Get YOUR very own CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots

The "CLOT BUSTERs RACING to STOP THE CLOT" RUNNING SHIRT + TRIATHLON TOP + CYCLING JERSEY and PERFORMANCE HAT!!! PLEASE HELP US CELEBRATE CLOT SURVIVORS and spread awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders. If you are a CLOT SURVIVOR you need polka-dots to inspire others and CELEBRATE that you are Survivor. 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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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
 
Here is hoping that this Holiday Season allows you to spend time with loved ones and provides you with enough inspiration to get going in the new year.
 
May 2013 bring you all of the HAPPINESS, GOOD HEALTH, and GOOD FORTUNE you can handle
 


 










2013 promises to be a year full of challenges and many more inspiring stories of survivors.
 
Come along for the ride!
 
Thanks for reading,
 
The Clot Buster

Friday, December 21, 2012

December Athlete of the Month

As this year is coming to a close I finally get around to post again.

I've been meaning to do this for a couple of weeks now.

I guess that work with end of the year deadlines simply got in the way.

But that is all behind me now...

As the snow falls here in Columbus, OH it is hard to think about running.

However, December's Athlete of the Month is someone who is a runner.  Truly a POWERHOUSE on two legs even after his clotting incident and serious back surgery. 

JOHN HNAT has a very impressive and inspiring story that he updates on his very own blog.


After reading through his various posts I cannot even attempt to match the intensity of this guy let alone the mileage he has been able to thrown down.  I can't even pretend to understand how he does it.


From his blog site above the following post describes his adventure and inspiring story...please read on...


Here is hoping that John continues his progress towards a full recovery and that I get the fortune to run alongside him someday in the near future.  We have the OH connection going for us and of course the deeper connection of being associated with blood clots.  Who knows perhaps down the road if the stars align properly you may find a tandem of CLOT BUSTER polka-dot wearing guys at a race near you...

On this Holiday Season I wish that the new year upon us allows me to post another story about John running away from his blood clotting incident and look back at it as something he was able to overcome and did not slow him down.

Please read John's story and be inspired by his talented writing and wisdom from personal experience!

Thanks for reading.

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sorry...

I know that Black Friday came and went...

And I know that I did not have a Black Friday sale for the highly coveted never duplicated
CLOT BUSTER STOP THE CLOT cycling jerseys and triathlon tops







But there is a valid reason for that...

All proceeds from the sale of the cycling jersey and triathlon top are designated to go back to NBCA (www.STOPTHECLOT.org) in order to help continue their mission of spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

How could I justify a sale of these precious garments when they have such a higher purpose...?

Get one for you and someone you love who can help us keep driving our message so that blood clots are never misdiagnosed and all patients are treated to maximize their survival and return to normalcy.

There is no better gift than the inspiration that these polka-dots can provide

There is no better gift than the inspiration that these polka-dots can provide!

Order yours RIGHT NOW by clicking on the top right hand corner of this very page.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankful...!

There are no words to explain how LUCKY and THANKFUL I am.

Every minute spent with any or all of them is time WELL spent.


Here is hoping that all of you out there had a wonderful THANKSGIVING Day Holiday.

For my 13th year in a row I got to participate in Cincinnati's Thanksgiving Day Race and race as fast as I could for 10K. I am very pleased with my effort as I was able to clock my second best time ever at 42:17.

I am even more pleased because I was able to pull off that time less than a week after doing the Hot Chocolate 15K Race here in Columbus. This hot chocolate was sweet in many levels. I got to run it from start to finish with My Lovely Wife and in the process while wearing the Clot Buster polka-dots got to meet a blood clot survivor who was lining up right behind us to take on his very own 15K after going through his clotting incident.

Needless to say I was more than inspired. I have no doubt that I will see that individual at the races again and this time I will be sure to remember his name... I am so bad with names the first time I learn them.





Here we are racing towards that sweet chocolate treat... and let me tell you that dipping that finish line banana on that melted chocolate goodness was the perfect end to an amazing racing experience.

Now, I just sit here eating my beloved danish butter cookies wondering about 2013 and all the fun things I can potentially do while spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

Please don't mind the crumbs on the keyboard...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 16, 2012

November Athlete of the Month

As luck will have it we are taking a different path this month.

In fact, in the more than 4 years that I've been doing this series of Athlete of the Month I almost certain that this month's individual is very unique and certainly off the regular path.

I mean we are talking EXTREME SPORT in this case. 

