Tuesday, October 1, 2013

an anniversary of sorts

tonight as i was leaving work i tugged on my pant leg to let it loose from catching on my left calf.  it is something that happens from time to time - my pant leg getting stuck on my left calf.  after the odd motion, i felt i should explain to my co-workers that my left calf is bigger than my right calf... because of my blood clot.  my blood clot is long gone as far as i know, but the scar tissue remains in the vein, making it difficult for the blood to get back up to my heart.  because of this, as far as my understanding allows, my left calf is two centimeters bigger than my right one.  i measure it from time to time to make sure it is consistent, especially if i am experiencing any leg pain. in that moment, waiting for the elevator with my co-workers, i realized that it was 5 years ago today when i was diagnosed with my blood clot in romania. 

looking back on it, i see it as just a crazy experience, because really it was crazy.  i don't feel much emotion or have much of a reaction.  yeah, i had a blood clot when i was 20 in a foreign country on a study abroad... it was nuts.  that changes though when i look back to read my blog posts and see the pictures of it all.  they take me back to those scary days and make me really think about what happened. 

i remember a distinct moment a couple of weeks after returning to the united states -even after i had been diagnosed, started treatment, and was home with my family- when i was sobbing in my mom's arms.  i had been reading my friend's posts about the experience (he helped me get medical attention and was with me every step of the way while in romania) and his words transported me back to those moments that had been the scariest of my life.  i couldn't handle it. it was too soon for me to be re-experiencing them, it was too soon to acknowledge those moments as reality. 

so many aspects of the experience were absolutely terrifying. it's amazing to me that i could hold it all together, being so sick, half-way across the world. you can look in the archives for the nitty gritty of the story, i don't have it in me to revisit the details tonight. even now, reflecting on those weeks of increasing pain, and feelings of alone-ness and uncertainty, i find myself on the brink of tears.  first, from the feelings of intense fear i can all too well remember, and after more reflection, from feelings of deep gratitude.

how did i get through it all?  i am rather uncertain at times. then i remember the details of what unfolded in romania, then austria, and then back at home.  the little miracles that helped me get through, and stay positive even (why am i smiling so much in the pictures??), and the big miracles that saved my life.  there are truly too many miracles to even begin a list. all i know, is that i couldn't have done it on my own, God was with me.

1 comment:

Eric and Noelle said...

I can't believe i didn't know this story! I read all of the posts about it :) I am very glad you survived it all and have no more problems!