In January 2021, I woke up in the middle of a Sunday night feeling like I needed to put ice water on my body. As I carried the glass of ice water back to bed, I suddenly found myself struggling to make it to the couch. What seemed like minutes later, I woke up with glass everywhere and my foot bleeding.
I had never passed out before, so I wasn’t quite sure what had happened. After returning to bed, I became winded as if I had run a marathon. The next day, I assumed I had COVID. I immediately drove to urgent care but tested negative.
After two more days of passing out, coughing, and feeling winded, I returned to urgent care. I thought I must have COVID and perhaps I tested too soon. But I was told my oxygen levels were too low and I needed to go to the hospital immediately.
At the ER, I was diagnosed with pulmonary emboli (PE). A doctor told me I had massive clots throughout both of my lungs. The doctors administered a “blaster” to break it up. I remember the physicians staring at me in amazement, stating that it was a miracle I survived all the syncopal (fainting) episodes.
But what they didn’t know is that I am a survivor and it just wasn’t my time. I was prescribed apixaban (Eliquis) for one year. Today, I take an aspirin daily. I am forever grateful for the breath of life because having it snatched just for a moment is humbling.
In terms of risk factors, doctors found a mass on my uterus while I was being treated for the PE, which may have been the cause. I had a hysterectomy three months later.
Now, I walk almost daily and I’m very conscious of my diet. Although I am asymptomatic, I have learned to listen to my body. Reading other stories has helped me. Also, I’ve made sure not to let the PTSD of the experience control me.
Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots
Women and Blood Clots
Psychological Impact of Blood Clots