So, yeah. I have a blood clot. Two, to be exact, and quite honestly, this information is still sinking in a little bit. I’m not in shock or anything, I’m just…I don’t know.
Lots of people reading and talking about this keep commenting “I’m so glad you listened to your body,” but here’s the thing: I don’t feel like I did.
I feel like I ignored any and all possibility of this because I just didn’t want it to be this, and the primary reason I didn’t want it to be this was money. I came up with every possible reason this pain in my leg could not be a blood clot and pretty much ignored it completely, even though being able to feel it has been constant since the pain first began.
I’m just getting old and aches and pains are the price we pay for living. I’m overweight and this is the price I pay for being overweight. I’m not active enough and this is the price I pay for not being active enough.
I need to eat better.
I need to drink more water.
I need to…
I honestly felt like I just deserved this somehow, like I had totally and completely brought this on myself. What kind of twisted reasoning is that?
I never felt a sense of urgency beyond the day the pain started when I first began Googling and thought “huh, this could be a blood clot…” I just felt hesitation. “Nah…this can’t be it…can it?” An inability to get comfortable in bed meant we needed a new mattress. It hurt to flex my foot, so then I just wouldn’t flex my foot. I told other people about the pain in my leg and said “I think I have a blood clot” and they were almost universally like “Miranda, no. You’re too young. This is just…you don’t have a blood clot. Probably.” I nodded because, yeah, this couldn’t be a blood clot. Right?
After that I spent time reading all signs pointing toward this being a blood clot and still giving myself every single possible reason why this pain was present instead of the obvious one.
(It helps my idiocy that I had ZERO signs other than pain and almost zero risk factors. It easily could’ve been anything else. I mean, there had to be another reason for this, right?)
The day the pain was the very worst, that Tuesday morning two weeks ago, Dan told me to go to the doctor.
“Just go,” he said. “It’s not cheaper for you to die.” (I had actually said to him “our insurance is terrible. It’s cheaper to die!” Note: I did not want to die.)
Last night when we went to bed, he just whispered “Thank you for going to the doctor. I’m glad you’re still here.”
Guys. If there is ANYTHING that will make you feel like poopsandwich it’s your partner thanking you for not dying, leaving your kids motherless, and them widowed. I mean, that will definitely do it.
(He even whisper-spoke in his sleep “I’m glad you’re here.” WHHHHY am I an idiot!?)
I’m not reactionary when it comes to medical stuff. I’m not an obsessive Googler. I don’t go around diagnosing myself. Most of my friends will tell you that my last recommended course of action is going to the doctor. I will almost always say “meh, it’s probably nothing.” It’s just not in my nature to be seen, mostly because I have so many experiences of being told “oh, this is just a virus that has to run its course and can you pay us $100.”
Ugh. So much facepalming right now from me.
I think the thing I most want to convey right now is that we have to listen to our bodies. And we have to make doctors listen to us too.
As women, I think we’re some of the most stubborn creatures on the planet when it comes to going to the doctor. It’s not like we don’t have actual data-driven research to suggest that our complaints are taken less seriously than similar complaints from men, so I think it’s sort of natural that we’re distrusting of a system that doesn’t trust we know what we’re talking about.
I think we have to change that. Scratch that. I know it.
We also have to remember Rule #1 of Flight Crash Protocol: Put on your own oxygen mask first.
PSH! But we’re MOMS! Our kids come FIRST! Right? Eh…sometimes they just can’t.
We have to take care of ourselves and that may mean doing more than just our yearly visits and checkups. That may mean being diligent about tuning into ourselves and listening. It means not shrugging off our own illnesses and ailments because we’re so beaten into thinking it’s stress or poor sleep or that our needs (actual, physical, medical needs) don’t matter.
It matters. Not dying from a blood clot is a solid life choice.
Thanks for reading what will no doubt turn into many more posts because I have so many things to say.
I’m glad you’re still here.