A Survivor Speaks: Blessed to Be A Survivor by Karen

Karen B. Cover

I hope when you read my story, you will become more knowledgeable and aware that Deep Vein Thrombosis is a silent killer and the suffering that comes from Pulmonary Embolisms is a real thing. There are other diseases that are so much in the media, it’s beyond words. But, those of us who have suffered from these diseases live life to the fullest because it is a life changer – and one that is all too often unheard of. When the first clot happened, I literally was in shock. The words “Why me?” came into play. Then when the two occurred, once again, I said to myself “Why me?”

I was first diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis in October 1994 along with my first Pulmonary Embolism. Then, in both November nd December 1995, I had one again, which brings the total number of Pulmonary Embolisms to three in one year. I had the Greenfield Inferior Vena Cava Filter implanted into my abdominal wall in January 1996. All of this was happening while on active duty with the military. I thank God daily that I have survived this long ordeal with Deep Vein Thrombosis.

The first blood clot should have done me in, but it didn’t. I have three things that have kept me living life to the fullest: Faith, Family, and Friends. Without these things, my life wouldn’t be complete. I am blessed to have my husband Derrick, pictured with me above, in my life. We are celebrating 10 years of wedded bliss this coming April 2014. I can’t live my life without him. It is his loving support of having to deal with this disorder that makes the recovery much easier to deal with. This is how I have not only recovered but have learned to deal with it for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I’m on the medication Coumadin for life. I get my blood tested on a monthly basis for which I have learned to just deal with the process for the rest of my life.

In closing, I am praying that someday there will be a fundraiser or more awareness about the silent killer known as Deep Vein Thrombosis and its counterpart, Pulmonary Embolism. I am truly blessed to be a survivor because when the first blood clot happened, I knew that I had to fight for my life. And I did.

You can connect with Karen in the comments below.
 

Click here button Blue Script

A Survivor Speaks: Ankle Injury Turned Deadly by David

Survivor Speaks David

A Survivor Speaks: Ankle Injury Turned Deadly by David Bock

I was seriously injured when I slipped and fell in Upland, California on March 8, 2008, while visiting there from my home in Arizona. I was rushed to the Emergency Room (ER) of the nearest hospital where the ER doctor diagnosed fractures of my left tibia and fibula in my lower left leg (left ankle bimalleolar fracture). I was in a great deal of pain, and was told that the fractures needed open reduction internal fixation, a surgical repair. However, at that time the doctor only prescribed a pain killer, put a splint on my leg, and told me to follow up with my primary care physician when I returned to Arizona.

The next day, my wife and I drove back to Arizona, which turned out to be an extremely uncomfortable trip because of excruciating pain. The following day, I went to my primary care doctor who immediately referred me to an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic doctor examined me and stated that surgery could not be performed right away, due to the delay in treatment which resulted in soft-tissue swelling.

A few days later on March 14, 2008, I had noticeable trouble breathing, and was taken to the closest ER by ambulance. Based on test results, I was diagnosed with a massive pulmonary embolism related to an undetected deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that had formed near the sites of the fractures in my leg.

I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital for treatment of my pulmonary embolism, and my condition rapidly worsened.  At 2:34 AM on March 15, 2008, I became cold and clammy and my skin color turned pale. The hospital records indicate that I was unresponsive, stopped breathing, and my eyes had rolled to the back of my head.  A code blue for a respiratory arrest was called.  Fortunately, I responded after about 3 minutes of resuscitation. I was also treated with tPA (clot busting drugs) at this time. On March 17, 2008, I underwent surgery for the placement of an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter to stop any more clots from traveling to my lungs.

These blood clots developed as a result of the lower leg fractures I sustained in the accident, which then detached and traveled to my lungs and became the pulmonary embolism that produced my shortness of breath and chest pain. It was a near fatal episode, and I was fortunate to survive and be discharged from the hospital on March 19, 2008.

I believe that the postponement of proper treatment of my ankle injury, as well as delay in preventing or recognizing my DVT, led to this medical emergency when I almost lost my life.

Connect with David in the comments below!

 

Click Here to Share

How To Share Your Story

 

Share Your Story

Storytelling is the essence of Blood Clot Recovery Network. After I survived a pulmonary embolism (PE or blood clot in my lung), I set out to tell others about my experience. My story was the first thing I wrote for this blog. While my story is ever-changing – and I bet yours is too – there is great value and release in sharing our experiences with others. As the author of this blog I have read hundreds, if not thousands, of stories and each of them has affected me in some way. Each one I remember, each one stands out. Each one reminds me that I am not, in fact, alone on this journey. I hope you find the same value in the Patient Stories here.

We all have a story to tell and every story is important. In fact, emerging research has shown the importance of and value in allowing patients to share their stories. It gives patients a voice – and I like to think a small purpose – after what they have gone through. If you would like to share your blood clot story with others, below are some simple guidelines to help you do so.

How to Share Your Story with the Blood Clot Recovery Network Blog:
  • Make it all about you (or your loved one) and make it original (please don’t submit the same story you have written for someone else).
  • As a general guideline, make it 500-800 words in length.
  • Give your story a title.
  • Include a picture, if you want to. It can be of yourself, your family, your pet, your hobby, your artwork or a place you love to go.
  • Submit your story and photo via email to sara@bloodclotrecovery.net and I’ll get back to you about publication details, including the best platform on which to share your story.

I can’t wait to hear from you. Please note, I receive a lot of patient stories, and it may take 4-6 months to publish your story on the blog. 

There is hope for healing and you are not alone,

0-BLOG SIGNATURE SARA

Welcome to Blood Clot Recovery Network

Welcome to BCRN Graphic

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,