What It Means To Listen To Your Body And Why You Should Care.
Do you know how to listen to your body? How severe must pain be for it to be considered significant? How soon would you contact a doctor after identifying a significant change? In this post I will explain how listening to my body helped a bad situation from becoming worse and how I almost ignored dangerous symptoms.
Just like any ordinary day I am heading to work, I tell myself repeatedly if I walk fast enough I can make it on-time. I selected my baddest fast walk tune and turned my music to the maximum level. About five minutes into the walk I felt my heart beat become erratic, like someone banging on drums, hard and horribly. I decided to stop at a corner to practice some deep breathing techniques I had found online in a relaxation video. What was that? I asked myself, I remember thinking that I needed to have breakfast as soon as I got to work because gas is obviously up to some new shenanigans and I had no time for it.
I used my Starbucks app to order my usual Protein pack for breakfast 2 boiled eggs, grapes, apple slices and peanut butter, I then dove into a full workload. At lunch time I rushed off to pick up a gift I had been eyeing for my god daughter from a few days before. The train doors open, and I immediately rushed with the rest of worker bees up the stairs and out of the subway. The cross walk light was counting down, I can make it! I can make it!… I almost didn’t make it and the sharp chest pain that followed was not going to let me forget it. I stopped and tried my breathing technique again, but the pain did not subside. I started asking myself how bad is this on a scale of one to ten, it was a strong eight, significant enough for me to agree (with myself) that I needed to visit tan Urgent care facility.
I contacted my best friend and after a mild scolding for not heading to the urgent care sooner, she agreed to accompany me after work. Check in was smooth and I was face to face with a doctor within minutes. She was stern and very direct. What brings you here today? I started with a deep sigh.
Me: I have a pain in my chest
Dr: Any shortness of breath?
Dr: Have you traveled recently?
Dr: Are you on birth control?
Dr: Do you have a pain in your leg?
Me: How did you know?
I had a sharp pain in my leg that I had not mentioned to anyone, the pain started two days prior to this day and if she zoomed in on the leg pain meant there was something bigger than just chest pain. Are you ok miss? the doctor asked, yes I replied with a smile, but she knew I was lying through my teeth, the blood pressure monitor was conflicting with my calm demeanor. After an EKG was done the doctor returned with good and bad news, the good news was that the EKG was fine and the bad news was that I needed to get to an emergency room ASAP. At this point I was considering heading home to relax, thinking that I may feel better in the morning, my boyfriend then sent me a text message ordering me not to get on the train if I was instructed to find an emergency room.
My Best friend and I realized that the closest ER was only 5 minutes away so we decided to walk. We made it to the ER and after a second EKG and a long wait they decided to run a few additional test, by this time my best friend and boyfriend had changed shifts. Around 2 hours later I was sent to do a Cat scan. Okay, this is getting ridiculous now I thought to myself, I’m super tired and will definitely be late for work tomorrow, what a major inconvenience.
Five minutes after the scan I was met by a doctor that explained that she now knows the source of the problem. “You have multiple blood clots on your lungs and one of them is really big and this is the reason you were having a hard time breathing”. I was in disbelief for a second, she continued to explain what PE and DVT was while I began thinking how I was going to break this news to my parents, I tried to hold back the tears and ask the most relevant questions I could think of, “so what do I do now?” “Am I going to die?” she replied “well in some cases it can be fatal but we will try to find the best treatment options for you”.
I held on to my boyfriend and cried.
I was released after 2 days, I was prescribed Blood thinners, I have to take this medication for the next three month to six months, I also have to toss out my birth control, stand more often and wear compression socks as often as I can. I have to remain active without overexerting myself, (I get tired now very quickly). This was hands down one one the most shocking experiences in my life.
Listening to your body can be hard sometimes because our natural state allows us to feel almost invincible. Knowing how to measure your level of abnormality discomfort or pain is crucial to saving your life.
Visit your primary doctor at least twice a year and be ready to be as descriptive as you can when describing symptoms and have questions ready, The more information you receive is the better it will be for you to understand is something is wrong.
DO NOT DISMISS PAIN OR DISCOMFORT especially if it is new and unusual, don’t convince yourself that you are OK. My initial plan was to just head home hoping that I would feel better the next day, I currently have an additional Blood clot in my leg it wasn’t going to be long before it made its way up through the blood stream to join its other friends; this would have blocked the pumping of my heart and stop it from receiving oxygen. Yikes!
Give thanks for everyday blessings, I would like to shout out all the people who ran to my rescue both family and friends, I really appreciate every single person that reached out to me and will never forget the love. ~
Visit these links below for more information on Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism.