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Please Listen to Your Body: Kia’s Story

I’ve always had a history of health anxiety, always expecting the worst whilst hoping for the best. It took many years for me to manage my fears and understand when I was being rational or otherwise. Toward the end of April 2024, I had this horrible chest pain, directly along the left side of my…

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The ER Doctor Didn’t Know Birth Control Could Cause PEs: Betsy’s Story

On Sept. 7, 2016, I escaped sudden death by bilateral pulmonary emboli, a side effect of taking hormonal contraceptives. That morning, my heart was racing when I went to the bathroom to get ready. I was winded when I stood up. Denial had kept me from going, but I knew I needed to go to…

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The PCP Who Dismissed My Concerns Was Dismissed By Me: Kay’s Story

After having provoked blood clots from hip surgery (the symptoms I experienced included leg pain, shortness of breath, and chest pain) I asked my primary care physician if she would order bloodwork to determine if I have a clotting disorder. I was detailing my family members with similar issues: my mother had an unprovoked pulmonary…

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I Am My Best Advocate: Jessica’s Story

I am one of the lucky ones. At 46, I was active and healthy. On April 27, 2020, during a round of backyard badminton with my kids, I felt woozy and dizzy and needed to lie down. I couldn’t move or speak. I had a stroke! More specifically, a posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. I…

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I Was Overcome With Intense, Debilitating Chest Pain: Nina’s Story

I had been feeling unwell for several weeks. I had swelling and pain in my legs and other random symptoms. I had bought almost every leg cream in an attempt to get some sleep at night. All that was pushed aside when my daughter went into labor unexpectedly just a few days before my husband…

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This Experience Was Very Traumatic: Marta’s Story

I was at work just sitting down when my heart started racing. My Apple Watch alerted me that my heart was beating at 140 bpm, something I had never felt before. I chalked it up to just being overworked and tired. I drank some water and took a break. My heart started to slow down…

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I Almost Left the ER: Lucy’s Story

In October 2020 at age 28, I woke up at 5 a.m. with back pain. It felt like I pulled a muscle. Throughout the day, the pain got worse. It hurt to sit or lie down. By the next morning, I was vomiting from pain and decided to drive myself to the emergency room. The…

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I Had to Figure Everything Out on My Own: Sue’s Story

In the spring of 2018, I began having severe shortness of breath. I’m an asthmatic and was using a rescue inhaler constantly, but it didn’t help much. After about six weeks of complaining to my healthcare providers, they did a chest x-ray that was normal. Two weeks later, I was back in the office with…

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I Have Alarms Reminding Me to Take My Medication Twice Daily: Sherri’s Story

I am a wife and mother of four girls. I began having complications with my fallopian tubes and painful menstrual cycles. I had both fallopian tubes removed, one in 2020 and the other after I had baby #4  in 2021. I ended up having a hysterectomy in February 2023. About a week after having the…

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My Symptoms Felt Like Indigestion: Amy’s Story

In March 2016, I had only been on estrogen-based birth control for a few months and decided to take a four-hour road trip with some friends. A few days after, I started to feel like I had heartburn. At first, my symptoms felt a lot like indigestion — pressure in the chest, but not painful.…

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