Although I had experienced symptoms of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), which is a rapid heartbeat, for at least 18 years, I wasn’t officially diagnosed with SVT until August 2018.
I was advised by my cardiologist to have an ablation – a procedure for restoring normal heart rhythm – to prevent episodes of SVT from reoccurring. Approximately two days after the ablation, I woke up with horrible pain on the left side of my bottom. Over the course of several days, the pain became worse, and my bottom began to swell.
I called my doctor’s office, and the staff believed this was due to sciatica from having laid in an awkward position on the operating table. I decided to visit my chiropractor and massage therapist to help with the pain.
A day or two after those visits, I started feeling a little better. However, the pain later moved behind my right shoulder blade. I tried to ignore the pain for as long as I could. I decided to leave work early the next day and visit the ER on my way home. I was in tears from the pain by the time I made it to the ER and was having trouble breathing.
It did not take the ER doctor long to diagnose five blood clots in my lungs (pulmonary emboli, or PE) and I remained in the hospital for a week. The doctors tried three different blood thinners, but I was allergic to all of them. I discontinued the use of the blood thinner after three months to the severe reactions.
I had one recurrence of blood clots in 2021 after having COVID, and I still struggle with scar tissue in my lungs.
In addition to my hospital stay, hormonal birth control is believed to have contributed to my blood clots. I now have post-traumatic stress disorder, and I’ve had to change my lifestyle. I’ve learned that just because I may not be able to do things the same as I once did, I still have a purpose in this life. It just looks different than it once did.
My advice is to be just as loving and supportive of ourselves as we would be of those we love.