My Advice is to Know Your Body: Shelitha’s Story

My Advice is to Know Your Body: Shelitha’s Story

In 2016 I had surgery after tearing my Achilles during a work softball game. My doctor told me I could return to work after two weeks, so I did.

The first week went as smoothly as could be and used a knee roller. By the following week, I was having a hard time catching my breath. I would take a few steps and then need to rest. I went to my car, hopping on one leg to put the knee roller in my backseat as I held onto my front door. I then hopped on one leg to my driver’s seat and collapsed.

I remember thinking that I hoped someone would see me because I was so out of breath. I took a few minutes, gathered myself, and drove off. The next morning, I woke up still out of breath. I called the nurse line on the back of my insurance card, and they said, “Get to the hospital.”

The ER doctor told me he was determined to find out what was causing my increased heart rate and labored breathing. After several tests, he said it was blood clots.

My diagnosis was deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism. I had multiple blood clots in both lungs and a large one lodged between my heart and lungs.

I was in the hospital for the rest of the week, getting the highest dosage of Lovenox injections every 12 hours. I was being cared for by a hospitalist, cardiologist, hematologist, and occupational therapist.

I was put on blood thinners and remained under the care of my hematologist for a year. Since then, I’ve not dealt with any serious long-term effects from the blood clots. I’ve had two surgeries since, and have not had any blood clots. Praise God, I know that I am a walking miracle!

Now I’m very aware of any time my body feels “off.” If I have a warm spot on my leg, I monitor it closely. Before blood clots, I never would have thought twice about it.

The advice I would give to someone else is to know your body. Whenever you feel something is not right, get medical help.


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