“IF I’VE LEARNED ANYTHING FROM LIFE, IT’S THAT SOMETIMES, THE DARKEST TIMES CAN BRING US TO THE BRIGHTEST PLACES. I’VE LEARNED THAT THE MOST TOXIC PEOPLE CAN TEACH US THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS; THAT OUR MOST PAINFUL STRUGGLES CAN GRANT US THE MOST NECESSARY GROWTH; AND THAT THE MOST HEARTBREAKING LOSSES OF FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE CAN MAKE ROOM FOR THE MOST WONDERFUL PEOPLE. I’VE LEARNED THAT WHAT SEEMS LIKE A CURSE IN THE MOMENT CAN ACTUALLY BE A BLESSING, AND THAT WHAT SEEMS LIKE THE END OF THE ROAD IS ACTUALLY JUST THE DISCOVERY THAT WE ARE MEANT TO TRAVEL DOWN A DIFFERENT PATH. I’VE LEARNED THAT NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT THINGS SEEM, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE. AND I’VE LEARNED THAT NO MATTER HOW POWERLESS WE FEEL OR HOW HORRIBLE THINGS SEEM, WE CAN’T GIVE UP. WE HAVE TO KEEP GOING. EVEN WHEN IT’S SCARY. EVEN WHEN ALL OF OUR STRENGTH SEEMS GONE. WE HAVE TO KEEP PICKING OURSELVES BACK UP AND MOVING FORWARD. BECAUSE WHATEVER WE’RE BATTLING IN THE MOMENT, IT WILL PASS, AND WE WILL MAKE IT THROUGH. WE’VE MADE IT THIS FAR. WE CAN MAKE IT THROUGH WHATEVER COMES NEXT.”
Is it just me or did it seem like when we were younger time was slower than a dead frog on a sidewalk? I swear it was just early February, and I had just returned from Ireland. Now it’s already March! You know what that means?? Lady “BoBo” fu schnickens will celebrate her 13th birthday this year on the 5th. Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and I’ve always had great love for the Irish! Guess it should makes sense now after getting back my 23andme results to find out I share a paternal-line ancestor with Niall of the Nine Hostages. I was going to try and see if that would allow me to apply for an Irish passport when I was there because I mean DNA doesn’t lie now does it?! Ok, all fun aside, March is a very important month to me for a lot of reasons. March is National Blood Clot Awareness Month. I am personally a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and bilateral PE (two pulmonary embolism) survivor caused by hormones. So anyone that is considering birth control pills or if you are looking at hormone replacement therapy for yourself, please make sure you get educated and checked to see if you have any underlying issues that could be a risk factor that may cause blood clots. It could potentially save your life! Just in case you are wondering how blood clots, hormones and Tears for Fears all tie in together, I am going to share my personal experience with you.
July 19th of 2009 the radio is blaring on the 405 in sunny California. Traffic is moving along at a snails pace. It’s over 100 degrees but the two girls visiting from Minnesota rented the convertible for the week so they HAVE to drive with the top down until they can’t handle their scalps burning anymore. Both are quite fair skinned and who wore hats or sunscreen back then?! That damn song keeps coming on the radio for the umpteenth time, “I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night. That tonight’s gonna be a good night”. It becomes the anthem for the week, however, traffic is now at an almost standstill and they need to pull off the exit to make a quick stop at a gas station otherwise known as the infamous Cockroach Potty Palace. (We still talk about it 10 years later; that’s how impactful the Cockroach Potty Palace was.) By the time the girls make it to the Orange County Fair there is no place to park and the lines of cars are unmanageable. This was going to be the first time BunnyLou would see Tears For Fears in concert! She convinced KiKi to go to California for a week full of Pinkberry, beaches, shopping and visiting with old friends. KiKi didn’t know who TFF really was, which is a travesty in itself, so she drops off BunnyLou at the front gate and tells her to get inside since they came all that way and she knows how much this concert means to her. Now that’s a great friend! BunnyLou misses the first few songs, makes friends with the people sitting around her and thankfully KiKi makes it for the encore. Unfortunately none of the photos turn out as cell phones back then were not what they are now. It would be another 7 years before BunnyLou would have the chance to see Tears For Fears again…
Starla and BunnyLou plan a fun girls weekend in Phoenix, AZ to see Tears For Fears at Comerica Theatre. The concert was Friday night October 7, 2016. We made sure to get there early because the first time in CA didn’t turn out as planned and there was no way we were going to be late! Damn it’s hot and I’m sweating like a whore in church. It must be the change in climate. Not sure why my right ankle/calf is a bit swollen and it hurts like a bitch! OMG I must have pulled something in boot camp with all of those box jumps. I just can’t figure out why my stomach has been really upset. I can’t really eat much and the only thing I can keep down is warm coke. I also noticed I have been having a little shortness of breath but again it must be from the change in climate or maybe I just haven’t been pushing myself hard enough at boot camp lately. Work has been a little crazy. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since I can remember. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever been in this good of shape! It’s way warmer here than in MN. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling a bit clammy. I hate it when the back of my hair is sweaty. What if I run into Roland or Curt? OMG I would die! I can’t believe I have waited this long to see TFF again! I hope they sing Woman in Chains! We get to Comerica Theatre and outside is this life-sized screen that has Roland and Curt on it and place to get your photo taken with a red carpet . I’m so excited because Starla and I get our picture taken and the picture turns out super good in my opinion! Once we get inside we head to the merchandise table and I purchase a black and white 3/4 sleeved baseball style shirt with the Tears for Fears logo on the front. I also manage to get a small poster. We head in the venue and I am kicking myself for not upgrading to the 2nd row seats I noticed online but we still have great seats only in the 9th row. I’m trying to be a good sport but I really don’t feel well. I’m sweating. I can’t breathe. My feet hurt. I cough and my chest hurts and if I put my hand on my chest and put a little pressure it feels somewhat better but I just don’t understand what is going on. We sing along to the songs and dance in our row but I have to sit every now and then. My feet hurt. I can’t breathe. I’m feeling anxious. I’m sweating. This continues on throughout the entire show. Hopefully the photos I’m taking turn out better than the ones in CA. We are going to go up and try to get the set list after the show. Damn I should have upgraded our seats to the 2nd row ones. Why do I feel like crap? I need a warm coke and some pancakes to settle my stomach. The show ends and honestly I’m feeling really anxious. We go to the stage and ask for a setlist but no setlist for me. The guy did let me take a picture of it. He was from California. Go figure! Probably gets to see them all the time. I have seen them twice now. I cannot complain. We need to go back to our hotel. I need to lay down.
