As the owner of Perth Happenings, I take the role I have of sharing information seriously.
I know that sharing something negative can really hurt a business and creating something fabulous to promote can start a chain reaction of positivity. I don’t often write about my personal experience but I want to share this one.
MSWA has been a part of Perth Happenings for many years. I have worked with them to promote their events and have attended where possible. I am a bit nervous riding 10, 30 or 50km in the MSWA Ocean Ride on the 21st November, because I am overweight, getting older and full of injury – and, what if I take five hours and everyone else finished in one! Plus, it is always on my birthday weekend so, you know, good excuse.
Why was this year different you may ask? I’m glad you did!
Last year, 2020, I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism (fancy way of saying blood clot on my lung). I also was having scans because I was having right side of my body nerve issues alongside weakness. There was a timeframe that I thought I may have MS.
I remember the moment I knew I had to go to the hospital. I was at work and it felt like someone pressed the off button on me. I almost instantly fell asleep. At my desk. It wasn’t like passing out, it was more I felt it coming with about three seconds to put my head in my hands. I booked an appointment and went straight to the doctors. I was sent for a blood test to see if there were clots in my body and I got the call hours later- “Please go immediately to the closest ER.”
Let me tell you, when you have two children, three staff, it is coming up to Christmas and you wonder about your future, your priorities change. Then on the way to hospital, I couldn’t breathe. Like it felt like someone had filled a sponge in my lungs and it hurt to push against it. That is the only way I can describe it. It was one of the scariest sensations of my life.
After being in hospital for what felt like 5 days they came to me and I remember it clear as if it happened a moment ago. I was sitting in a really dark room watching TV with no other patients. I had spoken to this doctor before and tried to be my jovial self but I am sure he could see I was panicking. I think the super high blood pressure gave it away. “So Ms Sharpe, what is your hypothesis about what we found?” ‘Probably nothing just a chest infection.” “No, you have a pulmonary embolism.” *insert my confused face* “You have a blood clot on your lung. Here is a script for medication, someone will be in contact with you soon to book in a follow up.”
He went to walk away but I then proceeded to ask this doctor 1000 questions which he said I needed to speak to a specialist about, but it wasn’t life threatening at the moment. Take the medication to thin my blood and it should dissipate.
There are moments in life where you stop and you think, am I dreaming this? This was one of them. That dreaming moment was similar to that of when you first hear your baby cry. You want to take it all in but you just can’t there is too much emotion.
Soon after this I had a follow up appointment to see if the spots on my brain had changed and they were exactly the same so MS was ruled out.
I also had a few other health issues in 2020 that had me in hospital, but they are not relevant for this blog- let’s just say it was not a great year for my body- it must have known it was turning 40. In April this year, I was sent for some TERRIFYING tests. It was a radioactive nuclear test that is apparently super safe but it scared to the crappola out of me. Two weeks after these tests I was called in to see the specialist that I have never met before.
“Hello, it looks like the pulmonary embolism is gone. You can go off your medication now.”
Insert one key question. “So, I’m ok?”
“Yes, the clot is gone. You don’t need to take the blood thinners anymore.”
Tears. Lots of them. I then walked into the waiting room dazed and did this maniacal kind of relieved laugh and smiled. Pretty sure the receptionists had seen it before. They smiled and waved as I left.
In that moment I decided to not take my body for granted anymore.
I put on 27 kilos last year due to medication, inability to move (my iron was at level 3) and just all round fun times. It has made the rest of the year a tough one. I have injured my back, my shoulder is sore and to be honest, moving this much body is tiring. But do you know what – I haven’t given up. I am going to pilates when I can. I am going to the gym. I am walking more.
Life throws you all kinds of reasons to NOT do things, but when you think about how freaking lucky we are to have legs that CAN ride a bike; Lungs that CAN breathe and support us when we are pushing ourselves; Muscles that WILL do as we wish them, well there is my reason.
My body can do it. Not fast, not first and not with any kind of fitness, but I can do it.
So I will.
You can still register for this weekend’s ride by heading here.
Thanks for reading my reason – I hope to see you at the starting line!