We can have all of the plans in the world, but it is God who directs our steps. #truth
Just a few days ago, my life was very different. My work whirled around me at about 5463 mph. The phone and text messages would not stop. 500+ emails coming to me each day. I had become so anxious and stressed out, I just wanted to run away…and so I did…to my happy spot for the weekend. We took off and went to Sedona to the spa that I love so very much. We got massages and wraps and facials and all was good in the world. I thought.
I ignored some warning signs from body that something very wrong was happening. I attributed my “issues” to stress.
The day before we left for Sedona, I had completely blacked out (lost my vision) for about 10 minutes and somehow managed to get to the bed where I stayed for several hours breathing heavily and unable to catch my breath. I thought I had had some sort of a panic attack because of all of the stress that I was under and needed to escape from.
A few weeks before, my “back” started to hurt. It felt like a pinched nerve. I was going to the chiropractor for the pain…and it would not go away. Yeah…that wasn’t really my back that had hurt. The pain continued to get worse along with my breath.
I found myself unable to work out or really even talk to people without losing my breath. I thought it was really odd…but again ignored it. “Stress” I kept telling myself.
When we attempted to hike in Sedona, I could barely breathe…having to gasp for air every few steps.
My legs (my right leg in particular) hurt and felt tight. In the back of my mind I would tell myself, “I better not have a damn blood clot.”
All of these were signs of a serious problem that I had once before in my life about 20 years ago. The red flags basically were all smacking me in the face and yet I chose to ignore them once again. I was in denial.
You see, I really should have died back in 2001 from the hundreds of pulmonary emboli that riddled my lungs. I had a blood clot (DVT) in my left leg that went from my ankle to my groin and it broke off and travelled to my lungs. I was so young back then (I was just 25), I was misdiagnosed for months and by the time they finally realized what was wrong with me, it was almost too late.
God had a plan for me though. Obviously, I pulled through that first scare. I found out that I have a genetic blood disorder that causes blood clotting (Factor 5) and I was on blood thinners for about 15 years. I got off of them a few yers back because the doctors had decided that the likelihood of me croaking on the blood thinners was higher than off of them…and so the decision was make to go off of them mostly because the risk factors that I had back then were no longer present. I was active and I ate well and took great care of myself.
I was in the clear. So I thought.
Fast forward to Sunday night as we were in the plane back from Sedona. I was adamant about dropping everything first thing Monday morning and going to get a COVID test because I had one of the symptoms of the Rona…not being able to breathe. For some reason, this time I put on my past medical history that I had had blood clots and PE. You see my friends, I NEVER do that. It had been so long, I usually left that off for arbitrary things. This time I didn’t. That was totally God.
An hour later, I was in the emergency room after the doc at Texas med Clinic ordered me to go. Later that night the ICU.
I found out that I had multiple clots in BOTH of my legs and large clots in both of my main pulmonary arteries and in both lungs. I was lucky to be alive.
My eyes welled up as the doctors delivered the news. Shit. Not this again. I knew the severity of my condition. It was even worse having this news delivered when I was all alone. With COVID so rampant, there are no visitors allowed in the hospital (will write about this aspect at a later time).
The doctors eyes widened when I told him about all of the things that I had done and that had happened to me prior to coming to the ER. He even had me repeat it to his colleagues and I watched their facial expressions as they listened to my stories. All of them kept telling me that it was a miracle that I was there to tell my tales. “A miracle” they said…over and over.
Now I am home and have begun my recovery. It will be a long one. It is crazy how that can just take someone down. I can’t go back to my “normal” life like right now. My body needs to do some serious healing. I have been pumped and filled with blood thinners that are breaking these clots down. It is gonna take a while. I am hurting really bad at times. I can’t work out. I can’t work. I can’t go for long walks. I can’t have my “normal” life back. Not just yet. I have to get used to my new normal and I am good with that. I have this really amazing and handsome nurse that is taking loving care of me. I have a giant smile on my face and a tear of joy is running down my face.
Time to slow down, Jen. Time to slow down.
I write this as I am sitting on my back porch…music is on. Dogs next to me. My love in front of me. Life is good and I am so grateful for this beautiful life that I have now been given a 4th chance at living to its fullest.
I pray that God helps me to use this time I have off to spend it wisely.