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The "CLOT BUSTERs RACING to STOP THE CLOT" RUNNING SHIRT is NOW AVAILABLE. PLEASE HELP US spread the word and create awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders. If you are a CLOT SURVIVOR you need polka-dots to inspire others. If you are a FAMILY MEMBER or FRIEND of a blood clot survivor you need polka-dots to spread the word, create awareness and CELEBRATE your Survivor's Accomplishments! (If you don't see the size you need we can make special arrangements so just ask @ CLOTBUSTERPOLKADOTS@gmail.com)
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Sunday, April 05, 2015

April Athlete of the Month

Finally April!

Spring is coming along...

Weather is warming up...

And we are less than a month away from the CAPITAL CITY HALF-MARATHON in which TEAM STOP THE CLOT will be participating as we attempt to create awareness against blood clots and blood clotting disorders via our #STOPTHECLOT polka-dots.

I am very excited that our team of SURVIVORS and FRIENDS/FAMILY of SURVIVORS is coming together.  The red polka-dots will be running along the various available distances showing to all that we need to be aware of the deadly clots.
One of the participants on our team will be LYNSEY FUGATE who is coming all the way from Kansas City, MO to join us.

I can only hope to keep up with this speedy lady during 13.1 Miles of the event and I will have even less of a chance if her brother paces her... I will be glad to see Lynsey's #StopTheClot polka-dots from the back... I mean the way back!

Even after a year it is hard for me to believe the news of Lynsey being diagnosed with PE's... But I am thrilled to know that she has rebounded incredibly and ready to join us for this event.  Please read on to learn more about Lynsey and her story of survival...

THANK YOU LYNSEY for your willingness to share your story!


What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it? 
  • I was a competitive swimmer since I was 7, but then after college, I got sucked into Triathlons. I always thought my two older brothers were crazy for doing an Ironman and thought I would NEVER EVER be crazy enough to do one of those. Well…I guess I am crazy because that is my favorite distance of triathlon. Not fun to train for sometimes, but I sure as heck can’t sprint (even though in triathlon an hour or more event is a sprint).
     
  • I mostly enjoy participating in triathlon because it brings my family close and is something we can all relate to. I also enjoy it because it forces me to be in shape, to strive to be the best I can and to train hard every day. I feel that swimming and triathlon has shaped me for whom I am today competitively, professionally and personally.
How did you get started in that sport? 
  • I wouldn’t be into Triathlon if it weren’t for my two older brothers, Bryan and Chris. They always excelled at what they did and I have always followed in their footsteps just trying to keep up. I feel that I have an advantage with having them in the sport in front of me because they can iron out all the kinks and I reap the benefits including how to train, when to rest, nutrition, what to do in off season etc. I would have NO IDEA what I was doing without them.
What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
  • I would have to say my most recent milestone would have to be finishing Ironman Arizona in November 2014. Although it was not my best race and not my first Ironman, it made me confident that I could get back into the gist of things after my PE in April 2014. I really wanted to be able to do Ironman Louisville 2014 with my brothers, but just didn’t have enough time to train (for MY body anyway), so that was disappointing.



