Waking up and not being able to catch your breath at 20 years old is the scariest thing. On November 14, 2022, I woke up at 4 a.m. gasping for air with intense pain in my lower back and sharp pain in my chest. My immediate reaction to the pain was to try and stand up and potentially walk it off and take some deep breaths.
But the pain just began to increase. I fell back onto my bed, just praying that I would make it through this. I eventually woke up my mother and told her we needed to go to the ER.
After many tests, I found out I had a blood clot in my lung, also known as a pulmonary embolism. I was shocked because I had never even heard of the term before. I am very grateful that my doctors did a D-dimer test, which led to the finding of my blood clot. I have read a lot of other patient stories where their symptoms were dismissed at first.
It seems to be that the leading cause of my blood clot was my birth control pill. It’s crazy for me to think about since I was on the pill for about four years before the clot.
I am beyond grateful that I survived this scary, life-changing experience. It shows that in the blink of an eye, your life can change, and to appreciate every day that you have. I went from being able to breathe normally to waking up feeling like I might lose my life.
I have realized that every day is a gift to be alive and to never take anything for granted. The most important thing in my life now is my health. You never realize how grateful you should be for good health until it gets taken away.
If you take anything away from my story, I hope it would be to educate yourself on blood clots and look more closely at the type of birth control you use.