My name is Ky’Necia Hardy and I decided to try this vocal thing out. I’m 20 years old and recently I’ve been through a traumatic experience that I thought I would never go through in my entire life. I’d figured it could help someone. I had a pretty normal life you know? I was going to college and working at the same time along with having good friends, life was great. I’m a foodie! I’m always craving different foods and I always have to get whatever I’m craving right away! I love to eat! I was 147 pounds! Unfortunately with my diet it causes me to have really bad menstrual cramps, to the point where I had to call out of work or miss a day of school. So I started talking to my mother and some of my closest friends about my menstrual cramps and everyone suggested I start birth control because they told me It would shorten my menstrual cycle and hopefully make my cramps go away so I decided to give it a shot. My mom took me to see her gynecologist in March and we all agreed that I would start this birth control patch called Zulane. I decided to do the patch because it’s difficult for me to swallow pills and I don’t like them. So the 2nd week of March I started the birth control patch. The next week I caught a common cold, the symptoms went away but for some reason I didn’t have an appetite. I’m always getting sick with the common cold so my family didn’t think anything of it and I didn’t either but it wasn’t normal for me to lose my appetite with this common cold. So as time goes by (a week later) I still don’t have an appetite and I’m eating less and less. I just didn’t have an appetite at all....my mom was buying me all of my favorite foods and I tried so hard to eat it but I couldn’t do it. By March 30 I was rushed to the emergency room because by then it had been 3 weeks since I’ve eaten an actual meal. I also had trouble walking, my leg was in a lot of pain and I was limping everywhere I went. When I got there my mom couldn’t come in the emergency room with me because unfortunately this is around the time COVID-19 had just broke out, so I had to go in alone. They got me settled in the hospital bed and I kept complaining about feeling mucus in my chest so they scanned my chest and discovered I had a blood clot in my left lung, well they wanted to find out where it came from so they scanned my leg and they found another blood clot from my hip all the way to my knee. I was very shocked at first when I was diagnosed with blood clots. The first thing I did was text my mom to tell her and she was shocked as well and very upset. We didn’t realize how bad it was. I was very upset because I thought I was going to die at first but my mom kept reassuring me that they are other people who have blood clots out there who live their daily life so I started to feel a little better. So I was admitted in the hospital for about a week and they sent me home with medication a called Eliquis (a blood thinner) that I would be taking for the blood clots. So I started taking Eliquis and I ended up getting worse and worse. I continued not to eat and then I started throwing up. I could not keep down anything. It didn’t matter how little I ate, or how slow I ate it always came back up. I recall one time in the hospital I had pancakes one morning and for the rest of the day I continued to puke up the pancakes. I was puking at least 3-5 times every single day. I tried to stay hydrated since I wasn’t eating and my body rejected all liquids as well. I gave up on eating and drinking because I was tired of puking all the time. I gave up eating on purpose, I was scared to put anything in my body. I kept going back and forth to the emergency room. Between March 30 to the end of May I was back and forth to the emergency room. I would be in the hospital for about 1-2 weeks and then I would come back home. By May I started to notice that I was dizzy, even though I was laying down I was still dizzy and my sister would come visit me in the hospital room and she started noticing my eyes were moving up and down so she told my doctor and they did a mri scan on me. It turns out that my brain has become short of the vitamin b1 Thiamine, that’s why I’ve been dizzy recently. So I started taking medication for that. By June I was rushed back to the emergency room for the 6th time so this time around the doctors and nurses were determined to find out what was wrong with me! I stayed in the hospital for the whole month of June and during this time they put me in physical therapy. By this time I had lost 20 more pounds and I was nauseous daily. I had puked so much I depleted my body of all the vitamins and minerals it was used to having so I was nauseous all day every day, from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. Physical therapy was very hard for me. They recommended physical therapy because I was on bedrest for so long I wasn’t used to using my daily muscles. Having to get up out of the hospital bed when I was feeling nauseous the entire time and I just wanted to lay down and be left alone was difficult but somehow I managed to push myself. Keep in mind I’m dizzy and I have lost a lot of weight but this was something I needed to do. I pushed myself more than I ever have in my entire life to get through physical therapy. I had to use a walker to get around because I lost a lot of weight and I no longer had the strength to walk on my own. So by the end of June I had completed my physical therapy and I was starting to eat a little bit, maybe about 20% of my meals. My mother also came to realize that it was the Eliquis that was making me sick. She read the side effects of the medication and I had developed all 6 side effects of the medication. Loss of appetite and Nausea were 2 of the side effects that played a part. That was why I couldn’t keep