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Monday, June 13, 2011

June Athlete of the Month

Hard to believe that both yesterday and today were our first "nice days" in a long while... at least here in the Mid-West. The heat has been BRUTAL so early... Here is hoping for a milder summer...

Once more I have the privilege to come across a personal story of a clotting incident that can provide a great of inspiration based on the difficult and lengthy process she had to go through.

It is amazing how these clotting incidents can bring down anyone with very different presentations and with severe life-style impacts that not only affect the individual but all those around them.

Please read on...

"My name is Caroline Kelly. I was diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in my right leg four years ago when I was 19 years old. It started when I noticed pain in my right leg. At that time, I had not even heard of DVT or its symptoms. I play soccer, so I thought it was just a muscle spasm. I went to the emergency room (ER), because I could barely walk, and it felt like something was tightening in my leg. Nothing was found. However, the pain got worse, and my leg became warm and swollen, so I returned to the ER, which is when the DVT in my leg was diagnosed. I was taking birth control pills to regulate my menstrual cycle, which is the likely reason for my DVT, and it changed my life forever. I was tested for blood clotting disorders, but none were found, nor has anyone in my family had a blood clot.

I think this illness changed my life because I had to leave college. On top of that, I lost financial aid and college funding, and my mother had to quit her job to take care of me. My life was at a standstill. I went from being free to do what I wanted to total bed rest for 4 months. I could not stand or walk, because my leg pain was so excruciating. I had to keep my leg elevated to ease the swelling. I injected a blood thinner by needle into my stomach every twelve hours. It was a very painful and traumatizing experience for me, and I kept asking myself “Why me?” and “Will I be alright?” I found myself with tears in my eyes.

I learned that DVT affects thousands of people a year. I learned more about blood clots and the blood thinners that treat clots and the risks for blood clots, including birth control pills. If clots travel to the lung, a pulmonary embolism (PE) can occur. It’s very important to spread the word about the signs and symptoms of DVT and its associated risk.

I look at life differently now, and I am thankful every day when I wake up, and my faith sustains me. I now appreciate everything life offers, both good and bad. I’ve learned that life has lessons. I’m so blessed and fortunate that my blood clot was caught before it traveled to my lungs, so I was never short of breath. My advice to others is to stay healthy, move, and keep in shape to keep your blood flowing. It is also important to be aware that birth control pills carry risk for blood clots."

Thankfully Caroline's clotting incident was treated on time before it got worse.

As you read the impact on her life and on the life of others was very significant. But as the clotting incident brought the hardships described together, Caroline and her mother, can begin the journey to allow Caroline to have as a normal life as possible.

Here is hoping for her to return to college and to the soccer fields!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

1 comment:

Kathy Reed said...

This is a really powerful story. It's hard to believe that it could have such an impact on the lives of two people. I hope things will get better in the future and that college will once again be on the horizon.

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