Round 2: Surviving Blood Clots Once Again
Learning to Listen
Who would have thought that walking 2 miles with no incline would kick my butt and wear me out? My newly damaged lungs and tired body are a far cry from where they were just a few short months ago. It is challenging, this slowing down stuff. Taking it easy…I had forgotten what that actually meant until recently.
Mentally, it is difficult to take. It is weird not to feel like yourself…if that makes sense. My current life is very unlike the “old me.” Slowed down a bit…but feeling like a screeching halt, to say the least. My days now consist of puttering around the house and running a few errands. Too tired to do much else. Every ache and pain brings me anxiety and I find myself getting a little scared sometimes of the “what if’s” that go through my mind. What if I have another clot forming? Why does my leg hurt so bad? What is that pain in my back when I breathe? What if more of the ones I have break off and go into my lungs and damage them further or kill me this time? I constantly have to remind myself that I have to live in the present moment and stop thinking about the things that might happen in the future. What a waste of time that is…worrying about things that may or may not happen. The Bible talks about anxiety and worrying a lot too. Bottom line: Jen, stop being anxious.
Easy to say…harder to do. I know. I am doing it though.
The good news is, I now have a lot of reading and writing and time for reflection. That part has been nice. I have written my booty off and I feel like God has given me some really great ideas and insight…and for that I am grateful.
I know that there is a great reason for all of this and it makes me smile thinking about the WHY and the WHAT that is to come. A million possibilities ahead of me and a million miracles that have kept me alive through my now second bout with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Emboli (PE). I survived, once again, clots that were large enough to kill most everyone else.
You would think that I would absolutely know the warning signs of these blood clots, having had them before. In my defense, it has been about 20 years, so a girl can forget…
I found an old journal in my closet that I had written back in 2001, when I had my first battle. I wrote everything down back then just like I do now! Convenient.
I started noticing that I got out of breath really easy. The shortness of breath progressed with time until just walking or talking completely winded me.
My “back” hurt a lot…like in the middle where my ribs are and it felt like a pinched nerve. It really hurt when I tried to take a deep breath in, so I stopped doing that. The pain became more and more excruciating and it was constant.
It hurt to lay down and I found myself having to prop myself up to sleep.
I had a “charley horse” in my leg and it just felt tight and it felt like there was a ton of pressure in my legs whenever I squatted down. The pain would not go away. I thought that I had pulled a muscle from working out and lifting heavy weights.
I had crazy anxiety that I convinced myself was attributed to my work.
My pulse was high – which I had falsely attributed to my high anxiety. 120 is NOT normal, Jen.
Those were my symptoms back in 2001, which happened to be the same exact ones that I chose to ignore last month.
I feel so dumb LOL. I mean, really…Jen, you have totally already been through this exact same scenario and it was THE most difficult battle of your life.
I was in denial. Big time. Truth be told, I did see the signs and if you were to look through my Google search history, you would see that I did research blood clots and signs and symptoms. Still, I chose NOT to believe that this was actually happening to me once again. I said out loud many times, “I better not have another blood clot.”
20 years ago, I smoked, was overweight and was on a heavy dose of birth control. A far far cry from the shape that I am in now. No way it would happen again. Wrong.
Under normal circumstances, the “Jen of today” is an athlete. A trekker and hiker who turns into a crazy unstoppable machine as soon as she gets on a mountain trail. Working out 6 days a week with heavy weights was the norm.
Was…and will be once again with a lot of patience.
The rebuilding stage has begun and I know the road I have ahead of me. I am hoping my muscles have a photographic memory. Ha ha.
I know that my current fitness level is what saved me. I had unknowingly been preparing for these days for many years. Thank you, Lord.
I guess that if I could offer any advice here, it is this: Listen to your body. You KNOW when there is something wrong. Don’t ignore your inner voice because you are “too busy” to have something wrong with you! You might be too late.
Thank you so much for reading today. I hope that I made you smile and think a little bit. Be sure to check out my Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher —- Jen’s 10 G’s