A year ago, I almost died. A little checklist saved my life.

As the new year got underway, I was actually thrilled about the pain in my calf!

I took it as a sign that recent hikes along the steep bluffs of Lake Michigan were good workouts – no pain, no gain!

Over the next few days, I had a vague sense that the pain was creeping upward, but I  chalked it up to my imagination. Then…I woke one morning struggling to breathe. Couldn’t walk. Couldn’t talk. Oddly, 2 words came to mind – charley horse.

Unconscious for a few seconds, I perked up  with a good, deep breath. Time to get on with my busy day! But, “Charley Horse” rankled. I grabbed a laptop, scanned The Care Partner Project and, sure enough, confirmed my memory that blood clots may include a charley horse pain that lasts for days. 

In the emergency room, my D-dimer test result was 5700 ­– normal is around 500! A CT scan showed five blood clots scattered across both lungs. Thankfully, good information and prompt treatment saved my life!

March is Blood Clot Awareness month – for good reason!
The signs can be misinterpreted, and they’re caused by various “random” health conditions.

In my case, the culprit was an inherited blood disorder – Factor 5 Leiden mutation – which can be detected with a blood test that doctors seldom order.

Blood clots can be deadly – but you can prevent them from extinguishing a candle on your birthday cake!

Learn how at Stop The Clot and The Care Partner Project.

You may save your life with a little checklist, too!

You may save a life with a little checklist, too!