anything down because we came to realize that my body wasn’t absorbing the medication. So they took me off of the medication Eliquis and switched me to Loveanox, which is a needle. (These are both blood thinners for my blood clots). So after a month at Sentara they released me and I had an appointment to go see my primary doctor the next day. Well when I arrived my primary doctor talked to my mother and he sent me back to the hospital. My blood pressure had dropped significantly since I had arrived there and he told my mother I had an eating disorder, it wasn’t anoxeria or bulimia but it was just a medical eating disorder because of the medication Eliquis. I was 95 pounds at that point and he said I needed to go back to the hospital to get stabilized. I was also diagnosed with Wernicke- Encepolathy, which is a combination of my dizziness and the problems I was having with my liver. So after a month in the hospital and going home for one day I was right back in the hospital and later on that night I was transferred a hour away from my home to the children’s hospital in Norfolk around 10 pm. No one told me I would need a feeding tube when I arrived. When I arrived to Norfolk in the back of an ambulance, they took me inside to the 8th floor and they told me I would need a feeding tube. I was so scared and I cried. They told me I could wait for my mom to get there the next day, I didn’t want my mom to come with me because I knew she had to work the next day so I told her she didn’t have to come with me to Norfolk because at first she offered too. The next morning my mother surprised me by coming to see me, when she arrived they filled her in on what needed to happen to me. They told me if I could finish 6 ensures within 30 minutes I wouldn’t have to get the feeding tube, I don’t do so well with time so I couldn’t do it and I told them to give me the feeding tube. The process of them putting the feeding tube in me wasn’t the best. I didn’t feel it in my throat just through my nose. Everyone that knows me personally was shocked that I had to get a feeding tube and even more shocked when they found out I had an eating disorder. So from the beginning of July until the end of July I had the feeding tube in and I stayed at the children’s hospital for another month. I couldn’t see my mom as often because she had to work and I was a hour away from home so she would come see me every weekend. I got to see my dad more often because he was only 30 minutes away from the hospital in Norfolk so it was a good thing. My first week in the children’s hospital was nice, I was so sick I don’t remember much but I did come across one doctor who ended up drugging me. I told him I didn’t want to take this medication he was offering me and he slipped in my room when I fell asleep and put it through my feeding tube. My mom said I had called her and I was all drugged up and falling asleep on the phone with her even though I wasn’t tired. So after that situation I never saw that doctor again. He was giving me this anti depressant 3 times a day when I was 95 pounds and I was already on one anti depressant medication. I told him I didn’t want it and he told me to think about it and gave it to me while I was sleep anyway. My mother called the hospital and I never saw him again after that. The rest of my stay there went well. I was starting to gain weight as the days went by. When it came to me leaving the children’s hospital at the end of July I made it to 108 pounds! They wanted to get me to a stable condition as far as my weight. I did go through a few obstacles, my kidneys were close to failing because they were working harder than they had to because of me not eating and my liver numbers were abnormal but by the time I was leaving CHKD everything in my body was stable. I was also severely dehydrated so unfortunately I had to be stuck with needles constantly. They would try to take my blood through the Iv but it would never work because my veins were so tiny so they had to stick me 2-3 times until it finally worked. The Iv would always blow up in my arm so they had to replace it frequently. I even have to get a midline where they put the needle in my upper arm because I was so severely dehydrated they couldn’t get any blood from my lower arms anymore and my arms stayed bruised. I left CHKD at the end of July. Fast forward to now in November. I am now 130 pounds and I’m doing great! I’m back to my normal self as far as eating and having my happy go lucky personality that I always had. I do have to wait to go back to school and work because of my dizziness issue, my doctor said it’s going to take about 8 months to a year for the dizziness to go away so as of now I’m temporarily disabled but I still have a positive attitude! I have to use a shower chair to shower and I can’t really go out on my own with my dizzy issue but I can still do the average thing everyone else does just at a much slower pace. All of this happened to me because of the birth control patch! No one told me the birth control patch Zulane was a 60% increase for blood clots! If I would’ve known that I wouldn’t of taken the birth control! Also the blood clot in my left lung is gone so I’m recovering very well! I’ll probably go back to school online next year and I can’t go back to work until my dizziness clears up entirely but I’ll be ok, my health is important before anything. I just wanted to share my story and spread awareness to make sure you ask questions before you put anything in your body! I was 19 when I was going through this! I was sick for 5 months! Never be afraid to speak out! Make sure you know all of the information before you try something new! I didn’t know that I had the strength to get through what I did until this happened to me! I wanted to give up but I didn’t!