Taking A Break for Better Mental Health 

Blood Clot Awareness Month, recognized each March, came and went like the whirlwind it always is. It is as a critical time to share information about blood clot risks, signs and symptoms, and prevention. For me, it’s also an important time to acknowledge and share what recovery from blood clots can be like, including mental health challenges. 

I have been sharing my story, and my resources, with the clotting community for over ten years. While I don’t feel any less drive or commitment to shining a light on blood clot recovery, I am in a different place now than I was at the beginning of my journey. I consider myself physically recovered from what I went through, but I still manage a disease, antiphospholipid syndrome, that won’t just go away. I still take anticoagulants (blood thinners), which require regular monitoring, and I still see my hematologist every few months. Thankfully, I have not experienced any further clotting incidents. Physically, I feel fine most days, but taking long-term medications that require constant mindfulness and monitoring can be emotionally draining. 

When March ended this year, I took a step back to focus on my own health, which included following up on routine check-ups and appointments. A suspected growth in my uterus that needed further investigation sent me down a dark path emotionally. Previous trauma was exposed again, and it was raw and relentless. I experienced a bleeding incident and emergency surgery in 2020 during the height of the pandemic connected to a ruptured ovarian cyst, which was frightening since I take blood thinners. While I had hoped my gynecological issues were behind me, my mind constructed the worst possible outcome as I waited for my follow-up exam and test results. I spent the month of April on a hiatus and mostly worried.

Thankfully, I received great news at my gynecology appointment and no further steps need to be taken. Everything was fine. I was elated, but I realized that even though my physical health was okay, my mental health was spiraling. The past few years of pandemic living felt like treading water in a constant cycle of anxiety, depression, grief, and fear. “What’s next, and will I survive it?” was an ever-present question in my mind all day and night. I said out loud to someone one day, “My nervous system hasn’t really recovered from any of this,” and I realized how true that actually was.

I decided I needed to take a break for better mental health. I know there are things we all have to do and that we can’t set on the back burner. Maybe it’s work or school, caring for our families or pets, or obligations and commitments that can’t be broken. But what about the things we can take a break from? Sometimes doing just that can make a difference and set us back on the path to better mental health. So for me, this meant stepping away from being present online all the time, saying no to the things that weren’t a necessity, and finding time to reconnect with things that bring me joy.

You may be feeling similarly. Blood clots and blood clot recovery can be emotionally challenging. It is not uncommon to experience anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic medical experience. Yet, your emotional and mental health is no less important than your physical health. Consider how taking a break can help you feel better. 

Five Tips for Taking A Mental Health Break

  • Disconnect to reconnect. Unplug and unwind. However you choose to frame it, disconnecting from screens (social media, blogging, gaming, and even TV/streaming) can be a big part of taking a mental health break. I limited my time spent scrolling online. Instead, I read books, went for walks, and planted a flower garden in my yard. Now, after work, I go outside to work in my garden rather than leave my computer screen at the office and immediately start looking at my phone screen on the couch.
  • It’s okay to say no. If it doesn’t feel good to you or you don’t want to do it, you can say no with no reason required. Feel confident to say no to people, plans, places, or activities if it means you can instead focus on feeling better or taking care of yourself.
  • Don’t force yourself to do what doesn’t feel good. This was a “tough love” lesson for me. If it doesn’t make me feel good or feel at peace, I’m not doing it anymore. This involved setting some boundaries for myself (online) and with others for things I have to do, but may not be entirely comfortable for me to do.
  • Do what makes you happy. When you’re focusing on mental health, it may or may not be a great time to try something new. You can either start a new hobby or interest or pick up something you may have lost sight of or enthusiasm for in the past. It can be as simple or as involved as you need or want it to be, and the possibilities are as endless as your creativity and skills.
  • Ask for help if you need it. While taking a break for better mental health can involve spending a little more time alone for some people, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help if you need it. You can join my group on Facebook for peer support. If you’re facing a mental health crisis, considering suicide or just need a listening ear, you can call or text 988 and reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for free and confidential support. 

If you aren’t feeling your best, you are not alone. Creating a path to better mental health is all about what you need or want it to be. Taking a break can be an important part of your plans if you aren’t feeling well emotionally and can help you heal. Consider the tips I have shared here and how you can integrate them into your own life, or add your own. In either case, I hope taking a break can help you feel better on your journey. 

