Today – A Gift
I just read some very sad news. A friend of a friend, a young mother – just passed away after a blood clot in her leg traveled to her lung, and died. She leaves behind a premature son of only 8 weeks.
My heart almost stopped.
That could have very well have been me 2 years ago.
You know when you’re pregnant and you think of the things that could happen over the course of 9 months? You consider this or that with the baby you’re carrying… what if he/she has this developmental issue… there is often a level of uncertainty that can over shadow one’s joy in the hormonal midst of it all. Sometimes the more you know, the more difficult it is to shut off the thoughts.
I didn’t even know what a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) was, until my 8th pregnancy. I had never heard of such a thing.
From about my 3rd pregnancy on, I had some varicose veins. It was actually a tell-tale sign I was pregnant before the test showed two lines. Most of the veins were just spider-like on the surface. Sure they itched… and were unsightly, but they were harmless. By the 5th or 6th pregnancy, it looked like someone had hit me on the back of the leg and broken my ankle with a baseball bat with the level of purple and blue veins appearing like bruises. Heading into the last trimesters, it hurt to sit, stand – or move. That’s the deal with weak blood vessels – the minute gravity is working against you – the swelling begins. You learn to accept it as part of the deal. The reward was great. I decided it was temporary and worth it.
My Dr told me that there wasn’t much they could do for varicosities, other than strip your veins out. I wasn’t sure what that was, but I was pretty sure it was painful. She assured me I didn’t want it done until we were done having children, otherwise they would simply come back. My Dr, being of a military care background, was pretty cut and dried, which I appreciated… but sometimes I sucked it up when I should have been speaking up for fear of being “that patient”.
Fast forward to my last pregnancy. I was in the middle of my 2nd trimester, and my legs begun REALLY hurting. It was becoming difficult to do most anything – and I would try not to complain, but my body showed signs of struggling as well. I was blessed with a friend of a friend who has similar issues – and was willing to talk with me via FB about some solutions, other than vein stripping. I was ready to listen to ANYTHING.
She mentioned to me that I should be wearing compression stockings. I’m not sure if you know what these are… but pregnancy and compression-wear should NOT go together. Again – I was willing to do anything… I had to give it a shot. I went to a speciality pharmacy and explained what I needed. The woman was helpful and asked me to pull up the leg of my pants so she could size my leg.
The look on her face, told me she knew something was wrong. I assured her that my legs and ankles had always been like that – and I would be ok. She asked me who my Dr was – and proceeded to request an appt. for me right then. I think her level of seriousness tossed me for a loop. After all, this was my 8th rodeo, I knew what was going on.
My Dr got me in within the hour, and confirmed that I had a hot spot behind my leg… a DVT, and I’d need a leg sonogram and medicine, as well as the compression stocking. Since my pregnancy had been in the fall, I never mentioned my legs or ankles and she obviously couldn’t see them all covered up by my layers of clothing. After my various appts, and eventual purchases of the lovely tan-colored thigh highs, I returned home to do what any normal person does.
I went to Google and typed in DVT – “enter”.
The more I read… the worse my mind raced. NO WONDER my Dr was so upset with me. Praise God that pharmacist had called my Dr… and that she was able to get me in.
The stockings didn’t solve things completely, but they definitely helped until I got my main feeder veins fixed a year later. The pain continues, but it’s less sightly, and less intense for sure. (AND No, we didn’t strip my veins, we did sclerotherapy – and it was very effective.)
Obviously my mind “went there” when I heard of this young woman’s passing. What IF… That could have totally been me.
As I prayed for her family, and her tiny son who will never know his mother’s breast or feel her heartbeat again… I thanked God for my loved ones and for today. Each day truly is such a gift.
You’re alive, no excuses – get up and move!
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” -Psalm 139:16