Before October 22nd 2009 I had no idea what a pulmonary embolism was nor did I care. To me that was something that happened to the elderly and at 26 it didn’t even touch my radar. My radar was off. I was 26 years old when the doctors gave me the news that I had a blood clot in my lung. At first I didn’t think it was serious. I was in a lot of pain, could barely breathe, yet thought I would be out of the ER in no time.
I wouldn’t be leaving Wood Winds anytime soon. In my life time I never thought I would hear my name followed by the words “code blue.” The moment the blood clot was discovered the staff was set into a furry. Ivs started, clot busters injected into my chest and pain medicine was given to me like candy. They explained ” You have a blow out in your lung. Some of your lung sacks ruptured.” An then these words came: “You’ve suffered a very mild stroke.” I never thought I did hear AmandaJean and stroke in the same sentence either. But I did. It was real and each moment was uncertain. Each moment my heart raced towards that mark, soon I heard “shit she’s in sinus tack.” More meds were injected to try to help my heart, the heparin slowly dripped into my veins, and this this was my new life.
A new life that I accepted with grace. Upon leaving the hospital it set in. It set in that I was no longer the same. I felt jaded, cheated, and robbed of my youth. Everyone I encountered in the hospital said “wow you really were born in 82, I am so sorry. Your young you will bounce back hun.” I get that alot about being so young. However I am living proof that stroke and blood clots know no age. There only goal is to rob you of the life you lead.
For three weeks my life became a schedule of Lovenox injections. That shit burns, my stomach looked like a war zone, and with each prick I grew angry. Angry because my primary care doctor failed me, angry because the warning label lied, and angry that my government would let this product in. Twice a week for six months I showed up to the INR clinic and chatted with the nurse. We never did get my numbers right as I swallowed the warfarin sodium each day hoping my INR would change. That was my life, pills, injections, pricks, and doctors. My family life suffered, my job drove me nuts, and I became jealous of the healthy 27 year olds around me.
Yet with each day the bruises faded, the anger withered away, and my jealousy dwindled. I was getting better and feeling well enough to take on the world. I armed myself with all of the information I could. So that I could turn around and educate other women about the warning signs. Maybe I could save someone from enduring my fate. Save them from my hell and just maybe in a way I’d save myself too. To my surprise people listened, they really listened. With each person I encountered my passion grew stronger. Heart health is important and so is educating women about the dangers of birth control. This is my passion, my purpose on the planet. To travel the country and share my heart journey with all of you. So that a woman you love will never have to endure my fate. I have endured enough pain and struggle for all of us.
Warning signs / symptoms of Blood Clots and Pulmonary Embolisms:
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs.
■Swelling, usually in one leg
■Leg pain or tenderness
■Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
■Leg warm to touch
These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle or a “Charlie horse,” but may differ in that the leg may be swollen, slightly discolored, and warm. Contact your doctor if you have these symptoms, because you may need treatment right away.
Pulmonary Embolism: Signs and Symptoms
Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal
■Sudden shortness of breath
■Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
■Rapid heart rate
■Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus
Call an ambulance or 911 immediately for treatment in the ER
350,000—600,000 people in the United States develop blood clots every year. About 100,000 people in the U.S. die each year from blood clots, which means that about 1 of 3 may die.
Warning Signs of StrokeWomen may report unique stroke symptoms:
•sudden face and limb pain
•sudden general weakness
•sudden chest pain
•sudden shortness of breath
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have any of these symptoms
Every minute counts for stroke patients and acting F.A.S.T. can lead patients to the stroke treatments they desperately need. The most effective stroke treatments are only available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first three hours of the first symptoms. Actually, many Americans are not aware that stroke patients may not be eligible for stroke treatments if they arrive at the hospital after the three-hour window.
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test:
F—FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A—ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S—SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T—TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.