There is hope for healing from blood clots, and you are not alone.

Eight Years of Hope and Healing

I only remembered that today was the day, eight years ago, that a blood clot in my lung changed my life because my phone reminded me. That little event reminder popped up and said “PE RUN” like it does every year. I saw it late last night. As I drifted off to sleep, I thought about what I wanted to say today. The answer eluded me by morning, and so, I went about my day not giving it much more thought.

Eight years ago, it was a Saturday. I went for a short-for-me run of about two miles. I had been recovering from a marathon months earlier, or so I thought, and I knew getting back into running would be difficult. Still, after those miles, the familiar pain from an overuse injury started in my calf, but then something new happened. By later that morning, walking was difficult, and my whole leg hurt. I took a nap, and I woke up with pain in my side. I took a hot shower, and convinced myself I had a bad side stitch. I thought it was all related to my run – but it wasn’t. By Sunday night, I could not breathe, or lay down flat, or walk very far without excruciating pain. I still thought I was fine, though. My family called my primary care doctor who called me. I told him how I felt, and he told me to go to the hospital because he believed my life was in danger due to a blood clot that broke off from my leg (DVT) and traveled to my lung (PE). He was right, and I spent the better part of a week in the ICU as doctors worked to stabilize my condition and find out what happened.

My story is not unlike a lot of other people’s stories. I chose to tell it in a public space, though, because I wanted other people to know that blood clots can happen to anyone, even younger people who are active, trying to eat right, and losing weight. I wanted other people to know that the signs and symptoms of blood clots could save your life, or save you the pain and years of recovery that I went through when mine went to my lung. I wanted people who have been through a blood clot to know that recovery can be extensive, or difficult, and that it isn’t just physical. I wanted people to know that depression and anxiety might be something they have to deal with too. I wanted people to know that grief can happen without death. Grief can happen when your whole life is changed unexpectedly. I wanted young people who had a blood clot to know that younger people like them were out there, feeling alone and hopeless. I wanted to make a difference, so I started this blog.

A lot has changed for me in eight years. Physically, I am recovered from my blood clots. I do not suffer from long-term complications with my leg or with my lungs. I do, however, continue to take warfarin because of the underlying reason for my blood clots, which is an autoimmune disease called antiphosphlipid syndrome, or APS. APS can increase a person’s blood clot risk. I was diagnosed with APS in the weeks following my blood clot diagnosis, and since there presently is no cure for APS, I will continually treat it. The best way to do that is by reducing my blood clot (and stroke) risk, so I take a blood thinner called warfarin. It is the best option for me, and it doesn’t interfere with my life to a great extent. I go for venous blood draws every 3-4 weeks because warfarin needs monitored to ensure it is working properly, and I see my hematologist every few months as part of managing my condition. APS can be a scary diagnosis, and there are times I do wonder what the future holds for me, but for the most part, I live normally with it.

Emotionally, I have recognized and worked to overcome some of my greatest challenges just in the last year. This meant addressing my lingering anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Facing the fact that I was struggling with trauma beyond anxiety was not an easy realization to come to, and I did not arrive there on my own. I survived; I didn’t need help. But, I did. Skyrocketing blood pressure every time I met with my hematologist (but normal everywhere else and every other time) led him to address the topic with me, and in turn, he recommended a specialized therapist for me to talk to. Medical PTSD is a real-life thing, and trauma compounds upon trauma, so it can build upon previous experiences in your life. Listen, if your emotional state after a blood clot is causing you to not be able to function – eat, sleep, think, work, enjoy life – normally, talk to a trusted medical professional. If you are consumed emotionally by what happened to you, seek help. As it was shared from my doctor to me: You did not survive physically to suffer emotionally.

Now, I can finally say, with this passing year, I am no longer haunted by the memory of my experiences. I remember the pain, but in truth, it’s not specific now. I remember it “hurt more than anything in my life,” but I don’t remember exactly what that felt like. I can hear stories – your stories – and not be consumed by my own experiences. I can tell my story and not be overcome with my emotions. But, all of this doesn’t mean I don’t have work to do, or that BCRN is going anywhere. For me, it means I have arrived at a new place. A place where I am now better suited to providing support and resources for people who are back where I was eight years ago. My simple motto remains the same now as the first time I wrote it on the day I launched this blog: There is hope for healing from blood clots and you are not alone.

