Giveaway to Celebrate Blood Clot Awareness Month

This is the first of two giveaways I’m hosting to celebrate Blood Clot Awareness Month! The first giveaway is this bracelet set so you can spread some awareness of your own:

Giveaway Includes

  • 1 Stretch Red and White Ribbon Bracelet (for PE awareness) valued at $6
  • 2 Red and White Silicone Awareness Bracelets (Embossed with Hope, Faith, Love) valued at $2 each
  • 1 Stretch Red Ribbon Bracelet (for Blood Clot/DVT awareness) valued at $6

Enter for your chance to win and help spread awareness by making it go-to accessory for the month of March – for you or a friend!

Enter Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please Note: Giveaway runs through midnight on Monday, March 10, 2014. Winner will be selected at random and notified via email. This is a short giveaway so you have time to wear (or gift!) your bracelets during March.

 

Thank you all for entering and for helping make BCRN what it is today!

There is hope for healing and you are not alone,

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Six Months of BCRN Blogging

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My first Blood Clot Recovery Network post was on May 1 of this year – that’s just about six months ago. As many of you know, I have actually been blogging for a few years over at Words to Run By, but decided to begin this venture after suffering from a DVT turned PE in June of last 2012 that nearly claimed my life and left my world as I knew it then in devastation. Six months ago I started this blog to share with others about the signs, dangers and effects of blood clots as a result of my own experience and to spread a message of hope for healing from the physical, mental and emotional trauma of such an injury to the body. I was unsure, at the time, if I was making the right move in beginning a second blog still, I felt compelled to share with others what had happened to me for the above reasons. When I was discharged from the hospital after my PE, I felt alone, uncertain and terrified of not only what did happen, but of what would happen. I didn’t want even one other person to feel that way and not have a resource to turn to. I can’t believe it is six months of BCRN blogging since then!

As many of you also know, I am also the grateful recipient of Blog Genie’s Blog School Scholarship, which began this week. If you’re a blogger and not familiar with Blog Genie, head on over to the site to sign up for free emails, which include some awesome tutorials and blogging advice. While I am primarily enrolling Words to Run By in blog school for the time being, I plan to apply the same lessons to BCRN to continue to improve this blog and make it the best it can be for you, my readers.

One of the things I [re]discovered last night as I was learning to read stats in Google Analytics, is how to determine just how many people do read this blog. And I was shocked at what you have made BCRN this far.

Here’s a rundown for you:

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While this blog is very different from my personal blog, it is not entirely an accident on my part. I wanted to create a blog that was very specific in content (recovering from a blood clot), but didn’t want to lose my personal voice in doing so. In a way, this blog has been easier to create (but not always write!) because I have already made mistakes and with BCRN, I have had the opportunity to start fresh, avoiding some of the “rookie” blogging mistakes (not that I don’t have a long way to go, thank you Blog School). It’s been fun for me to [try to] do the things I wish I would have “done from the beginning.”

One of the things that jumped out at me in terms of stats (and no, stats are not everything, but they give a blogger a good idea of what’s happening behind the scenes), was the length of time readers spend on my site. One hour and 49 minutes here (this month) compared to 54 seconds on Words to Run By. That’s pretty significant.

After reading this I mentioned in passing to my husband, “Wow. Someone must just open my site and leave their browser open for an hour!” I mean, who hasn’t done that, right?

He replied, “Uh, no. Probably not actually. You know what it is instead? They’re scared. Think of how you were when you first got out of the hospital. What was the first thing you did?”

Then, it hit me like a wrecking ball.

The first thing I did when I was out of the hospital (and able to stay awake for more than 30 minutes at a time) was scour the internet for information. I was like a sponge and I could not soak up enough information. I searched for information about blood clots, DVT, PE, APS, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, but mostly I searched for other people who had experienced the same thing. People like me. Stories were hard to find, few and far between. Stories combined with good, tangible, relevant information were even harder to find. No information was too insignificant, no resource left unturned yet, something was missing – a face to blood clots; a story I, as a person living in the real world with real experiences and real fears, could relate to.

I set out to change that.

And six months later, here we are. The support, encouragement, love, hope and yes healing, I have received has been invaluable to me, not only as a writer, but as a survivor. Thank you for that BCRN. Thank you for helping to make these past six months even better than I ever dreamed they would be.

As a thank you, I would like to give away a Special Red Ribbon Survivor Bracelet to one of you. Please enter below and spread the word among your networks (unless you don’t really want to share).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s to six more months and hopefully many, many more after that!

* Please note, the winner has until October 11th to claim his/her prize or I will select a new winner and post it here.

There is hope for healing and you are not alone,

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Welcome to Blood Clot Recovery Network

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It is clear no matter what the numbers, dvt and pe have become a major public health risk in the United States and has ranked as high as third in mortality rates following heart disease and cancer, yet it is virtually unheard of in the general population. Blood clots, including those of the leg (deep vein thrombosis/dvt) and those of the lung (pulmonary embolism/pe), affect upwards of 600,000 Americans each year. In the United States alone, one person every minute will be diagnosed with dvt and one person every six minutes will die of pe. One in three people will die from complications of a dvt, such as a pe and two will survive, sometimes battling lifelong complications. For those that survive, there is anger, frustration, pain and guilt; yet, there is also hope, eventual understanding and places like the Blood Clot Recovery Network to share our stories, educate, empower, encourage and enrich.

In June of 2012, my life was forever changed by a blood clot in my calf (deep vein thrombosis/dvt) that broke free, traveled through my veins, then my heart and lodged in my left lung (pulmonary embolism/pe). The blood clot was believed to be the result of antiphospholipid syndrome (aps), which caused a complete autoimmune meltdown. Everything changed for me – my view on health; my previously active lifestyle; my job; my relationships with other people in my life; my relationship with myself and my outlook on life over all – just to name a few things. In the days, weeks, months and even a year after my clotting incident, I often found myself searching the internet and other resources for every ounce of information I could find out blood clots, clotting disorders and what to do next. One year later, I am still recovering, still learning and still fighting to gain back either what I had or what I didn’t know I needed in a daily fight to regain control of my life.

I started the Blood Clot Recovery Network blog and website to begin not only journaling and sharing what I have experienced and learned, but to help others who are also moving through the blood clot recovery process. It is by far one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, and I often hear others say the same thing. Recovery seems never-ending and many people that suffer from a blood clot, including myself, will have to face lifelong effects and even continued medical treatment. We don’t have to face these challenges alone.

Welcome to Blood Clot Recovery Network.

In healing there is hope and you are not alone,