On Monday, J & I hit 7 years of marriage. How do most people celebrate their anniversaries? Dinner date, movies, maybe even a weekend getaway somewhere. But, we like to live a life less ordinary, so we settled for a hospital admission for a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism (PE).
I had this whole blog post written about the 7-year itch, and how we’ve gotten to 7 years. However, this experience trumps that post for sure. Let me start by saying, I am okay and on the road to recovery. I got out of the hospital today. I had two significant blood clots in either lung and the clot in my left lung did a little damage, so I am taking meds to prevent any new clots and to manage the pain (oh the pain, the horrible, dreadful pain).
So what happened? Rewind to Oct. 8, when my journey to the hospital started. I had a slight pain (like a Charley Horse) in my left calf while in Denver. Immediately, Rachel/DocDoc worried that it could be a blood clot (given the fact I’ve been on birth control for close to 20 years and that is a HUGE risk factor). After it subsided with heat and ibuprofen, then went away completely 4 days later, I was relieved.
A few days later while at the cabin at 10,000 feet, I developed some chest pain, in my sternum area. I attributed it to the fact that I decided it would be a good idea to do a few Insanity NOW workouts. Figured I pulled a muscle and this was completely unrelated to the calf pain I had a few days prior.
What really made me scratch my head was that when we returned to Denver 3 days later, the pain in my chest was still there and I was short of breath. Shortness of breath is a no-brainer for me at the cabin, but not a few thousand feet lower in Denver. We were only going lower and lower in elevation, so when we got to Chicago and I still had the pain/shortness of breath, I was starting to worry, but made more excuses especially because on Friday, I was miraculously 100% better. No pain, no shortness of breath. Phew, my medical mystery was resolved.
Then Saturday, I woke up with pain all along my left side from my hip to my shoulder. I must have slept wrong, I thought. In hindsight, I was being way too stubborn. But Sunday, the pain worsened. We were with friends in Columbus and Adrienne/theAccessory is admittedly a hypochondriac, so she of course was googling all my symptoms and rallying for me to see a doctor.
Finally at around 10pm at night when I couldn’t walk, lie down or sit, and I looked like a ghost, it was time. There was chaos getting me there, I won’t lie. Which is why I showed up to the hospital with mismatched socks. I have never had to go to the emergency department in all my 35 years, but there is a first for everything. Had to check that off my bucket list I guess.
I went through just about every test they can give in triage (can’t wait to see that bill) and they determined I had the clots in my lungs and admitted me to start blood-thinning therapy, monitor my breathing and blood work. While I hated being in the hospital, especially for 2.5 days (it is NOT restful when they are poking and prodding you every 30 minutes), I was glad I got a diagnosis and a solution. No more birth control, but bring on the blood thinners! Pulmonary embolism is not something to take lightly and I am not.
But maybe someday we will laugh about the way we spent our 7th anniversary!