Hi. My name is Tifanee and I have a saddle pulmonary embolism.
I was told a standard hospital stay for saddle PE is a week to 2, maybe longer. I was in the hospital for almost 2 days before being released, the state of my good health the culprit for my short stay. Since being diagnosed a few weeks ago, I’ve found myself randomly crying, typically when I can steal a few moments to myself and no one can see me. I’m coming to terms with the fact that this is serious and I could (have) die(d). But, hey, I’m still here. Winning!
I met with my hematologist (blood doctor) a couple days ago and he told me the nerves in my right calf may never be the same again. Meaning, my calf could swell at days end for the rest of my life. Fun. And then there’s the no travel zone, which I currently find myself in. With the exception of my right leg giving me use of a handicap placard, physically I’m doing well, but emotionally I’m drained. For someone who’s not all that emotional, I feel like I’m on emotion overload and I don’t really want to talk about it. Everyone means well, but I just don’t want to focus on it. I’m dwelling already…right now…as I type…and every day because I have to throw back a blood thinner pill every day for at least 6 months. And I have to go see doctors and have blood drawn. It sucks, but I’m alive. I get it, because I want to live for another 40, 50 years. This is my reality though. Do not minimize my feelings about what I’m going through. My life isn’t over, but so much has changed and my life, more so my body, may not be the same even after full recovery. So, for anyone wanting to give their two cents, eff you, I can cry if I want to.
But mostly, I’m just irked that I’m grounded. Literally. Canceling my trip to Vienna was not up for debate. I couldn’t even walk and oh yeah, that really large blood clot covering my lungs and part of my heart too. I just want my regular life back. And there’s Costa Rica this month. When I inquire about traveling, the timeframe goes down. At first it was 6 months, then 3 months. With Costa Rica right around the corner, I’m hoping I get the green light.
I love to travel. Those who know me know that I’m always on the go, flying somewhere and I don’t like to sit in one place for long. I wouldn’t have it any other way and yet, my health has gotten in the way of the love of my life. Travel is more than just being on holiday or going somewhere to get an Instagram worthy photo. It’s my life. Travel is food for thought. Travel is a lifestyle and a way of life. I feel the most like me when I’m traveling. I’m more at ease and nervous energy is a non-factor when I travel. I’ve developed a longstanding bond with travel that is unwavering. Travel has offered me experiences of a lifetime, given me a broader perspective of life and helped create friendships with amazing people. Travel truly is priceless. It makes me unbelievably happy. That’s why when I was hospitalized for a large blood clot in my chest and clots in my right leg a week before I was going to take one of the trips of my dreams, my heart plummeted. I was crushed. Thus began the process of cancelling everything.
The first thing I did was call the airline. My flight was on Air France and they were amazing. Even though I had booked my flight through a third party site, I was able to get the flight cancelled and receive a credit for the amount I paid to use for a future flight, with no re-booking fee attached. But for those who are having to cancel for a health/medical reason, keep in mind that they will refund your money if that’s the option you want. I just know I’m going to book that flight again, sometime soon and I will use the credit.
Most of my accommodations were made through Booking.com The great thing about booking my rooms through Booking.com is that I didn’t have to pay for anything upfront and the cancellation policies for the places I was staying was great. I had until a couple days before check-in to cancel. Once I did that, I moved on to any activities I had planned. Luckily, I hadn’t booked any tours or anything major yet, but I was going to pick up a 2-day Vienna Pass. For those of you that blog and do ads or sponsored posts, having good communication is key. I reached out to my contact for the Vienna Pass and explained the situation. I was able to get an agreement for a pass at a later date, whenever that later date is. The one thing about this being a solo trip is that I didn’t have to bail on anyone else and feel bad. And trusts me, even though I couldn’t do anything about the blood clot, I still would have felt bad for having to cancel if this was a group trip planned.
With all the essentials handled, I was left with just my thoughts. Now what do I do since I’m crippled (sort of)? Well for one, I think this is going to slightly expand what I blog about. Because there will be a lack of trapezing around the world, I’ve done a little brainstorming with the help of others in FB groups I’m in. Taking local trips and reviewing local restaurants and activities might become a thing. I already have a review in the works for a brunch spot in Houston. And then there’s a few places, spas, etc I have in mind. Also, glamping has been on my mind lately and there’s a few places I’ve read about around Texas that look like some pretty nifty glamping spots. The most unexpected things can lead to other opportunities and experiences.
Sometimes, when life throws you lemons, you squeeze ‘em, grab a bottle of champagne, and make mimosas. I think that’s how it goes.
Have you ever had a health issue keep you or someone you know from traveling? Tell me all about it in the comments! Share your stories with me.