Starla and I decide to take the light rail to Tempe the next morning and check out some boutiques. I am still under the weather and after we have the biggest mimosa on the planet at El Hefe’s we come back to our hotel so I can take a 20 minute nap that turns into a 4 hour nap. I look on Google and WebMD to check out my symptoms and funny how blood clots come up but why would I have something like that. I mean no one ever talks about it. You hear about plenty of people after the fact that have had them but why is it that someone has to either have a tragedy associated with a blood clot before anyone decides it’s important enough to educate others on them? So basically everything I have read online goes in one eyeball and out the other. Why would I have a blood clot? Doesn’t make sense to me. It’s probably just allergies or maybe the flu. KiKi and I send texts back and forth over the weekend as she wants to know how my second TFF experience was. I tell her how I am feeling and at one point during the weekend she recommends I go to a doctor in AZ. I already feel bad enough being so lame and not being the fun sister that I usually am. Starla and I go to dinner at a place called the White Chocolate Grill close to Scottsdale and I order the biggest brownie dessert. I remember it being really delicious and then I also remember coming back to our hotel room and feeling super sick. I need more warm coke. Sunday we head to the airport early. We flew on different airlines. My flight keeps getting delayed. Starla’s takes off around noon. I keep feeling more and more anxious. I still have the shortness of breath and the terrible pain in my calf. My flight finally is going to be taking off. I usually zonk out on airplanes so my plan is to fall asleep. KiKi told me to text her as soon as I landed. I wake up mid flight terribly anxious and my chest hurts. I ask for more coke but I cannot get comfortable. I try to fall back asleep and finally my flight lands after 7pm. I text KiKi and she tells me to go to the ER immediately. She has been online and worried all weekend long but didn’t want to worry me. She had an inkling what was wrong. My husband picks me up and I tell him he needs to take me to the ER immediately. He doesn’t want to at first as he thinks I’d want to go home to see the wiener girls first. I tell him that if he doesn’t want to take me he can drop me off at the door because I need to go as something is most definitely not right. We arrive at the ER a few minutes later and after telling them why I am there and that I had just gotten of a flight I am immediately wheeled back to get a CT scan on my calf and an MRI on my lungs. During each of the scans I listen to the medical teams comment on how lucky I am especially after being on a 3 hour flight. I spend the next two days in the hospital and the next 6 months on blood thinners. It takes over a year before I can workout again. I go from being fit as a fiddle to feeling like jabba the hut. I’m finally back at a place where I’m starting to feel human again. I have had a long road to recovery with many ups and downs along the way but I am a stronger person because of it. I believe it is my due diligence to spread the word to stop the clot as a survivor. I wish all insurance companies, doctors, anyone in the medical field really would educate all people on the risks of blood clots. Blood clots don’t discriminate. You can be healthy. You can be young. You can be old. You can be any color of the rainbow. You might travel a lot for work;Might want to wear compression socks. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe or who your favorite musical artist is. Blood clots can affect those who are hospitalized, have surgery, are pregnant or had a baby, cancer patients, heart patients, smokers, people taking hormonal birth control or replacement therapy. You might have a hereditary blood disorder or lupus that could cause you to get blood clots. There are so many different reasons that you might be prone to get a blood clot yet not everyone talks about it and it could help save millions of dollars in health care costs a year. Go figure. If you’d like to help spread the word and stop the clot please go to http://www.stoptheclot.org. I would have been lost without the information I was able to find online from different resources to help me get through this lifechanging experience. 1 out of 4 people do not survive a pulmonary embolism. I happened to have two! One in each lung. If it wasn’t for the due diligence of my best friend KiKi looking out for me and making sure I went to the ER I may not be here today. I Believe.