My experience with blood clots was nothing short of traumatic, and one thing I had to keep in mind is that process IS progress. I would tell myself:
“Everyday you get to wake up and can take a deep breath is a miracle, especially considering what you’ve just been through. It’s not a small thing living through something only 1 in 3 survive.”
When I experienced my traumatic event, I didn’t realize how long of a recovery process it was going to be, a lot of us don’t. Not just with blood clots, but anything that shocks the body and mind, or brings us close to death.
DON’T SKIP STEPS
The body is a web of complexity, and that’s why after traumatic experiences we deal with more than just the physical aspects of recovery. The mental and spiritual components play just as big of a role. That’s why people who have never experienced anxiety or depression find themselves struggling with it after such events. There’s something that just can’t be explained, a feeling of pain and hurt, and loss even. After going through something life threatening your left to deal with a heap of emotions, pains, and sensations you’ve never encountered before. If you’ve ever experienced such an event then you know what I’m talking about.
This can make recovery hard, because even though you may recover fully physically, it may take even longer for your mind and spirit to heal. Consequently, if you don’t take the appropriate steps to heal in all areas they can begin to affect one another and the process can feel drawn out, or as if it’s not happening at all. When I had my blood clots, I made the mistake of thinking I could deal with it in a month and be on my way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way.
EMBRACE THE PROCESS
Since the body is so complex and each person is different, every persons recovery won’t look the same. However, every person needs to give themselves the time they need to feel the pain and deal with it. Trust me, it won’t just go away. Some days you’ll progress quicker, while others you’ll back track. One day you’ll feel all together and the next day you’ll be in pieces. Someone once said to me, “you want it to just be over without having to go through the process.” Truly, we all feel that way with a lot of different things throughout life, but we must embrace the process.
For every day you chose to embrace the process, you make progress. Sometimes just waking up the next day is progress. Sometimes making it through a panic attack is progress. Sometimes overcoming a depressive thought is progress. Sometimes taking the medication you were prescribed or doing the exercises you were prescribed is progress. It didn’t beat you, you’re still alive and fighting, and no matter how menial it may seem just know you ARE winning. This is your fight, so keep it up the progress!
It may be the last thing on your mind, but exercise is of extreme importance. It will help your recovery process both physically and mentally. Exercise has long been known for its effects on the release of endorphins which can cause positive changes in the brain leading to greater health, feelings of positivity, and overall contentment–this can be useful for helping combat depression and anxiety. For me personally, exercise helped me to overcome a number of mental barriers on my road to recovery.
If you are on orders from a physical therapist, doctor, or other clinical professional and they’ve ordered specific exercises PLEASE DO THEM! Your body will thank you later.