I Love You

In light of recent events, I was in midst of conversation with someone whose opinion I (thought) I valued considerably.

Mental Illness does not discriminate– not gender, not race, not socioeconomic status, not nada. To believe one is above all else [successful people] over I would assume the antonym of which, it is paramount we reflect why it is that even with all the recourses in the world, people still find the need to exit on their terms.

Wondering why “successful” people die by suicide is like saying money can cure suicidal actions.

I wish it were the case, as I have had every. single. opportunity. to receive treatment, medication, therapy, hospital stays, above all else, a wonderful family, which did not prevent me from trying to take my own life. I speak about this now because now more than ever we need to look and dissect the way we treat people who have struggles with their mental health.

I can tell you, waking up on a ventilator in ICU post suicide attempt is probably the single most terrifying experience I have had. It doesn’t make me lesser of a person and does not equate to successfulness. Successful people are not immune.

To die by suicide is a very tragic thing. To have attempted and to live to tell the tale is the greatest gift. To have friends who saved my life, to have family who stood by my side, to have recourses available to me at all times, and yet to still feel so empty, such a burden, and so incredibly overwhelmed is simple proof that the way we are treating depression (etc.) isn’t working.

I called 911 the other day, a friend notified me she had taken an overdose. I found her location, called the paramedics, and yes she is ok, but I’m here to promise you one thing:

I love you enough for you to hate me forever.



Support American Foundation for Suicide Prevention here:

Still Alive

Here I am, almost a year out from my Bi-Lateral Saddle Pulmonary Embolism that, if left untreated, could have taken my life. I spent a month in the hospital (26 days actually, to be exact), from ICU to medical floors, transferred to two hospitals, here I am, that girl; the friend, the daughter, the horsewoman, the dog lover, the writer, the artist, the person who is beginning to not only recovering from a life altering medical emergency but one who is finding herself through it.


I have a multifaceted case (well, let’s start this out with: who doesn’t) of PTSD. Not only trauma based childhood stuff, but complex relationship with medical uncertainties. Tying into my OCD, the genuine fear that something is wrong surges adrenaline through my system, kicking that OCD into gear—If you do X then Y won’t happen. If you do A, B won’t happen. Largely, this has followed suit of me obsessing over small health issues that, because of such life threatening ones I’ve experienced, manifest into obsessive compulsions to fix the situation. Generally, it goes like this:


Something feels wrong. FEELS wrong. I have a multitude of health issues as it is, including a very intricate, incredibly rare Areterious Venus Malformation (AVM) of my left femoral artery, transversing the femur bone, which takes up much of my left thigh. They believe that this, paired with the recent port placement I had, lead to the pulmonary embolism. Amidst the leg issue, I have an autonomic nervous system dysfunction where my body cannot regulate its heart rate and blood pressure, often ending in me passing out or falling. Oh, and while we’re on falling, lest us not forget the two TBI I have sustained, one while riding my horse, fracturing my occipital (back of the skull) and the other, with a migraine, splitting open the side of my head as I fell into a door passing out. So, it is not without reason for my deep fear of death and dying, or at least, having a medical complication arise that is completely out of my control.


But, one may ask, especially after reading much of this blog—have you not spent so much of your life trying to take it? Well, yes, I suppose. On my terms, though, and in some weird way that makes it all different. I will say, being on a vent and waking up from it changed me. I never want to get to that place again, for fear of truly being gone, and leaving all my loved ones behind to clean up the mess that I so thoroughly fought to make.

The OCD/PTSD manifested itself in becoming the most frequent of flyers at the local trauma center emergency department—I’m known by my first name as soon as I walk in the door, nothing to be proud of, in fact, I’m so ashamed each time I enter, but the shame I feel is nominal compared to that of the distress I’m experiencing, and I sometimes, often times, wish I could express this to those who treat me. That I don’t WANT to be in their ED, but the fear is so strong it overrides any shame I have in being there.



