I was first diagnosed with pulmonary emboli (PE), or blood clots in my lungs, on October 23, 2017. Doctors told me it was a miracle that I did not go into cardiac arrest and die because the clots in both lungs were the size of baseballs.
I was rushed into emergency surgery to remove the blood clots from my lungs. The doctors contributed my survival to my healthy lifestyle and cardiovascular stamina,, which allowed me to survive on less oxygen.
I developed my second PE four years later on November 12, 2021. The main fear for me is that doctors still have not been able to determine why this continues to happen. My mother had multiple strokes, which ultimately took her life, and my sister had a PE in her early 50s. It may be genetic.
They are doing all types of tests trying to figure the reason for the blood clots. Maybe I have some type of rare condition that makes me more prone to clotting. After my second PE I was told by doctors that I will be on blood thinners indefinitely. Through it all, I remain upbeat and continue to enjoy life and exercise.
I’ve had to make some lifestyle changes, like eliminating the occasional cigar – which I loved – since smoking increases your risk for blood clots. My advice to others is to maintain an active lifestyle, eat well, live your life to the fullest, and take your blood thinners as prescribed.
Download NBCA’s New Patient Resource Guide
Join our Facebook Peer Support Group to connect with other people who have experienced a blood clot. Share your story with NBCA.