While YouTuber iJustine (real name: Justine Ezarik) is one of social media’s most popular personalities, her most recent headlines are not about her tech-savvy posts, but the blood clot that nearly killed her.
“I went from (being) perfectly fine to almost (dying) in the course of a few hours,” the tech guru, 38, told Today in an interview published on Friday, August 26.
The social media star first noticed symptoms of a blood clot in late March, telling Today that she “couldn’t even flex my arm because my bicep was so massive that it looked like I was so shredded from the gym — but it was just swollen,” she recalled. “I went to (an emergency clinic) and a nurse looked at it. She’s like, ‘We’re not equipped to handle that.’”
At the second hospital she went to, Ezarik was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, which “occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body,” according to the Mayo Clinic. In Ezarik’s case, the clot was in her arm.
She was treated by “injecting the medication directly to the clot. We had to do it twice,” the YouTube personality recalled of the medical procedure, which is known as a thrombectomy.
“I was basically bedridden. I couldn’t move either of my arms because one had the catheter (and) the other had so many needles,” Ezarik told Today. “My sister was brushing my teeth and feeding me. I was basically in bed for four days without moving.”
She was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome — which is caused by “neurovascular compression in the upper shoulder region,” according to the National Library of Medicine — which typically occurs in guitarists and athletes. Ezarik, who does “a lot of martial arts and sword and light saber training,” is familiar with the “repetitive arm movements” that can cause the condition, she explained.
During her recovery, the Los Angeles resident made sure to rest “as much as possible because the first three days my body felt so weird. Just standing up and walking, I was just very, very weak,” she stated. “That first month I took it very easy.”
Ezarik also wanted to make sure that she was taking care of herself while she was healing. “The clot is one thing that’s dangerous, but the aftereffects of that are also something to think about,” she stated.
Ultimately, while the Annoying Orange actress “hate[s] that this happened to me,” she is “glad I have this platform to be able to let people know. No one would ever think about blood clots until it happens to you.”
Keep reading to learn more about iJustine: