Lori Roedler- Still fighting and winning against PAD!
My journey began in 2005 at 45 years old. My husband was at the ranch and I had stayed home with the brittanys (my very energetic dogs) just wanting a nice relaxing weekend. Or so I thought. Friday evening, I was getting into the hot tub and I noticed the whole inside of my left ankle was dark blue and purple. Not knowing what I had hit it on I sank into the water to relax. It wasn’t the long however and the pain began in the back of calf. I wasn’t able to walk very far without the pain being horrific. What was wrong? Gut instinct was telling me something was not right. I phoned the on-call nurse and she was persistent in me going to ER. After I hung up, I sat in disbelief and told myself, “no this can’t be happening,” still not fully understanding, I opted to stay home. Monday am the phone rang and I was asked if I had made it to the emergency room. “No,” I said. I was immediately informed I should make a doctor’s appointment that day. I did and little did I know what was around the corner for me. I was immediately set up with my now vascular surgeon for the next day. Upon testing and appointment with him, I was immediately hospitalized with three stents and being told “Lori, I will do everything possible to save that leg.”
In 2010 I was immediately hospitalized having severe “horrible” relentless pain and four additional stents were placed. This time two left and two on the right. In 2013 I was hospitalized again this time with a forever, life changing, traumatic aortic bi-femoral bypass. That was it! I knew a drastic change was needed regarding my lifestyle. I had been a previous realtor for years and was constantly on my feet going. That was not the case anymore.
Between 2005 and 2013 the PAD had slowed me down significantly and almost got the better of me. I could not understand why this was happening to me at such an early age and affecting my career. I was angry. The pain had become significant and I rarely left the house anymore because I could not walk very far without the pain. After the bypass I knew it was time. This was / is something I never wanted to experience again, and I was not giving up without a fight! Upon the surgeon releasing me with strict instructions to keep walking and keep that blood flowing; I did. I slowly began building my strength by walking as far as I could around the block. It was hard, very hard but I was determined. Eventually, I was back in the gym up to five miles and was doing my first 5K.
In 2016 I was stented on the left side again. That night I was “showered” as the surgeon put it, with clots again. The blood thinners have now dissolved all clots but one, that I still have to date but because of the air flow and the way it is circulating I am OK. I am determined not to let this get the better of me and while I am not in the gym seven days a week you will find me there twice if not three days a week. Prior to all of this ,I had certainly never heard of peripheral artery disease, let alone the consequences. No heart issues or diabetes and while I did suffer a sudden cardiac arrest with my heart the morning after Christmas in 2018, I am still not letting it get the better of me! I will continue to fight this disease and encourage anyone suffering with calf pain and having problems walking distances to please contact their doctor. It may start out with light pain, but the result can be severe excruciating pain and possible amputation.