I started becoming short of breath around Memorial Day weekend. I’d get winded walking from the parking garage at work to my desk, and walking from my apartment to my car.
Since I had COVID the month before, my doctor thought it could be long COVID and I was given an inhaler.
On June 16, I set off on a 24-day trip across the globe. I went from Denver to Washington DC, then to The Gambia, Senegal, Morocco, Portugal, New York, and then back to Denver. About a week into my trip, my symptoms were getting much worse. I was having a hard time breathing and was coughing up blood.
On July 13, I was back home in Denver and made it to urgent care, where I got blood tests and a chest X-ray. Next, doctors decided to do a chest CT to get a good look at what was going on.
A notification of my test results popped up on my phone and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The doctor came in to tell me I was going to be transferred to the hospital to be treated for pulmonary emboli in both lungs. I was scared and lonely and had tears streaming down my face. I was only 26 years old and suddenly, my life turned upside down.
I’m not sure why this happened, but long air travel and genetics could have contributed to my blood clots.
This experience has taught me to lean on my support system. I feel all the love and support from my family, friends, and coworkers. I have a long road ahead, but I’m just taking it day by day and trying to stay positive.
My advice to others is to accept that you can only control so much. Keep living your life as best as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are loved!