There is still hope.

You are still not alone.

Hope for healing remains the cornerstone of the work I do here now. If you have been diagnosed with a blood clot, or if someone you know has, there is a wealth of blog posts detailing my recovery experiences, as I was experiencing them: Visit www.BloodClotRecovery.net. There is a community of peers waiting to support on your journey: Join the BCRN Group on Facebook. There are regular posts and messages that I share on social media as often as I can: Follow me publicly on Facebook and on Instagram.

There is hope for healing from blood clots, and you are not alone – still.

Reader Writes In: Where are you in your recovery journey? Are you just starting out or has it been some time? How have things changed, or not, for you?

Share your story in the comments below.

How Speaking to a Counselor or Therapist Can Help You Heal

When you experience pain and illness from a blood clot, your recovery journey may be one of anxiety, anger, and depression, making it difficult for you to do much in life. This is when seeking the help of a counselor or therapist might be helpful, but many people don’t do that, and for many reasons. However, seeking therapy can be help you heal emotionally from blood clots. In this post, written in collaboration with BetterHelp.com, we’ll discuss why seeking help from a therapist is something you might consider during your recovery from blood clots.

Strong Emotions

If you have experienced a blood clot, you’re not just facing a physical recovery, but an emotional recovery as well. Here are a few emotions you may face:

  • Anger. You may be angry at your own body for what happened, or angry at yourself because you feel as though you could have done something to prevent a blood clot.
  • Anxiety and Depression. You may feel depressed and anxious over what happened, and what may happen in the future. You may worry that you’ll never recover, and that you won’t enjoy activities like you used to before a blood clot.
  • Apathy. Sometimes, you feel nothing at all, which can be a can be a strong emotion, too.
  • Grief. Experiencing a health crisis, like a blood clot, can also cause feelings of loss and grief. You may grieve the life you had, your sense of self, your independence, or your self confidence, among many things.

To top it off, many people who are experiencing a blood clot may not feel well physically and may not be able to rest, and this can further intensify how you feel. These strong emotions may make it difficult for you to speak to anyone about your issues, and some people may feel like they are a burden to their family, friends or community. A counselor or therapist, especially one who has experience with people who went through a health crisis, can help you deal with your emotions.

Common Barriers to Seeking Therapy

Many people face challenges to seeking care from a therapist or counselor. Below, we will examine some of these barriers, as well as some ways to address them.

You Can’t Leave Your Home

Many people who are recovering from a blood clot may not be able to leave their homes, or at least not without assistance. For many people, not being able to leave home can cause their emotions to get worse, such as developing cabin fever or a fear of missing out. You may think that there’s no way to leave your house to speak to a therapist or counselor about your issues.

No Insurance

The healthcare industry can be overwhelming. Lack of insurance or inadequate insurance might be a barrier to talking with a therapist, and paying out-of-pocket can often be expensive.

Not Wanting a Meet Face-to-Face

When it comes to counseling or therapy, many people prefer to talk to a therapist face-to-face, but some people do not. Some people wish to remain anonymous, even though counseling and therapy is confidential. Many people may not want to speak to someone in person about their problems, because it can be uncomfortable to talk to a stranger about your situation.

Access to Care

For some people, they cannot visit a counselor or therapist because they live far away from the nearest office, or lack the means to travel.

Not Much Time

Your recovery from your blood clot may affect your schedule, and you may feel like you just have no time to go to one more appointment. Between other doctor’s visits and appointments, the idea of squeezing more in can be intimidating.

We understand the reasons why someone would hesitate to get counseling or therapy, and for many people, getting help the traditional way (setting up an appointment, visiting the office at a certain time, and staying for an hour, etc.) is intimidating. Online counseling and therapy has made this easier.

The Mental Health Stigma

Finally, you may feel a stigma about seeking mental health help. Many people view seeing a therapist or a counselor as a negative thing, and it can be very hard to ignore those feelings.  

How Online Therapy Helps

Online therapy, be it through your computer, phone, or another device, has made it easier for people who are recovering from a blood clot to get the help they need. Websites such as BetterHelp allow people easier and more convenient access to a licensed therapist, and here’s how.