Tell us about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?  
  • From the beginning: I had noticed I had been having some very quick heart palpitations  as I would be training in 2013 and it would be off and on and didn’t bother me that much because it didn’t happen too often. I decided I would wait until after Ironman Arizona (2013) that November to get checked. Well, I was hard headed and didn’t worry about it and started training again for the next year. The palpitations started coming on more often and lasting longer. I then decided to go to the cardiologist.
  • I went through a lot of testing and they finally figured out that I had what was called “SVT” which is short for Supraventricular Tachycardia. This is something that is quite common; however, I was told that most people don’t ever notice because they don’t get their heart rate high enough. Anyway, I had to have a cardiac ablation (basically cauterizing the extra electrodes I was born with so that my heart would beat normally). This is also a very common procedure and the cardiologist said that I could get back to training in one week! I did make sure he knew what “training” meant for me. Aka: Hard core pushing myself to the limit. He still told me everything would be ok. I was excited that it wasn’t that big of a deal. 
  • I went home the next morning with 6 pin hole incisions in the groin area with no issues (or so I thought). Two days later, I had a little soreness in my chest with breathing in deep. Didn’t think anything of it, just thought it was part of recovery. The next day it got worse and I was very short of breath with walking very short distances. One of my friends who is a nurse told me that she was worried it could be a PE. ME? No! Well? Maybe? I went to the ER the next day and they found a clot in my lungs.  Thank God for her telling me!
  • I was on Xarelto (blood thinner) for 3 months (I think…it has been a year now) and then got my blood re-tested and am off of it for good now. I would recommend having a primary care doctor to follow up with because I didn’t have one and I had to take control and follow up on my own with a hematologist. I was cleared to start working out “hard” again two weeks following my PE in April of 2014. I decided myself to only train on my trainer and not on my bike outside to reduce risk of a crash while on blood thinners. I thought I would get back to normal pretty quickly. Man was I mistaken. I was really tired and was short of breath pretty easily when I first got back into it. It took me a good six months to get back to where I could say I was prior to surgery. I actually lost my drive to even want to exercise and train which is 100% abnormal for me because I love competing. At this time, I didn’t think I would ever get back to where I was, I was pretty depressed, but kept with it and kept training hard. My brother Bryan was always my rock and would help me with training when I got worried about something. When I hit November, I was probably in the best shape I had ever been, but come race day, it just wasn’t my day. I think it was just a bad day with no rhyme or reason, everyone has those days and this was mine.  At least I finished. I am now training for IMAZ again for 2015. Here we go!!
  • Oh…what I failed to mention was that on my training journey since my blood clot, I have had random pains in my chest and feeling that I may have a blood clot again, but it always turned out to be nothing. I think this happens a lot with people with history of DVT or PE (at least I have read this).

What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? (Bike brand, running shoes, perhaps a running singlet or the Clot Buster's Running Polka-Dot Technical Shirt...) 
  • I don’t really have a favorite piece of gear, but it all has to be yellow on race day. I am obsessed, but at least my family can find me.

How much are you getting out doing your sport?  (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week) 
  • I am just now getting back into training after my last Ironman, but when I am in training, it is 7 days a week with a rest day here and there.

What is your favorite food?  Either generally or after a workout.  For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
  • I usually crave a cheeseburger after a good workout.

If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
  • I would like to go to Italy because that is where my ancestors are from. Always wanted to go to Egypt… not anymore

What would like to say to someone who is going through a clotting episode, perhaps very similar to yours?  
 
  • I would say stick with your goals and don’t give up, especially on the days where you feel so tired and have pains. You will make it through. I always tell my patient’s that anything traumatic that happens to your body, it takes about a year to heal, so be patient. I know, easier said than done.
 
How can people return to do what they enjoy? Tells about your concerns and what you look out after as you got back.
  • Start out short and easy activity and gradually build up. It is helpful to wear a heart rate monitor or take your heart rate manually to make sure you aren’t going to hard. Stop when you think you are struggling, otherwise you will get burnt out. You will get it back; just look at all the other stories.
So here is hoping that during the Capital City Half-Marathon and many others races down the road we will see Lynsey wearing the red polka-dots instead of her regular yellow.  I am just saying that the polka-dots will be just as lucky if not more than the yellow...!

Looking forward to see Lynsey continue to overcome and improve on her performance from last year's IMAZ.  Very inspiring to see what blood clot survivors are capable of regardless of the physical challenges.

NEVER STOP!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster
 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

See polka-dots, Say "Hello" and Learn about STOPTHECLOT...

See polka-dots, Say "Hello" and Learn about STOPTHECLOT.org

Team STOPTHECLOT.org is coming together for the May2nd CAPITAL CITY HALF-MARATHON
 
Very excited to have survivors, supporting family members, and supporting friends getting ready to take on the challenge of the various distances we will be racing on May 2nd.


 Looking forward to spread the word about STOPHECLOT both during the pre-race expo and during race day!
 
See you there!
 
Thanks for reading - The Clot Buster!
 
