What you think “won’t happen to me,” actually happened to me. And it should have killed me.

Monday September 27, 2010 is a day that is engraved in my brain as the day I should have died.

After two weeks of complaining about leg pain, and what I thought was arthritis pain, I was taken to the emergency room by coworkers after fainting at my desk. I had spent the Friday prior at the same ER and cleared of a suspected blood clot. The ultrasound tech was rushed and missed a massive DVT that shot to my lungs, along with 12 clots. After another ultrasound, EKG and CT scan confirmed I had multiple Pulmonary Emboli (PE). I didn't quite understand at the time what had happened, but I had cheated death.

i spent most of my 20s and early 30s asleep.

Fatigue is my most frustrating symptom, even more so than pain! Does lethargy come on as a side effect of the medications I take? Or is it just my immune system trying really, really hard? I'm pretty positive it is the ladder. I was diagnosed at 19 and now I'm 32, that's roughly six and a half years I've spent sleeping. There are a lot of things I could have accomplished in that time.

dealing with difficult doctors.

Pain comes in all forms. The small twinge, a bit of soreness, the random pain that we live with everyday. Then there is the kind of pain you just can't ignore, a level of pain so great that it blocks out everything else, makes the rest of your world fade away until all we can think about is how much we hurt, how we manage our pain is up to us. We anesthetize, ride it out, embrace it, ignore it, and for some of us the best way to manage pain is to just push through it. That's what most of us are doing, pushing through it. But let's advocate for ourselves and find someone to help us through it so we're not alone in this.

what you think won't happen to you, happened to me.

March is National Blood Clot Awareness Month... I know I know every month there is some sort of awareness month and what good does awareness do, most people know about cancer, but with blood clots, it's a little different. I almost died from a blood clot. There are signs and symptoms everyone should know to protect themselves, because the one thing I've learned, blood clots do not discriminate.

11 confessions of someone living with a chronic illness.

I feel like I've lost myself along the way of this 13 year journey with Arthritis. My diagnosis has changed, my pain has changed and so has my support system. I'm definitely not the person I was when I was diagnosed. What I have learned though in these past 13 years, is what not to say to me. Even if you have the exact same condition I have, it doesn't mean that what works for you will work for me. There is no cure, that's why it's called chronic. It never fully goes away. I've compiled a list of thing you should know about someone with a chronic illness. This list is pretty specific to me, but I'm sure a lot of it applies to others.

simple love.

There is heartbreak, sadness and loneliness of course, but I want to enjoy these times. I need to enjoy these times. I want to be in love. Beautiful love. Crazy fucking love. The kind of love that deserves children, that deserves to be felt and caught up in. I want that kind of love.

this is not what i asked for.

It's not simple to say that most days I don't recognize me. This is not what I asked for, this disease, but sometimes life just slips in through a back door and carves out a person who isn't anything like you remember. If I'm honest, I would give it all back for a chance to start over and re-write my story for the girl that I once knew.

must needs in life: weekend getaways.

I think we all forget that work to live, not live to work. We need to unplug and get away from our daily routines on the regular. Whether it is a quick day trip to the beach, a one-night getaway or long weekend to unwind on a beach, the mountains or in nature, we need it.

why I chose to forgive.

I deserve the kind of breathlessness that comes from a first kiss or facing a fear, not the kind where I get left behind. I don’t want to keep waiting—waiting for my phone to beep and hope to see your name on it; waiting for you to call and take back all the words you didn't say when we parted. I deserve to walk my path without looking back to see if you are following me in every step.

Playlist for a rainy day.

I'm not a religious person, but when it comes to music it can transport me somewhere else. I imagine my car is a lot like my own church if you will; a sacred place where I play music ridiculously loud because it touches my soul.

The art of long distance friends.

After I graduated from college I moved to Seattle. I left my high school friends in my hometown and packed up and moved three hours north to Seattle with some friends from college. After 8 years away the hardest thing I've dealt with is learning how to maintain relationships long distance. Friends have changed, I have changed, they've gotten married, had kids, but deep down I know that hasn't changed how I feel about them or our relationships. Coming to terms with the fact that we are both on different paths in life was hard, really hard. I still struggle with it daily. I have to go back to the foundation of our relationship, we've simply moved on a little, made new friends, forged new relationships, but our relationship is still there just maybe a different shade.

Hello 2017.

I’ve learned that life is kind of like a party. You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up late. But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess. And most of the time they aren’t event the ones who made the mess. These are the people that matter the most.