BENEFITING: National Blood Clot Alliance
ORGANIZER: National Blood Clot Alliance
EVENT DATE: Nov 01, 2015
We go about our daily routines, and don't give many sicknesses, diseases or issues a second thought, because, hey, that'll never happen to us, right?
I'd like to take you all back to October of last year.
It's happening again, I'm drowning, I can't tell in what, but I can't get the air I need, it's just not coming. I jolt awake; it was only a dream.. But wait, I still can't breathe. My chest is on fire, and I'm only able to swallow puffs of air at a time. It takes all my strength to reach over to wake Colt, my boyfriend. Am I having a heart attack? How is this possible? Night after night, I lay there terrified of falling asleep, knowing the pain is coming, and when it hits, I'll have to ride it out, crying, gasping. It only comes in 30-45 minute bursts, but they seem to last for eternity.
October 17th was different. I kept waiting for the pain to subside, but it had claimed my chest, crushing me from the inside. We rushed to the ER, where I wait and wait to be seen. Finally, as the pain subsists and my breathing returns to normal the doctor arrives. One chest x-ray later, I'm headed home, prescription in hand. Diagnosis: pleurisy.
The pain, it's always there. Every night I fall asleep knowing that the crushing pain will come for me sometime before the morning light. Some nights I'm lucky, most nights, Colt and I spend the wee hours breathing slowly together, waiting for the pain to subside. It always does, and then it's back to the day as usual, work, long Saturday runs, Tuesday track nights... I'm fine, until the night.
The nightly attacks have really taking a toll on me, and I need relief. I arrive at Urgent Care, where after a second chest x-ray, I'm giving a stronger prescription. The pesky pleurisy just doesn't want to give up. I wonder, will the nightly pain become a part of my life that I must adjust to? The notion is terrifying.
It's November 11. Today is different. I've awoken and the pain is still there, nagging, pulling, blocking the deep breaths I need so desperately. I return to Urgent Care, where I'm advised to head back to the ER. I suffer through the most excruciating pain of my life, lying on my back for the CT scan, and then, we wait.
The doctor slowing opens the door, and the words leave her mouth, "You should be dead".
Diagnosis: numerous blood clots filling the lower lobes of both of my lungs. I'm admitted immediately to the ICU, and from there, the next 5 days are a blur.
On November 23rd, I stood at the Route 66 Marathon finish line, watching all my teammates cross the finish line, one after the next. I laughed, I cried at least 10 times, and wished with every bone in my body that I was out there with them. I had trained right there with them, up until that last week before the race, then bam, my world was turned upside down.
While many diagnosed with blood clots are not nearly as fortunate as I was, to walk away, alive, let alone with the go-ahead from the doctor to get back into my tennis shoes, on November 28 I laced up for a short, slow three miles.
Would I ever be able to run again? The thought had been consuming me for weeks. Guess what, I DID. I pushed away all the fears I'd felt. I told myself that this would not be the end of running. It started out at a snail's pace, but then I sped up, faster, then faster, then I was flying. I decided then and there that it'd be a new beginning for running and I.
Since being diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms and subsequently Factor V Leiden, I have had to make many lifestyle changes, including getting super in-tune with my body. However, I have not and will not let blood clots control my dreams or me.
Since November, I have completed my first 50K, and I’ve also run a 15K and a marathon this year! I hope to check several more marathons off of my bucket list before I head up north to run the NYC Marathon in honor of the those who lost the battle with blood clots and for all of my fellow survivors!
Tragically, too many lives are affected by blood clots, and too many lives are lost because public awareness about life-threatening blood clots is so low. Study after study have shown that fewer than a 1 in 4 people have any recognition of blood clots or their signs and symptoms. On average, 274 people die every day from blood clots. They can just as easily affect athletes as well as those less physically fit. They affect men and women; rich and poor – blood clots do not discriminate.
The National Blood Clot Alliance works on behalf of people who may be susceptible to blood clots, including, but not limited to, people with clotting disorders, atrial fibrillation, cancer, traumatic injury, and risks related to surgery, lengthy immobility, child birth and birth control.
NBCA is a non-profit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and clot-provoked stroke.
Click the big orange DONATE button today to do your part in helping my team cross the finish line! Our thanks to you for supporting our important cause. Together, we'll reach the finish line for blood clots and the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!
Help me STOP THE CLOT!