Turning 50 was no big deal to me. I was healthy, happy, and active.
But a few months later, I was diagnosed with five life-threatening blood clots in my lungs, along with a large infarct — a small area of dead tissue resulting from the failure of blood supply – at the base of my lung. The likely cause was the hormonal birth control I was prescribed to ease menopause symptoms.
Before the diagnosis, I had felt tired, had back and neck pain, was short of breath, and had begun coughing up blood. Luckily, my primary care doctor took my symptoms seriously. He sent me for a CAT scan, which showed the clots.
I was hospitalized for about a week. When I was discharged, I went home on blood thinners and was very weak. However, I was determined to get my pre-pulmonary embolism self back.
Even though I tired easily, I began walking for a few minutes each day. I added on a few more each successive day, and I eventually felt like me again.
I remained on the blood thinners for almost a year, but thankfully, I have no lasting effects from the clots. I appreciate good health more now and I’m thankful for a full recovery. Reading successful patient stories during my recovery encouraged me not to give up hope.