Arterial Venus Malformation…?

“Wow, an AVM!!!” The vascular surgeon proclaimed as I sat in my emergency department room. “Look! Look!” She was obviously amused and slightly baffled, I lost her voice almist my racing thoughts. A what? “And you’ll need to be seen at UCSF immediately”. (As if that’s a thing). My something cool suddenly turned to something scary.

Ever since I was young I had excruciating left leg pain. Pediatricians and doctors wrote it off as growing pains, though the pain did not dissapaite when I stopped growing, in fact, it continued to worsen, though unsure if masked by a torn meniscus at age 12. However, lucky for me I guess the MRI that showed the tear when I was 12 also showed vascular abnormalities which sent me to UCSF’s vascular anomalies clinic when I was 13 to be studied by a good handful of doctors who still had little clue about the Venus malformation or what to do with it then, and was told to keep an eye on it.

Back to present day. We are not without hope.

2 1/2 years ago I went to the ER for what I thought was a DVT. My leg, about twice its normal size, had a pea shaped knot protruding from the crevice of the knee or the “poplitial fossa” area. I went in and they discovered the AVM through diagnostic imaging of an ultrasound, x-rays, and Ct-angiogram. Now I’m back under the supervision of outstanding doctors, and while unfortunately we are at a standstill with me being on Eloquis (there’s not much surgery wise to fix it we can do while I’m on it) I have hope we’re on the right track for me to lead a less painful life.


Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism

On July 1st, 2017, I was once again (I say once again as you’ll learn later about prior health conditions) plagued by tachycardia (fast heart rate) of a sort that made my body tremor. 250 bmp. Unbelievable. I didn’t think it could be true and watched my pulse ox steadily flash its bright red numbers. I laid down in hopes to lower my heart rate but it’d drop into the low 30’s. I couldn’t win.

I knew something was very wrong. I felt like I was going 100mph in my car on the freeway and then, out of nowhere, a cliff lay just feet ahead and try as I might to sink my foot into the break peddle, the car would skid and screech and twist but it continued to approach the cliff at alarming speeds. Or as others note- “impending sense of doom”. I was convinced the world was going to end soon.

Sharp pain severed my side and sudden intense shortness of breath hit me like someone had beaten my stomach. Then vomiting came with the intense pain. Now, the car was so close to falling off that cliff.

I finally managed to grab someone’s attention (re: I live in an assisted living environment with adults, most of which are conserved, who struggle with their mental health. I, though not conserved, struggle immensely with an all encompassing depression and anxiety, PTSD flashbacks and severe suicidal thoughts and previous attempts and self injurious behavior). Slowly, we got into the van and headed to the hospital for the FIFTH time, though now per request of my doctor we are going to a different hospital.

I walked in, sheer panic written across my face. I was seen in triage immediately. I could not sit I was in so much pain, riddled by such overwhelming anxiety, tears plummeting down my face, writhing in my seat– car was inches away from doom.

They quickly put me in a room, sent me to CT, gave me dilaudid for the pain, zofran for the nausea, and I started to get a little color back and come back to life

“Room 2 has a PE” I heard through the bustle of monitors and busy emergency room noises. I prayed I was not in room 2. I was tired. So tired. I wanted to go home.

The doctor walked in. I was in room 2. “Do you know what a PE is?” The doctor asked? To his surprise I said yes. I am familiar with PE’s only  because I was made familiar with DVT’s per a pre-existing congenital condition – an AVM (Arterial Venus Malformation) of my femoral artery that transverses the femoral bone. That was discovered about 2 1/2 years ago, and for another post entirely…… however, was worth an honorable mention here.

Bilateral pulmonary embolism. 26 days later and I’m home on Eloquis. Scary.  The hospital was difficult yet I learned so much about who I am during my near one month stay there, and I can’t wait to write more about it!


Ps here’s a neat article shared on one of my support groups about Pulmonary Embolisms


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