Wednesday, July 8, 2015


My name is Jasmine, but most people just call me Jaz.  I am very particular about nearly everything, including the fact that I get very angry when people spell my name "jazz" like the musical genre.  Why?  I couldn't tell you! Now, on to the reason we are here today, starting fresh!  My lifestyle change! I'll begin this with a thorough description about myself, just so you can understand me a little better.

In 2010 I suffered from a massive stroke; I was 24 years old.  I had three blood clots in my brain and after three days unconscious in the hospital, untreated (I was just pumped with fluids, the doctors thinking it was a drug overdose causing my comatose state) my brain began to hemorrhage, or bleed.  After a month in the hospital and a month of "recovery"-- which consisted of me staying at home, watching TV and eating anything I wanted, I, miraculously, was almost back to normal.   

During my recovery period, my Hematologist, which is a blood doctor, did some genetic testing on my blood.  They had to run the test twice just to be sure, because they thought I had anticardiolipid antibodies, but on a second run, they determined it was a false positive.  The tests determined that I have a Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase compound heterozygous genetic polymorphism, abbreviated to MTHFR A1298C C677T (yes it's a mouthful, and yes it took months for me to get it down perfectly!), I had to make some changes to my life.  Everyone always asks if it was my blood pressure or cholesterol that caused me to have a stroke, but no, that was not the case.  MTHFR can display in a lot of different ways, it can cause many different chronic illnesses and autoimmune diseases, amongst other things, but one of the main things it is, in my case at least, is thrombophilia.  Thrombophilia basically means that I get chronic blood clots.

Like many other twentysomething year old women, I was on  The Pill at that point in  my life, unaware of my MTHFR mutations.  Nearly every form of birth control pill will tell you that "if you or anyone else is your family has ever had a blood clot, do not take (insert brand name here) without first consulting yous physician".  I was not educated in my family history, had I been, I most likely wouldn't have been misdiagnosed.  My grandmother on my father's side died from a stroke, my great-grandma on my mother's side died from a stroke, and my paternal aunt, Aunt Beverly, suffered a stroke in her thirties.  Red flag! Red flag!  

After my stroke I was put on blood thinners for six months.  During that six month span, two months after the stroke, I developed a Pulmonary Embolism.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is the number one cause of sudden death.  You can develop a blood clot in any area of your body and if it dislodges and travels through your veins and winds up in your lungs, that is a pulmonary embolism.  

Pulmonary Emboli, or PE, as those of us who have had them or work in the medical field like to refer to them, are horrible little beasts.  I never realized before I had one, but apparently the air you breathe in and out travels through your veins.  When there is a blockage in your veins in your lungs, it makes it difficult to breathe.  I only had one PE, so I was lucky.  Along with having difficulty breathing, you can also get light headed, dizzy, faint, become fatigued 90% of the time, or drop dead.  

Like my stroke my PE went undiagnosed for a bit.  I was making weekly trips to the Hematologist by this point in time, to check the levels of my blood-- basically they check to see if my blood thinners are working by testing how quickly it takes the blood that they get from a finger prick, to clot-- and I was seeing the nurse practitioner each time I went.  I told her my symptoms, that I was becoming rather anxious a lot, I felt like I could never catch my breath, even when I was laying down, I was having sharp pains in my back and in my chest on one side. and for two weeks she continuously told me that she would continue to monitor the symptoms.  

 I was very paranoid by this point in time, and having just had a bout with pluerisy, I needed this fixed.  After going over two weeks still not being able to breathe and not knowing why, I demanded an appointment with my doctor instead of the nurse practitioner.   He immediately wrote me a prescription for a CT Scan, which I was unaware you could write prescriptions for such a thing, and sent me to the hospital.  Not having insurance I decided not to go.  A week later I received a phone call from my doctors office, asking what my scans showed, and I had to confess I hadn't gotten them done.  The nurse who called me told me I needed to go that day and get it taken care of.  

I called the hospital to see how to go about scheduling a CT or whether I could just walk in and I was told I needed an appointment.  The woman who I was on the phone with asked me my symptoms and I told them to her and she told me to just come and they would fit me in, because those are not symptoms to be ignored. Begrudgingly, I went to the hospital and got my scans, and as I was waiting for my results I was told to call my doctor immediately.  After calling my doctors office, I was told to come in, which I thought was strange.  I went in and was told that I had the PE.  Obviously the first thing i did was google it, and that is the last thing you want to do when you have a PE!  The first thing I read was that it's the number one cause of sudden death in America, so for the next two months I barely slept, thinking I was going to drop dead in my sleep... I tend to have a flair for the dramatics at times, I admit haha!

Since my second clotting episode (that we know of) happened while I was on anticoagulants, I was informed that I would not be on the Coumadin for six months any longer; I was now to be on it for life.  The thing with Coumadin is that everything you consume or do can effect it.  I can't start taking a new vitamin or begin a new workout regimen without having to make an additional appointment at my hematologist, to monitor the change in my blood levels. 

The biggest thing that will mess up your levels easiest is your diet.  Vegetables are the enemy.  Almost all veggies, and I'm seriously talking about 90%+, have vitamin K.  Everyone always asks if I can have bananas and I tell them, you're confusing vitamin K with Potassium, which is the letter "K" on the periodic table of elements hahaha!  Vitamin K works against blood thinners, because one of it's main purposes is to promote blood coagulation.  People with thrombophilia don't need any help with that!

Any doctor will tell you not to change your diet and to just adjust your medication to your diet, not vice versa.  I continued eating veggies and getting my blood checked, and my blood was reading therapeutic every time, it was great!  Except that, one month later is when I was diagnosed with my PE.  From that moment on, I made the decision to keep my vitamin K to a minimum no matter what the doctor says.  People tell me I'm too paranoid and that I'm a hypochondriac, but I had one friend, who works in the medical field, that disputed that.  Rather than being neither a hypochondriac or paranoid, she says I am "necessarily cautious due to my life experiences", and I like that way better than the former!

After removing most veggies from my diet, I gained a decent amount of weight, and I'm now trying to get myself back to a healthy weight, and a better hourglass figure. Most importantly, I want a big, fat Beyonce booty.  I know this means there will be many squats in my future, but I can handle that (I hope!).

Basically this blog will follow my journey to a healthier life, and I'm really excited about it.  I'm trying to exercise regularly, and eat more healthy foods; ideally, I would like to be eating only whole, and organic foods.  Currently, that's not feasible, organic chicken is like three times the price of the antibiotic ridden chicken!  My job doesn't pay that well, so all of my money would be going towards food!  I know I am my own big investment, but goodness, that's a lot of money for food.

Anyhow, I hope y'all like what I'm trying to turn my blog into, as long as I can remain consistent.  There will be all sorts of awesomeness to follow!  If I create, or find, any amazing recipes, I'll post about them, any exercises classes or moves I get into, hair, makeup, products, current events, you name it!  Please leave any and all commentary at the bottom! Kisses!

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