clotty blood and dancing with my tribe

clotty blood

a few posts ago i mentioned that i got some blood work and discovered i have factor v, the same blood clotting disorder that my father had. i tested positive for the mutation, which is the actually clotting disorder. unfortunately for my father, this is what took his life, but he had chosen to go off the medication that was prescribed. he died from a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lung. yes, having this mutation does mean i’m at risk for have a pulmonary embolism, but there are things i can do to take care of myself and be healthy. my aunty bunny has the same thing and has never had an issue, she’s in her 70’s.

i’ll explain why i waited so long to get tested, why i decided to finally get tested, and now that i know i’m positive, what it means.

i waited so long because i didn’t want to know. i just honestly didn’t want any more ‘news’. i have no better answer than that i felt like i couldn’t emotionally handle any more intense hurdle back in 2012.

i finally decided to get tested because i’ve grown to accept all my flaws, my struggles, my health issues. i’ve grown to feel equipped to deal with what comes my way. and lastly, we want to start a family and it’s critical that i know what’s going on in my own body, before i can create a life.

now that i’ve been diagnosed as positive for Factor V, there are just a few things that i need to be cautious of. my life has not changed dramatically, but what i eat and what i do certainly has changed.

  • i now take a daily baby aspirin
  • i don’t eat kale, spinach, or anything with Vitamin K
  • alcohol is good since it’s a blood thinner, but i’m not drinking right now by choice
  • fermented foods are not good for clotty blood
  • neither is yogurt or things of that nature
  • exercise is really good – bonus

there are a lot of websites that have a great deal of information. from talking to the doctors and doing my own research, i have chosen to avoid Vitamin K and take my baby aspirin. i also am taking COQ10 that was recommended by the doctor.

as far as childbirth, i’m sure i’ll have to take some extra precautions. due to my spinal fusion i already know that i will need a C-section.

i’m now in a place where i feel information is power. i’m no longer afraid to see the truth or hear the truth. that doesn’t mean i’ll know how to react, but at least i’m not afraid to know.

here is a great website on Factor V… 


now on to my favorite thing….



ecstatic dance

or in other words, the BEST TIME OF MY LIFE

i know people are wondering:

what the heck is this crazy dancing stuff???

how was it?

let me tell you my experience about it all with this summary:

  • the arrival
  • my outfit
  • the room
  • the intention of the day
  • the music
  • the dancing 
  • final thoughts 

overview: the ecstatic dance in Houston, TX  takes place every sunday morning from 10:30 – 1PM at Planet Funk, and then they go for a social lunch afterwards. there is more information on their site.

the arrival & rules: 

i got there promptly at 10:30am, was ever so warmly greeted, signed in and paid my $15. i felt happy, everyone was smiling!!! the guy checking me in said he assumed i was a regular… wow what a compliment.. right? i’ll take it. i must have looked super chill. ha!

then he went over the rules: 

  • no talking
  • no pictures
  • yelling and noises ARE allowed
  • touching people is allowed if they let you
  • if you put your hands up, that means no touching
  • laying down on the floor is allowed
  • rolling around like a worm is allowed
  • imitating any creature or thing is allowed (ex: a tree)
  • if you need to talk to someone, step quietly outside
  • take breaks as needed
  • do your own thing or dance with a partner, or multiple
  • anything goes, basically: skip, jump, jiggle, roll, hop, anything!

my outfit:

for clothing, i really had no idea what to wear: yoga clothes? a club outfit? jeans? running clothes? cycling shorts? a bathing suit? my rainbow brite costume?

my friend had told me i could wear my finest glittery dress if i wanted to, but she wears jeans. she also mentioned that a gentleman usually comes wearing a red sparkly unitard and a cape… so basically i could wear WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANTED and be fine. so i wore some comfy leggings with patterns on them, rolled up to my knee because i’m short and don’t need to accent that, a fitted 3/4 inch comfy t-shirt, and a lululemon black zipup jacket. i felt comfortable yet cute, and sort of like a less talented Janet Jackson with my black jacket with the ruffles. oh yeah, i was ready to dance.

the room: 

after i got all checked in, i removed my shoes and entered THE ROOM. it was basically a large dance room with wooden floors, the lights off, music pumping, and the mirrors were covered up in large pieces of fabric. it was quite large, and there were already people swaying and dancing around. i tried not to look at anyone.. i made a beeline for the restroom and already felt shy because someone had to explain to me that i had to watch for the lights to know which restroom was ‘free’ – clearly i was new at this. busted.

after i figured out the restroom thing and used it, i entered the dance space again. the music that was playing was like a yoga trance, trip hop style. with really good beats.

from 10:30-11am is the ‘warmup’ time so i decided to stretch and try to feel comfortable in my body. i felt a little shy at first but just closed my eyes… i tried not to notice the people around me, but they did tell me that we’re allowed to watch other dancers and imitate them if we feel the need. i didn’t want to imitate people but i did watch a few, nonchalantly. i noticed there were indeed some professional dancers – they were doing all sorts of expert style modern dance moves. i also noticed a lot of yoga-like movers and dancers. i later found out that many of the attendees teach or take yoga. of course! then i noticed the others: people like me who just liked to dance, and people who were facing an immense fear and were brought there to conquer them. the latter were not moving much and kept quietly to themselves. many of the regulars were leaping around and whooping and hollering. and this was just the warmup!

