On April 22, 2021, I was experiencing shortness of breath, but I thought it was just allergies or connected to wearing a mask during the height of COVID-19. I was walking my dog when my Apple watch started beeping to alert me of my extremely high heart rate.
I couldn’t decide if I should call the ambulance or take my dog back inside. I made the decision to take my dog back inside, then I started coughing and got really hot. I laid down and immediately something in me said, “Get up and go to the emergency room.” I thought I was having a mild heart attack.
The triage staff thought I had COVID and had me sit in an isolated area away from the other patients. I sat there for about 10 to 15 minutes and eventually got up and indicated that I needed to see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor ordered a scan, which revealed that I had a saddle pulmonary embolism (PE).
It is by the grace of God that I am alive today. This was an unprovoked PE and per the doctor, I will be on blood thinners for the rest of my life.
This experience has changed me mentally more than physically. At one point, I lived in constant fear of another blood clot. If I had not been persistent in the ER, the outcome could have been much different.
My advice to others is to be in tune with your body. If something feels off, go to the doctor or ER as soon as possible. Be an advocate for your health.