I'm a Survivor, Don't Give Up


My life changed drastically on November 15, 2012. I was diagnosed with an Acute Pulmonary Embolism in my right lung.

I remember the day before walking from my college class to my car and running out of breath, which was unusual for me because I was always out running and exercising and healthy. The next day I remember pain, when I would sit there was the pain, when I would get up there was that pain but later that night I was laying down and this huge amount of overwhelming pain just shot right through me, I couldn’t breathe or sit or lay down. I was crying I was in so much pain, I ran to the living room in tears and that’s when my parents made me get my coat on and get in the car.

My mom took me to the ER, my first time being in a hospital because I was such a healthy person. I remember having to do a chest X ray, tons of blood work and then the Dr came back saying he saw something in the chest X ray and wants to look i! nto it more so he then sent me to get a CT scan. They then rolled me back to my room, at about 
12:30am I remember the nurses and doctors running into my room saying “She has a pulmonary embolism in her lungs and we need to admit you and get you started on blood thinners this moment.” They turned to my mom and said if I hadn’t of came in that night I would have been dead. For a 20 year old this was a lot of news to take in, I was crying nonstop. The hospital stay was not fun for me, I was in SO much pain, couldn’t walk, couldn’t shower, couldn’t eat. I had so much anxiety they actually had to inject Ativan into my IV. The nurses kept blowing all my veins in blood draws and I would throw up. Then when I got home I still couldn’t do much, so my mom had to help me get dressed, take a shower, help me eat.

This illness had changed me in a positive way, I am now stronger as ever and I got over my fear of hospitals and doctor offices. It helped me chose my career path; I’m now going into nursing because of this life changing event. I am truly blessed to have gone through such a traumatic event at such a young age. I thank god for the experience. I definitely don’t take anything for granted ever since having been diagnosed with this, I’m here for a reason and I plan on seeing the reason.

My advice to others is to not look on the negative, yes you may be on thinners for the rest of your life, or you may not have your lung function back to normal, but you are here and you are a SURVIVOR. The lord didn’t let you die for a reason, he has plans for you. DO NOT GIVE UP! It may look like a horrible climb now but trust me, it gets better! It’s been a little over two years since I had mine and I still don’t have all lung function back but I stay positive.

Sidney-Stephanie Penner

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