at some point, we gathered in a circle, sat on the floor, and the dance leader and her partner explained to us the rules again, and encouraged us all to just relax and close our eyes and feel the music. remember: no judgement! 

closing my eyes was easy, feeling the music? not that bad. i think i got this…

the intention of the day:

when we were in our circle, it was explained that the intention of that day was ‘our inner tribe’ and balance. and the music that was being played was tribal sort of trance music. the DJ was also recognized. another thing that was brought to our attention was a water bowl – there was water in a fish bowl, with a flower in it, and they set it on a speaker. at any point, we were encouraged to come individually and hold the water bowl and close our eyes and draw the energy from it to feel balance.

no judgement!

the music: 

the music began and started out very slowly, like a yoga song that ends the class. everyone sort of spread out and did random things. i reverted back to my stretching, and decided to just let loose and let go.

after the opening song, a tribal song came which was like a trance, trip hop, tribal song. it was quite spectacular! the beats were strong and the energy of the room soared. i felt myself really enjoying it. i started to skip around, jump around, hop around, and just got funky. i was loving it! i started to laugh and felt silly, but also loved the feeling. the unitard man approached me at one point and started to shadow me, inviting me to dance with him, but i awkwardly shooed him off without knowing, and just carried on doing my thing.

the music all had a tribal beat but ranged in variety: salsa sounds. african sounds, indian sounds, european sounds. it was all so eclectic and wonderful!!!

the dancing: 

newsflash: i’m not a professional dancer. by any means. so i just did my own little funky moves that i bust out at weddings. with some 80’s and 90’s moves mixed in, and little 50 swing action. i’m a multi-style, multi-era dancer. i also loved skipping and hopping around because the tribal music was perfect for that. the most ‘random’ things i did was that i felt compelled to swing around like a monkey, pretended i was a tree of some sort and sprouted out from the earth, and during a slow song i lay down on the ground and just stretched and closed by eyes. 2 hours flew by!!! i was drenched.

the other dancers did a complete variety of things. leaping, rolling around on the floor, squawking like a chicken, EVERYTHING. there were no limits. a few dancers paired up, and some of them formed a human pile ‘of love’ or something on the floor. i’m not sure what it was, but there was just a few bodies on top of each other and happy noises. i’ll leave it at that…

final thoughts:

the dancing ended with slow, meditative music. everyone naturally came to lay on the floor and just breathe. when room was silent, the leaders brought us back in a circle and told us how great we were and thanked us. we all went around introducing ourselves, and some people shared thoughts. i just listened and felt happy inside, and hungry. they also made announcements about future events, next week, and asked for support to end animal violence by taking a nude photo behind their poster. i passed on that, but nobody pushed me. it was fine.

finally, we were free to go. there were refreshments outside on the deck and everyone was meeting for lunch at another place. i chose to go at that point, but walked to my car with another woman who was so filled with love and light. i felt totally content and happy to chat with her.

i am definitely going back, i loved it.

being able to dance freely to really interesting music was liberating.

i was with my tribe.



anyone feel like trying it? 

here is a website and maybe there are locations in your city! ecstatic dance 

ever done modern dance?

ever felt embarrassed? 

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i am sweating out a 36 year sriracha habit from my pores. and loving life. and spreading joy and happiness. i've hit some pits and seen the light, and damn it feels good to be me right now. so thanks for reading, we're blessed to have technology!

3 thoughts on “clotty blood and dancing with my tribe”

  1. So many things!!!
    1. I’m glad you went and had the test done to find out about the marker. Even though it’s hard, I feel like it’s better to know what we’re up against.
    2. I’m so so SO glad that you’re being proactive! I never concerned the risk of vitamin K consumption to someone who has a clotting disorder!
    3. You are awesome.
    4. Ecstatic dance sounds amazing! I wish there was one in my area (there’s not, I checked 🙁 ) But the next time I’m in Atlanta I want to hit one up!
    5. I think I would be REALLY shy at first too.

    1. thank you!!! yes, you must try it some time. i really can’t properly explain the feeling of just letting it go. abandoning all the worries in life, without any alcohol or drugs.. for me, that was mind blowing. a whole new ‘high’ and happy place 🙂
      i also liked that it’s okay to feel shy, it’s OK to even stand in a corner the whole time. my friend that invited me said she just stood swaying the corner for weeks before ever doing anything else. and that it was so acceptable, she felt better each week. it’s quite amazing 🙂

  2. I’m with you. I don’t really want to know about this genetic business and I’m being forced to look at it now. I’d much rather live without the worry or concern although I can understand the need to take precautions too, especially in your scenario.

    The dance class sounds eclectic and awesome. One of the yoga instructors encourages us to move, sway, ebb, flow in a way that feels comfortable with out eyes closed. It sort of reminds me your class without the funky beats. What a cool experience.

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