With every life turn that ones takes there is the chance for you to meet someone that without you knowing is associated to you or your loved ones.
I don't think that I will ever stop being amazed about the people that I get to meet simply because I was wearing the CLOT BUSTER polka-dots to an event in which I participated in.
December's Athlete of the Month is one of my most memorable stories of benig at the right place at the right time wearing the CLOT BUSTER polka-dots.
But I am not going to tell you the story... I much rather let December's Athlete of the Month MR. BOB SCULLY tell you the story as he answers my questions... enjoy!
1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
Well, up until about 2002 (age 46), my primary sport was running. Unfortunately, in 2002, the arthritis in my left hip became bothersome enough that I no longer enjoyed the sport; and I began spending more time bicycling and playing tennis.
2) How did you get started in that sport?
Who knows?! My father played a LOT of tennis, and I followed his example. As for running/cycling; for some reason I've always enjoyed the challenge of seeing how far I could run or bicycle. I've never been very fast, but I can keep going for a longtime! As a youngster I often challenged myself to see how far I could run or bike without stopping. I'm not sure my parents would have been pleased to know their 9 yr old had bicycled through the corn fields 10 miles to the next town and back! More officially, I ran Cross Country and played Tennis in high school; and I raced in the "Little 500" bike race in college.
3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
I wish I HAD a recent milestone to report, but due to the bad hip, my milestones are still stuck somewhere in the 1990's! So, if you'll allow an old man to reminisce a bit: I've run about 32 marathons, and as many half-marathons. I've run Boston about 5 times, which is also where I ran my PR of 2:52. My best time for the half is 1:17, and 10k is 35:00 min.
4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
Fortunately, my clotting episode was fairly minor on the scale of such things, and all resolved fine.
The story: Finally, in April 2010, I had Hip Resurfacing surgery (as an aside, the hip feels GREAT now). One fact I missed in my research about joint surgery was over 50% of patients develop clots. Even though clots were mentioned as a possible side effect; I felt young (relatively so) and strong, and I really didn't worry much about clotting. I just figured a few "other" patients developed clots, and it was a rare side-effect that wouldn't afflict ME! Therefore, I was shocked, when one week after surgery, a routine follow-up ultrasound indicated I had a clot in a peripheral vein below the surgical leg's knee! The chosen treatment was mild, i.e. Aspirin and "Watchful Waiting." After 3 more ultrasounds (about 1 per week), we determined the clot was stable. It is no longer being monitored, and it's my understanding I'm now "out-of-the-woods."
When I learned of the clot, I did some research, and became quite alarmed/scared. I learned it's a SERIOUS condition, with possible SERIOUS consequences! That's when the man in the RED POLKA DOT SHORTS came riding to my rescue!
Just prior to the surgery, I rode in the Alumni Little 500 Bike Race at DePauw U. Another rider (well, actually, LOTS of riders) lapped me several times; but I remembered one rider in particular, because he wore Red Polka Dot Shorts, and the shorts displayed, "StopTheClot.org." Somehow, I tracked down the name of that rider, and it was Roland Varga, the host of this outstanding Blog!
Roland, and his wife, Elizabeth (who I've come to learn is a National Expert on Blood Clots) were absolutely wonderful to me. Both Roland and Elizabeth answered my questions, and helped educate me, so I could make informed decisions with my physician regarding the treatment of the clot. I can't tell you how nice it was to have their expert help at such a time!
Fortunately, my story has a happy ending, but I'm now very aware of clots; and I've spread the message to anyone who will listen, and especially to a few of my friends who have had recent surgery.
5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
Fortunately, the clot only slowed me down during my recovery from surgery. Because of the Hip Resurfacing, I need to wait a bit longer before I can jog or train hard on a bike; but I AM allowed to take long walks, and it feels WONDERFUL to walk without the pain of arthritis.
By the way, if anyone has questions about Hip Resurfacing vs. Traditional Total Hip Replacement, please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
6) 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...)
Anything made by Pearl Izumi!
7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
Mainly just enjoying walking now. Looking forward to April 2011, when I hope to be given the go-ahead to train hard again!
8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout.
Warm Chicken Broth was THE best drink I ever had after a marathon in cool weather. Boy, did that ever hit the spot! I wish all race organizers would provide Warm Chicken Broth for Fall/Winter events.
9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
Bicycling in Ireland.
10) What would like to say to someone who is going through a clotting episode, perhaps very similar to yours? How can people return to do what they enjoy? Tells about your concerns and what you look out after as you got back.
My main message would be to those about to have surgery, and that message is to be SURE to keep flexing those muscles, and doing all you can to keep that blood flowing during your recovery! Avoiding the clot in the first place is the way to go.
Mr. Scully - A MILLION Thanks for taking the time and your willingness to share your story. There is a great deal of inspiration that can be taken from you incident and how it is very important to be in the look out for symptoms regardeless of how fit you are.
I am looking forward to see you at DePauw University again during the Alumni race next year. Who knows by then you may be able to keep up with me... or better yet lap me a few times!
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster