I Spent 18 Months on Supplemental Oxygen: Maresa’s Story

I Spent 18 Months on Supplemental Oxygen: Maresa’s Story

I had been having what I considered typical cold symptoms for about a month. Ongoing negative COVID tests gave little clarity. The doctors initially diagnosed me with a sinus infection then and pneumonia when the symptoms didn’t subside.

I woke up Valentines Day 2022 with total numbness on my right side. I could not make it more than five feet without being out of breath. My roommate made the call to take me to the emergency room when she noticed that I couldn’t identify basic items. She was worried about a stroke.

Upon arriving, my oxygen level was 60 and I was placed onto supplemental oxygen. I was diagnosed with a DVT and multiple PEs and spent seven days in the hospital. I spent 18 months on various levels of supplemental oxygen. I had adventures with the help of a portable oxygen compressor and a scooter. I am now a lifer on anticoagulants and have regular check-in visits with my hematologist and pulmonologist.

It’s a fight, but one that I would like to think I’m holding my own in. I’m slowly gaining stamina back with effort and time. I had to push back some of my doctoral coursework, but I have made it through defense and graduation and am officially a doctor!

My best advice is that if you don’t feel like you are getting better, keep following up with your medical team. If the diagnosis doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.


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