See polka-dots, Say "Hello" and Learn about STOPTHECLOT.org

Saturday, February 28, 2015

March Athlete of the Month

MARCH = DVT / BLOOD CLOT AWARENESS MONTH

Finally March has arrived!

Many positives come from the arrival of this month.

Possibly the weather will start to improve so that it is "more reasonable"...

Possibly my furnace will stop running trying to keep up with the cold...

Definitely it is time to think about what events will see the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots this spring and summer...

Definitely it is time to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders, celebrate blood clot survivors, and remember those who we lost due to blood clots since March is DVT / Blood Clot Awareness Month!

During this month (and pretty much every other month of the year) it is my GREAT PLEASURE to celebrate blood clot survivors by sharing their story because they are simply inspiring and they can teach us so much about overcoming challenges and achieve the impossible.

This month's featured Athlete of the Month is BECKY COMPTON who has been gracious enough to share her story as she prepares to participate in the Cap City Quarter Marathon race as a member of Team StopTheClot!  Please read on Becky's story as she shared with me...

" I want to start by saying I was not an athlete before my Pulmonary Embolism diagnosis, however I will be in Columbus Ohio on May 2, 2015 at the age of 40 to do my first 6.55 miles to raise awareness for a silent killer and give back to help an amazing cause.

June 30, 2006 After several Afib episodes I have a Afib ablation that was unsuccessful and sent home.

July 3, 2006 For three days I just wanted to sleep, decide to call my PCP, I see my usual NP tell her my symptoms and even ask if I could have a Pulmonary Embolism ( I am a CT Tech and work in a Medical Center), she throws her head back and laughs and says People your age do not get PE’s. I was 31 at the time. I go home.

July 5, 2006 I continue to be more short of breath and go to the Emergency Room, within 30 minutes I am diagnosed with a PE, put on Heparin moved to ICU and told that if Tim McGraw would not have cancelled his concert and I would have gone I would have died. (3 months away from work)

For another year between my PCP and Cardiologist I was called fat, out of shape, and blamed for continued shortness of breath and leg swelling and the initial miss of the pulmonary embolism.

September 2007 The day I passed out at work and a local cardiologist who had heard my story offered his services.  Dr M Studeny asked for two weeks to figure out my situation, it took him four days.  May Thurners Syndrome was diagnosed I found a new PCP Dr B Allan who never hesitated to take me or all my issues.

June 2008 Dr Korona ballooned my iliac veins in January 2008 but they collapsed so I had bilateral iliac vein stents placed.

January 2010 I started Pulmonary Rehabilitation because I had multiple hospital stays due to asthma which I could not shake, my lungs were not strong, I completed program and graduated.

I started walking 5ks however I wanted more

Late 2013 Marshall Recreation Center, a public gym on the campus of Marshall University, I found a trainer who would train me, treated me like every other client and member.  Took my history of PE’s May Thurners Syndrome Asthma and Coumadin and said lets get started.

I found four trainers and a gym who only encouraged me who treated me like every other member; I run I lift I do circuits and they push me every day. They also write letters to my PCP of my progress and keep up with my INR.  Stronger and more confident every day.

I have my life back I work full time as a CT Tech at St Marys Medical Center, I am a Hospice of Huntington, World Changer, Street Ministry and Special Olympic volunteer. I am a daughter, sister and proud to say a new #STOPTHECLOT member.

If you are reading this I want you to follow your heart, find a team of doctors who care about you and want to see you succeed and you are going to be stronger after your clots, always inspire people and be your best.

I want to finish by thanking God, my parents and brother David, My Team Dr Allan, Dr Bir Dr Korona Dr Ottaviano, and Dr Studeny,  and four amazing trainers Abe Koroma, Desiree Gibbs, Micaiah Branch and Chris Lane. All the above are my family now and will never realize how much they mean to me."


Becky - We are so glad that you are coming out to race with us and wear the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots to celebrate your come back and spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

Here is looking forward to share the race course with you!

Never ever stop!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 60th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 60th Triathlon Finish !!!
First Time ever My Son got to cross the finish line with me. Without a doubt a Wonderful Experience