Some lives are spent in sublime discomfort, yet not produce rebellion.
Some lives endure incredulous pain, yet somehow yield a nurturing soul.
Some lives face involuntary seclusion, yet manage to somehow reach the hearts of thousands.
Some lives know hunger and thirst, yet can overcome and still fear abandonment.
Some lives benefit countless others, yet seem to end far too early.
There is the life of Alecia Shepherd.
Many years ago I mysteriously and without provocation of injury or exertion began experiencing constant chronic pain in my lower back that pierced through to my hips and groin. Several visits to Mayo Clinic and countless doctors ultimately led me to undergoing a series of very costly surgeries The pain however did not go away until over a year after the surgeries were performed. The pain returned slowly about three years ago and started getting even worse than it had been before.
In late October, 2006, I became horribly anemic and was experiencing so much pain in my body I could barely stand it. When I went to church one Sunday morning, a friend there pointed out to me that my lips had turned blue. I rushed to the Emergency Room. The doctors there found nothing at all wrong with me. Discouraged, I went home, took some Ibuprofen to reduce swelling if the pain were stemming from some inflammation of the nerves there, and relaxed my way through the next week. I went shopping that next Thursday for food when something finally broke inside my body from walking around the store. My right leg doubled in size from hip to foot, literally overnight.
Two days later I called my chiropractor to ask if it were a pinched sciatic nerve. He assured me it was not and demanded I rush to the ER without hesitation. Frightened, I called a friend to help me to the hospital ER. I was lain on a very uncomfortable gurney for almost two hours before an ultrasound was done on my leg. I have to tell you, the ultrasound was easily the most physically painful experience I have had in my whole life.
The procedure revealed an enormous blood clot in my femoral vein (the vein that runs from the right hip to the right ankle. The entire vein was full of blood clot where apparently it had been forming there like an icicle. I spent the next 9 days in the hospital struggling with absolutely horrible pain and fighting off death every breath of the way. By that time, my leg had swollen to over three times its normal size. The capillary valves in my femoral vein were so damaged by the mountain-range of clot that I have been resigned to the wearing of gradient compression stockings for the rest of my life. I will take large amounts of blood thinners to prevent that and any other clots in my body from breaking, travelling to my heart and killing me (a process called cardio or pulmonary embolism). It has been almost two years now since the ER visit and I am still in constant excruciating pain throughout my body from Thrombophillia as well as a series of other congenital and acquired diseases which combine to make my illness that much more complex; including atrial ventricular arhythmias, nerve cell fraying, severe anxiety and depression, Fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis.
I have been told by many that I am lucky to be alive at all. Before I ended up in the ER from this, I was eating an excellent diet and was at a perfect weight. I was physically active, as much as I could be especially in times of escallated pain. It wasn’t until after they had eliminated every possible cause that they designated the clotting in my body to genetic issues. It would appear I have two copies of the Leiden F5 genetic mutation of the F5 genome. The horrible swelling and pain in me is ever-present and getting worse.
My personal hope for this website is to raise awareness of the possible causes of blood clots and the genetic source research of rare disorders. I want to be able to donate to the research to improve prevention measures, develop better medications and offer care where criticism once was. Fibromyalgia is not just a false diagnosis! It is real and it is extremely painful and dibilitating!
Thank you so much for reading this and for your interest in my cause and in my works, all born out of sympathy and concern for those suffering and dying at the hands of something too often overlooked or misunderstood.