You Can Talk to the Therapist in Different Ways

Online therapy uses quite a few methods to connect a person with a therapist,. Here are a few ways an online therapist communicates:

  • Texting. You can text your therapist through an online therapy app, with the texts encrypted and protected for privacy. You can schedule a live chat with your therapist, simulating the flow of a in-person conversation without ever meeting face-to-face.
  • Email. If you want to write out a more lengthy message, email is a good way of communicating that doesn’t require an immediate response from either party.
  • Phone. If you prefer to speak with someone in real-time and with your voice, a phone might be a good option.
  • Video chat. You can video chat with a therapist, which is the closest experience to a face-to-face conversation. Seeing your therapist may help you build trust with them, and allows them to interpret other things about you, such as facial expressions and body languge, which can be helpful in a therapy session. While online therapy isn’t exactly the same experience as talking to someone in the same room, it’s getting close.  

Licensed Therapists

Talking to a therapist online is quite different than speaking to friend or family member, or joining an online support group. An online therapist has all the credentials that a traditional therapist has, and is licensed to practice by state, just like any other therapist.

Therapy On Your Schedule

With online therapy, it is much easier for you to schedule a session with a therapist on your own schedule. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, and you need to speak to someone right away, it’s can be easier to speak with a therapist online rather than call and make an appointment, which may not be available right away.

Getting help right away can soothe your mind and help you learn ways to manage your feelings.

It’s Easy to Switch Therapists

Recovering from a major health crisis is a topic that some therapists may not be the right fit for. If you’re not satisfied with the initial consultation with your therapist, you can switch therapists until you find someone better suited to your needs.

Therapy On the Go

Online therapy is great on the go. You can talk to your therapist during a commute to or from work, or while you’re taking a walk.

Talking to Someone Can Help

Talking to a professional about your feelings can help you acknowledge them and process them. A professional counselor can also help you gain tools and resources to deal with anxiety, depression, anger, and grief in a healthy way.

It Can Be Less Financially Draining

Online therapy does cost money, but the amount it costs tends to be less than traditional therapy without insurance, and you can pay as you go. You can pay every week or month, then cancel if you don’t need it anymore, or if you need to take a break. You can also take advantage of things like free trials or discounts for new clients.

Your blood clot recovery journey should not be something you do alone. Speaking to a counselor or therapist about your feelings can help you tremendously if you are feeling anxious, angry or depressed. Seeking help from a professional therapist is an important step in your journey to health and healing.

This post was written as a sponsored collaboration between Blood Clot Recovery Network and BetterHelp Online Counseling.

Reader Writes In: Have you tried online or virtual counseling? What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it?

Share your story in the comments below.

FAQs and Contact Me

That one thing about blood clots everyone should know.


When I was diagnosed with a blood clot and as I went through recovery, I was surprised how much I – and other people I knew – did not not know about blood clots. There was so much I wanted to share with people as I recovered – blood clots hurt, recovery took a long time and yes, you could have a blood clot if you were young, active and healthy. Sometimes, I wished I could just hand people a piece of paper (or several pieces of paper) that said, “Here, here is what you need to know about what I am going through right now. It’s not fun, it’s not easy, and yes, it takes a very long time. Here’s why.”

Have you ever felt that way too?

A number of weeks ago, I asked you a very important question on social media: What is the one thing about blood clots everyone should know? And you answered. 

If you have been diagnosed with a blood clot, it can be difficult to understand – and explain – what you are going through. Here are some thoughts about blood clots and blood clot recovery that you should know. These thoughts are compiled from people who have suffered from blood clots, or who know someone who has suffered from blood clots, as shared with www.BloodClotRecovery.net across a variety of social media channels.

You can also download and print these thoughts to read when you feel alone or to share with someone you know.

What is the one thing about blood clots everyone should know?

Blood clots cause pain.

It doesn’t always mean you’re going to die. I spent three days in the hospital scared I was going to die because I’d known two people who have died. A nurse and a wonderful doctor finally explained that while it was serious, and could have been fatal, I was going to be okay.

It takes time to heal and recover. Be gentle with yourself and listen to your body. It’s okay to rest – you’re not being lazy.

