Just recently, I heard that a friend was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs. The news immediately brought back a lot of feelings and emotions. I was diagnosed with the same in 2014. Shortly after I heard the news of his diagnosis, I sent him a text message and asked if I could come see him. I did. I wanted to tell him of my experience, compare notes, and help him feel more comfortable with what he was facing.
Getting the news of pulmonary clots is a bit concerning and very scary. For clots to get to your lungs, they have to pass through your heart. When they do, you hope the whole clot goes through and none of it takes up residency there. To make sure that one did not, blood testing has to be done. That is just the beginning of blood testing. Cardiac enzyme test, clotting protein tests, genetic test, etc.
Treatment involves blood thinning medication for at least 6 months. Blood-thinning changes how your body regulates temperature and you become more prone to extreme temperatures. For example, the week after my diagnosis, my wife and son ran a 5K road race in Raleigh. I was registered and supposed to be out there with them but I couldn’t get half way up the staircase at home without getting out of breath. A road race was completely out of the question. The weather was a nice sunny 52 degrees for mid January in Raleigh. I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a jacket, a toboggan and gloves, AND I WAS STILL FREEZING! It was all due to the blood thinners.
When I was diagnosed and when I visited my friend, I was reminded of my purpose in life and why I take care of myself. My purpose is to support my family, mold my son into an independent, respectful person that is a productive member of society, and help better the lives of others through fitness. I cannot do that to the best of my ability unless I take care of myself. I have to take care of myself so that I can help others.
Every so often, we need to take stock of ourselves and our lives to see if we’re still on track with the goals we have set out to achieve. If not, adjustments have to be made. There is no better motivator than our reason for “being” and our purpose in life.
So, I ask you, what is your purpose for being? What motivates you to be healthy, be fit, grow as a person? Are you evaluating all that from time to time and then making adjustments to the plan to keep moving forward? Or are you just flying through life hoping that it all just falls into place?