Hello to all the wonderful people taking out the time to read this! It seems as if it’s been ages since I’ve tried to connect with you. It really has been ages, though. These past few years were tumultuous and uncertain to me, to say the least of it… I am sad to make it public that I was diagnosed with a rare medical condition which hindered me from pursuing any work (be it recreational or business) – and so I found myself completely dropped off the radar and lost in time…
It all began in my earlier years at university. I noticed that I would frequently suffer from numbness and pain in my arms; especially more so when I had to partake in any strenuous physical activity, which included exam time for me. Doctors seemed to attribute the weird sensations that I was experiencing to harmless issues (like exercise fatigue and even influenza!). Things got even scarier in February of this year when I discovered a 5 cm lump under my right arm. It was then that I got referred to a surgeon (having assumed it was a cyst that needed to be removed). I was so lucky that the surgeon was well-informed and performed an ultrasound without hastily cutting me open for biopsy first, because that huge lump under my arm turned out to be my deep vein which was distended to like 7 cm in diameter! Cutting it would have been a medical catastrophe.
And so it was found that I had been suffering with Paget Schroetter’s Syndrome for many years of my life. My cardio vascular surgeon even told me that I probably had a clot in my deep vein without knowing it – which would explain all of the pain and numbness from the previous years. With Paget Schroetter’s Syndrome, for some reason, there is a constriction in the blood vessels which causes the vessel to become distended later on in the arm. The reason for my vein constriction is actually that my rib and clavicle are too closely linked together, squeezing the vein in-between.
People suffering with PSS can generally develop deep vein thrombosis due to the body’s clotting agent being triggered from all the complications present in the blood vessels. It can be really difficult to lift arms up and Paget Schroetter’s Syndrome patients have to deal with a whole range of other symptoms including fatigue, swelling, cardio hassles, along with the dreadful pain & numbness…
It was absolute hell to try and do research on the topic because it’s a rare condition, and there are some conflicting sources. My doctor recommended I be treated with an angioplasty procedure (that procedure which you give to patients to try and open out their blood vessel), or invasive bypass surgery to remove my rib should the prior option not be successful. It was pretty much 98% certain by the doctors and medical team that the angioplasty should go according to plan and thus relieve many of my symptoms, but I was part of the unlucky 2% who had a failed attempt at opening out my vein. I then developed other complications like DVT in my right upper arm (OUCH!). I am actually awaiting my next appointment with the doc to find out my next move. I do not want to do a bypass, though, so I am looking into alternative treatments and maintenance of such a condition.
I can not thank my loving parents and my dear family enough for having been here for me during this trying time. It is true, however, that of adverse conditions are born beautiful things. Having been through all that I have been, I realized what is important and what is not worth my time, honestly. I’ve never been more content with who I am, and I have grown from the experience. I am pleased to say that I am back, with a brand new look (note my shorter hair AND new blog name :)), a brand new attitude, and a fresh outlook on everything. I do hope that I will be able to engage with my old readers, and even attract new ones in my journey of life, which I shall be sharing with you.
By the way, I do realize that this is also an outfit post, so I will also talk a little about that now – My choice in this outfit was to clearly convey my incorporation of fashion & style into everyday life. What is the point of dressing up for the camera, but not making an effort each day to look the best you can be for yourself? My style has evolved a little to note the ‘developments’ that I’ve undergone over the past few years. I even cut my precious long hair… It was really sad to see those locks fall to the salon floor, but I’m glad I had a change. Change is good when it brings about a certain defiance within the person who is subject to that change. What do you think?
Lots of love,
Blouse – Woolworths
Ripped skinny jeans – Forever New
Leather jacket – Zara
Cross-body handbag – Gucci (this one is really old, but you can buy one currently in similar styles)
Sunglasses – Vogue Eyewear
Sneakers – Woolworths
Rings – Lovisa
Photography: Tegan Smith