Blood clots are life changing.

Don’t ignore symptoms. It’s better to be safe and get checked out, then lose your life.

They can reoccur, even with proper medications and monitoring.

Listen to your body.

Anybody can get blood clots!

Don’t ignore blood clots – any one, of any age can get them.

They suck A** – just saying.

Definitely listen to your body, rest, ask a lot of questions, and see a psychologist, if needed. Having PEs as bad as mine were, it messed with me terribly.

You don’t always know you have blood clots….shortness of breath may be the only symptom you have!

Blood clots can cause anxiety, sometimes debilitating anxiety, for years to come. Talk to your doctor about that, and know you’re not alone.

It’s okay to cry.

Blood clots kill people.

You can have almost none of the “classic” symptoms, and still have blood clots, and you don’t always get an answer as to why they happened.

All I had was a pinch in my side. I had no idea that my life had forever changed that day.

Blood clots changed my life.

Not only did blood clots change my life in fear, but they changed how I am towards people. Anger, anxiety, depression – one day you think, “I’m okay,” and the next you’re in a panic. The second time around with PE, both due to giving birth, and I hate that this has happened to me. There needs to be a cure, but it feels like no one is even trying to find a cure. They tell you to pop a pill and send you on your way. Seriously.

Listen to what your body tells you, not what others tell you.

You will never be the person you were before. Be your best advocate. Ask any and all questions. Know that you aren’t alone. Listen to your body. It will get better!

This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happened to me: A few days before my Pes, I had a strange feeling that I didn’t want to be alone, because for some reason, I thought I was going to die and I was afraid. I’ve read this happens to some people, so don’t ignore it, if you feel this. If you didn’t have it happen to you, I know it sounds crazy, but it’s real. Listen to your body and your mind.

You will have better days and bad days. Be thankful for the better ones.

Blood clots suck the life out of you.

It takes time to heal and post-clot anxiety is common. You don’t just start taking medication and everything is suddenly okay.

You may think you’ve just pulled a muscle.

You may look well on the outside, but there’s a lot going on inside and it changes people.

Blood clots are extremely painful.

The emotional side you have to deal with after is hard. Anger, anxiety, depression, etc. are all normal, but no advice is usually given to help with this, or it is not linked to what you have just been through. You have had a near death experience and it’s exhausting.

Pre-clot people should know that the condition even exist. Post-clot people should know everything about thrombosis, because your doctor might not know. We, the world, need more information put out in the commercial world. Way too little information is available for such a common, often fatal condition.

Thrombosis information should be as common as cancer and heart disease. Until I had my first DVT, I assumed it was no worse than a hiccup. I had heard of people (acquaintances, etc.) getting blood clots, but I never heard of it ever causing anyone any problems, and I never heard of anyone dying from them.

I had a DVT with no redness. I had a PE with no coughing.

I have a DVT and PE and it is not nice to go through for two years.

My DVT was asymptomatic below the knee. I only had one symptom: the sensation of a pebble in the back of my knee. A Doppler scan showed sluggish flow throughout my leg.

Blood clots can turn you into a hypochondriac!!! But it is always better to check.

Post-thrombotic (PTS) is hard to live with, but take I every day as it comes, being thankful I’m still here.

Blood clots can happen any time.

Blood clots left me without my brother and also ended my career!

Blood clots turn your life upside down…. the fear, the pain, the anxiety, the anger…. etc. I think about how close to death I was daily, and hope and pray that it doesn’t come back. I had bilateral PEs in December 2015, but it seems like yesterday. I have had so many trips to the ER and doctors afterwards, just because I am afraid that I have another. I am financially and emotionally drained.

Blood clots don’t discriminate! It’s not just surgery that causes clots. It’s not only immobility that contributes to the formation of clots. It doesn’t only happen in the elderly. Not all clots are in legs. People keep asking me, “Clots? Isn’t that what old people get after surgery while sitting around recovering?”

I’ve had two PEs. One with calf and chest pain. The second with no pain at all, just shortness of breath.

Just go to the ER, even if you think it is not a clot. Let go of the fear of going in for nothing.

When a group of doctors sit you in a room and tell you your diagnosis and anticoagulant therapy is your one and only option because the clots in the brain cannot be accessed surgically due to the high risk….You look at their discouraging eyes and realize all you can do is hope and fight. At any moment, you realize you can take your last breath, and all you have is this exact moment to live and breathe.

I’ve not had the easiest life. This though, was the experience that taught me about love, friendship, family, life, and that I was stronger than I ever thought.

It can happen to anyone, and you need to be strong throughout the whole recovery. Otherwise, you will feel lost and not have the courage to keep fighting through it all.

Even though the previous episode wasn’t that long for me, it still lingers in the back of my mind, when and how the next episode will be. Just one step, one day at a time. My main concern is the cost involved. If cost wasn’t a concern, I think that it would minimize a portion of our anxiety and just really concentrate on what is at hand.

Many people still do not know what they are or what the symptoms are – if you feel you may have them get to an ER as soon as possible! When you are unconscious you cannot describe your symptoms! Also, this is one of the most misunderstood medical problems.

How looooooooooooong recovery is… and sometimes you’re never the same.

Blood clots fundamentally change your outlook on life, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

My daughter has a better attitude towards life…for the most part.

It could happen to anyone, at any time!

They happen, but you can recover better than before.

It takes time to heal, even after the clot is gone.

Surviving one can cause a lot of anxiety, fear, and even panic. Don’t be afraid to seek psychiatric help or get counseling, and find someone that specializes in PTSD.

Anyone who has a blood, please join this group, Blood Clot Recovery Network.

There often aren’t answers.

Don’t be a hero, ask for help.

You don’t realize how close to death you are, but you can get better.

It can happen to you, and the only symptom may be a mild cramp-like feel, not a swollen, red, warm calf. Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to get checked out.

I never knew that pregnancy was such a high risk for blood clots. I think women should know that

I had six clots within 30 days of birth. I had no idea pregnancy was a bloody nightmare for sticky blood!

You can get swelling even after blood clots have gone.

Many any health care professionals aren’t well informed about blood clots. Blood Clot Recovery Network has been so helpful for me in learning others are going through similar struggles. You aren’t alone!

It can happen to anyone, at any time

Listen to your body!

I’m exhausted. Yes, even just getting dressed is too much, sometimes.

Age does not matter!

They could be deadly, if not treated

It can happen to anyone! You don’t have to be older or sick, it can literally happen to anyone, at any time, no one is excluded.

Anyone can get them!

You can survive.

Drink a lot of water, keep moving.

The symptoms and recovery differ for everyone.

Blood clots happen way more often than people think

There is no backsies when it comes to blood clots. Once you have one, the damage is done. Many survivors live with impairments from their clotting events.

Chronic pain in the leg after a clot can be devastating for so many. Things like sitting at a desk or flying are never the same.

There will be good and bad days.

Blood clots are life changing.

Don’t ignore the symptoms! Go to the ER and speak until someone listens! You don’t have to die from this.

Blood clots can happen to even the healthiest, most active people, out of nowhere. They need to be taken seriously.

We put on a happy face, even though we live with chronic pain.

It will be painful…you will be tired, a tired like nothing you felt before. People won’t understand, ignore them, and listen to your body.

You are your own best advocate. Research, ask questions, and get multiple opinions before settling on what just one doctor tells you.

It doesn’t matter how old you are; you can still get blood clots!

Recovery sucks!

In many cases, blood clots can be a sneaky killer. Mine was disguised as pleurisy, which could have cost my life. I didn’t go to my doctor until it was almost too late. I had no clue it was a life threatening blood clot.

Blood clots can be deadly.

When the doctor tells you it’s a bug bite and take some antibiotics, get a second opinion!

Blood clots can kill you.

Blood clots can happen to active teenagers!

Listen to yourself. If you know something is wrong, speak up, and don’t let your doctor’s just brush it off as nothing. Or in my case, the many times I brought up the different coloring and pain, doctors just said it was healing from my Achilles tendon surgery.

It can take much, much longer than you think to recover.

Blood clots can kill you, and recovery can leave you with lots of health issues.

Blood clots hurt.

Blood clots are life changing. It was the scariest time of my life, and continues to make me worried sick that it could all happen again! Also, the chronic, debilitating pain…..18 months for me, and I’m in chronic pain most days.

