A Survivor Speaks: Without Notice by Kimmi

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I never imagined it would ever happen to me, but it did on Oct 27, 2009. A massive bilateral pulmonary embolism happened to me. I remember that afternoon. I had no symptoms, except not being able to breathe. It was a struggle to go from my bedroom to my bathroom without having to stop to catch my breath. I went to an emergency doctor appointment and the doctor thought it was asthma. She gave me a breathing treatment and an inhaler. I went home and got in bed.

Next, I received a call from the hospital to come in immediately for a chest CT with contrast. I did, and after I was finished and on my way home, I got a call from my doctor who said to go back to the ER because I had massive bilateral pulmonary embolism. I rushed back and they were ready for me. Doctors and nurses, all rushing in with oxygen, lovenox shots and IV’s. They seemed to be panicking. I was given Morphine twice. I heard the doctors talking outside of my room, “put her on the pulmonary wing and take her vitals until she passes.” I was given a 30% chance to live.

And I did live….I lived….I survived. I was put on lovenox shots for ten days, then Coumadin. After four months, I was taken off the medications, tested and cleared. I thought to myself I just cheated death. I told myself never again would that happen to me.

But then it did. 

On Oct 27, 2013, I was ready to board the jet to go to see someone, someone that is and has always been my life, besides my son. She asked me to get a chest x-ray because I was having trouble breathing. She could hear it.  I was stubborn, but went to ER hoping to get out fast so I could board the jet.

The doctor wanted a chest CT with contrast because of my PE history. I agreed but asked him to hurry. I had the CT done and waited back in my ER room. The doctor came back pretty fast and he sat and said “Well Kimmi,” and I thought “sweet, I am bailing.” Then the words that crushed my world came out of his mouth, “Sorry, but we are going to keep you for at least five days. You have massive bilateral pulmonary embolisms again.”

I remember putting my hands on my forehead and crying, “No it’s wrong read it again.”

He said, “I can show you.” My head was spinning. What do I do with my son? We are supposed to get on a private jet. The doctor, who was so kind and compassionate, said,  “Kimmi you know you would of died if you got on the jet. You worked in the medical field, you know. You know it, don’t you?”  I said, “Yes, I know I would of died if I got on the jet.”

This time it was worse – the pain, the fear, the constant worry that a clot would pass through my heart and into my lungs again. I am now a lifer on Coumadin. It is harder to keep my INR within range and I still feel pain in my calf that had the clot in it. I still experience shortness of breath and my o2 sats are at 86% most of the time. I am terrified, but I can’t live in that fear everyday. The stress is too much.

I want to say be aware know your body, don’t ignore the signs. Because clots kill, and all of a sudden at that. I am blessed to be here. I pray for those that survived like me, for those that didn’t get the chance too, and for those going through it right now.

I want to thank my very special someone  for saving my life that evening. If not for her, I would not be here today; ALIVE, BREATHING AND LIVING. I love you with all of my heart and soul.

Kimmi (From California to Colorado where the doctors said I could never live)

Editor’s Note: Kimmi is a published author and has written a book of poetry about about life, loss, loneliness, appreciation and love called Layers of my Soul. You can find her work through Barnes & Noble and Amazon. You can also connect with Kimmi on Facebook or in the comments section below. Thank you, Kimmi, for sharing your story with BCRN!

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