a jack o lantern on it and it was perfect. I survived my worst day possible.
I was weak, I felt cheated, and I was angry that my life was gone. I had to learn how to live in a new normal of Lovenox injections, INR draws, warfarin sodium, to many pills to count, doctors appointments and CT scans. I wasn't living the life of a 27 year old, I was living the life of someone much much older. Yet it was my life to live and I had one choice: "survive or give in." I chose to survive.
Survival is not perfect. This second chance I live is pretty fucking messy and hella awesome at the same time. I put on a red dress and never looked back. The American Heart Association gave me a platform to share my story, they put the voice back into the survivor and Now my story is saving lives. I meet women who come up to me and say I heard your story and I decided to talk to my doctor about my risks and what birth control is safe for me. That right there makes my little heart sing. I can't go back and change my story, but I can share mine to change someone else's story.
We know that my massive pulmonary embolism with infraction and stroke were caused by my hormonal contraceptive, but we don't know why. At the time I was healthy, I did not smoke, I wasn't over the age of 35, I wasn't over weight, yet it happened. Further testing showed that I was negative for Factor V along with a whole host of other genetic conditions that lead to clothing. I was genetically perfect, yet some how some way it happened to me.
If scientist can figure out why it happened to someone it shouldn't statistically happen to, we can stop it from happening in other women. In order to find that why, we need funds for research. The government is the largest financial contributor for medical research and if those funds get scraped my why goes out the window. The ability to save thousands upon thousands of lives goes up in smoke. You and I we can make a difference, reach out to your congressman & women and tell them that you support the funding of medical research. Come to the MN capital on Saturday @ 1:00PM central time and stand with us as we rally for medical research. Bring a poster, yell at the top of your lungs and make a difference, help us secure our healthy tomorrows.
Mostly let's face it, without research we are dead in the water, our doctors are only as good as the researchers who stand behind them and without them we have nothing.