Abby Bishop thought she was being a sook until her arm became so swollen she couldn't move it, prompting a trip to the doctor that potentially saved her life and almost shattered her Rio Olympic Games dream in the same moment.
But the Australian basketballer is refusing to give up on her hopes of winning Olympic selection after doctors found a startling 24 centimetres of blood clots in her left arm.
This is the story of former Canberra Capitals captain Bishop, a preservative that needed World Anti-Doping Agency clearance for therapeutic use, blood clots and a race against the clock to make it to Rio.
Bishop collapsed in her Canberra home two weeks ago and her mum called the ambulance for assistance. Two days later her arm was swollen and doctors discovered a series of blood clots.
Bishop had medication for a hamstring injury that involved notifying the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and getting WADA approval for small traces of a preservative in bisphosphonate.
Her rare reaction led to clots from her wrist up to her shoulder and eventually into her neck. Had they gone undetected they could have been pumped around her body and caused a stroke or death.
But Bishop's trip to the doctor ensured AIS medical staff were on top of her health issues and have given her a glimmer of hope in the pursuit of Olympic gold.
"They were superficial blood clots to start with and when they moved further they developed into [deep vein thrombosis] and it had travelled up to my neck. I know it's dangerous and all that, but I don't feel lucky to be here," Bishop said. "I just feel lucky to have been able to catch it early. And the funny thing is that my hamstring is feeling better."
Bishop has been told she risks serious injury or even death if she's involved in full-contact training sessions over the next three months while she's on blood-thinning medication.
That leaves her almost no time to impress Australian Opals coaches, but the 27-year-old is refusing to give up on her chances of making it to Brazil in August.
Bishop was given WADA approval and a therapeutic use exemption to have mannitol in her system as part of bisphosphonate medication for her hamstring.
It was her "last-resort" option to end the pain in her hamstring and bone bruising that has plagued her for a year. The last thing she expected was a bad reaction that left her unable to move her left arm, with 24 centimetres of blood clots and a fight for an Olympic goal.
"I never pass out, it's just not something happens to me and I wasn't responsive for a long time so mum called the ambulance. When they got there I was responding, but my arm was tingling all the way down to my fingers," Bishop said.
"A couple of days later my whole arm was swollen. That's when I knew something wasn't right. At the time I thought I was being a sook and that's why I left it for a couple of days.
"I know it's dangerous but I'm taking it as it is. Everyone says I'm lucky, but I know I've just got to get to work."
Bishop was limited to fitness and unopposed training duties at an Opals camp in Canberra last week.
After playing through pain for the Capitals, it was decided Bishop would have bisphosphonate - which relieves bone pain - injected into her wrist.
Before doctors could give her the injection, they sought clarification from ASADA given use of large volumes of mannitol, which is a preservative in bisphosphonate , is banned by WADA.
Mannitol is banned because some athletes use it in large doses to help them retain fluid or expand blood volume, but is permitted with a therapeutic use exemption.
There are only small traces of it as a preservative in bisphosphonate and officials decided to take all precautions to get clearance, with Bishop signing a waiver and being notified that she was allowed to use the medication.
"Any time you treat patients there's a risk of side effects and unfortunately Abby had a reaction," Australian Olympic team head doctor David Hughes said.
"Fortunately it was diagnosed early and the appropriate treatment was started and she should do well, that should leave her with time to make a stake for Rio. But we can't afford a setback, that's why we needed to do it now."
Bishop risks major internal bleeding if she's involved in contact training.
"It does put me behind the eight ball for selection and I totally understand that, and absolutely they told me how serious it is [if I train]," Bishop said.
"You don't muck around with this stuff. That's what the doctors explained to me - if I get one hit to the head while I'm on this [blood-thinning] medication I could potentially die.
"It's those sorts of things that might not happen, but I guess they could. It makes you think about everything and follow the rules because this is serious."
Bishop will be free to return to full training at the end of June, leaving her only a handful of weeks to secure Olympic selection.
"I've never had a blood clot, it doesn't run in my family at all but I know how dangerous they are. Everyone has said I'm lucky they caught it. But I know I'm sweet," Bishop said.
"I have [daughter] Zala, I want to make the Olympics and I want to be able to play in the United States with Seattle. But it's one of those things - everything happens for a reason and it will work out."