Blood clots aren’t always painful. I had one that felt like a small bruise, and it was dismissed, as I wasn’t screaming. To be fair, all my other blood clots were so horrifically painful, I thought I was going to pass out, and they were still missed.

Blood clots for me changed my whole life. They made me realize life’s too short. I think all your comments taught me that I’m not alone. Recovery is long. I am on medication for rest of life, and my health issues are endless, but I’m alive. Some people aren’t so lucky.

The fear never leaves you.

When discovered, you need to advocate for yourself and find the right doctors who will listen.

Blood clots can happen to anyone!!!!!

Listen to your body. If you think there might be something wrong, stop worrying that they will think you are crazy and spend the money, and go to the doctor. I had a small pinch in my chest, that was it. That small pinch saved my life, because I knew it wasn’t right.

Blood clots can happen to anyone

Blood clots are a silent killer.

I was told that a lot of doctors missed my diagnosis – a blood clot in the brain, and inflammation in my brain and spine. They asked what led me to go in, and I just knew that I needed to go in and that something wasn’t right. I am blessed to be alive. It has changed my outlook on a lot of things in life.

I thought I was starting to have panic attacks because of the palpitations and shortness of breath. I drove to my doctor’s surgery, only to be asked, “How long have your lips been blue?” I was taken to the hospital and resuscitated twice. After 14 months, I still get the odd twinge, but I’m on thinners for life.

The recovery process is very slow, and extremely difficult, and a huge emotional roller coaster, which includes a great amount of fear. Doctors talk about the physical aspects, but the emotional side is incredibly hard. Blood clots alter your entire life, and you are not alone. If you have survived, you won.

It doesn’t always take a warm leg for a blood clot to be there. If it’s very swollen, flush red when you stand, and very sensitive to heat, cold, and water, please have it checked out. Just because my calf wasn’t warm, even with a positive D-dimer, three doctors ruled a clot, because it wasn’t warm. Yet, three DVTs were later found in the same leg. Trust your instincts. I said outright it was a blood clot, and the doctors didn’t believe me. If someone says no, it’s not a blood clot, get a second opinion to be sure. If I did, it wouldn’t have broken off and went into both of my lungs. You know your body best.

Always get a second opinion, and if there is one, there could always be another one. The first time I had two blood clots in my brain, with more tests, they found a massive clot in my lung that could have killed me. This time, they found one in my aorta, and the doctor didn’t seem worried. They gave me a very low dose of blood thinner, I saw a new doctor who ran tests, and they found that I had two more blood clots in my brain. Ask a lot of questions, and if they don’t want to answer, find a new doctor!

Being a survivor of PE made me a better person.

Blood clots kill!

Homan’s Sign is discomfort behind the knee on forced dorsiflexion of the foot, and a sign of thrombosis in the lower limb. Everyone’s symptoms are different. This is how I knew that I had a potential problem.

I was diagnosed with a PE in June with no symptoms. I tested positive for factor V Leiden, a genetic blood disorder. If you have been diagnosed with a blood clot, get tested for blood disorders!

Blood clots are life changing, and not in a good way either! Be proactive in your care. Post-thrombotic syndrome is no fun.

If you have pain or difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, get light headed and dizzy, you could have pulmonary embolisms. I had them in the base of both lungs, and DVTs from my hips to my knees in both legs. I also have factor V Leiden. I recommend that anyone who has blood clots, get checked for blood disorders, deficiencies, and if you have any symptoms of blood clots, go to the ER right away.

If you are going through recovery, hang in there. I’m a survivor, and it’s going to get better with positive energies and a positive outlook, babe.

As some have said the emotional mental roller coaster after surviving may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever deal with. Also, if you’re planning to go on oral birth control, request to get tested for any blood disorders beforehand.

The recovery process is slow, long, and scary. And sometimes we suffer from PTSD after. I didn’t realize that I did until a doctor told me that!

Blood clots happen to young, healthy people for what seems like no reason at all (Look at people like Serena Williams, Nick Cannon, and Chris Bosch). They can happen to anyone, at any time.

There is hope for healing and you are not alone,




Reader Writs In: What is the one thing about blood clots everyone should know? Share in the comments.

What does recovery from a pulmonary embolism look like? Get more info to share in this post.

Heading to your first follow-up appointment? Take these questions to your doctor’s appointment.