Please allow me to introduce to you November's Athlete of the Month TRINE VIK.

I can't even begin to describe the level of adventure this young person has in her even after a clotting incident not too long ago. 

Again, the inspiration from her own words can be very powerful and I urge you to read to learn more about this outstanding individual.

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
SKIING!! Then climbing, then mountain biking, then trail running. I love the cold clean air, deep powder, companionship and freedom that I experience when I click into my skis. I LOVE being in the mountains at any time of year and my these activities continuously challenge and inspire me.


2) How did you get started in that sport?
I was pretty much born with skis on my feet. My father was a coach for the Norwegian Alpine Racing Team and my mother is a Park City, UT native. My parents would take my sister and I skiing every chance they got and I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to pursue my own ski racing career and work as a professional ski patroller.

3)  What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve
After I got off of Coumadin I summitted the Grand Teton in Jackson Hole Wyoming! It has always been a dream of mine to summit this classic peak and this fall a girlfriend and I had a perfect weather window so we drove there and busted it out! The weekend before I completed my second mountain marathon so I was well acclimated and almost skipped my way up the mountain, I was so excited to be there.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
I had a pulmonary embolism in March 2012, two days before my 22 birthday. I was lucky enough to be at home (and not in the mountains) when I woke up with chest pain and couldn’t breathe. I spent a week in the hospital, missed my mid-term exams and was on narcotics for the pain for almost four weeks. It was a struggle to keep up with my classes and I was absolutely devastated that I couldn’t ski, climb or mountain bike for a while. I did Lovenox shots for 6 weeks and was on Coumadin for 6 months. Most of the time I was terrified that I would be a Coumadin lifer and I was depressed that my normal lifestyle was not permitted. After I regained my strength I started running A LOT and doing cross-fit type workouts (with supervision). I got off of Coumadin three months ago and got tested for FVL and Prothrombin mutation for which I am negative.

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time? 
I went rock climbing within 48 hours of stopping Coumadin. I was SO excited! My climbing strength was mostly gone, but it didn’t even matter because I was bursting with joy. That feeling has been a theme for me with most of my activities. I’m so happy to be alive and out there doing what I love that I’m less critical and serious when I do them, which makes it so much more joyful!

6)  What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity?

My Black Diamond Zealot skis! My Giant Trance mountain bike & my trad rack.

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)

I workout in some form or another 6 times a week. Lately I’ve been able to climb & bike 2-3 days a week. I’m SO STOKED for ski season! I’ll probably be out there ski touring before work 4 times a week now :)

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...

Chocolate!! Many of my climbing partners know to pack an emergency stash of chocolate in case our mission goes longer than anticipated.

9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
 I cannot wait to go back to Denali National Park to climb Mount McKinley. I am nervous to hear what my doctors will have to say about my blood at high altitude, but that and other world-wide peaks are my dream playgrounds!

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.
I spent so much time suffering, depressed, and alienating myself when I was dealing with my PE and blood clot. My physicians did a wonderful job taking care of me medically, but they were quite detrimental emotionally. I was overloaded with information that worried and upset me constantly. I should have seen a therapist, but the only person I would listen to who could console me was another young woman who had had a stroke. There are several mind-body and other tools that I’ve learned throughout my experience that would have greatly improved my perspective. People need to regain control emotionally and develop ways to mentally overcome any perceived obstacles they may face as they seek out better health or happiness. Toward the end my anxiety was quite high and I made a definitive reckoning with myself: either be on Coumadin for the rest of my life, become a kick-ass physician & get into fly fishing or get off Coumadin, become a kick-ass physician & keep skiing/climbing. I did my best to be head strong, but little things would still make me crumble. I don’t want anyone to have to go through that fear and I am doing everything I can to provide the support to others that I so desperately needed. I write a lot about advice for others on my blog: blog.trinevik.com

After this incident I take much better care of my body. I prioritize exercise, good food and sleep. It has been a struggle to not freak out about every twinge of pain in my chest or headache (I’ve been into the ER and to my doctor twice thinking I was having another blood clot). Sometimes I’m afraid that I will have a blood clotting episode again. But now I KNOW that I can get through it,
continue to thrive and become a stronger person for it.


I am incredibly THANKFUL to have had the opportunity to cross paths with Trine and her story.  Even more thankful of the fact that she has been willing to share her story with us.

In my day before triathlon came into my life I had the chance to be an extreme sport participant.  I've done my fair share of rock-climbing and mountaineering back when I had hair... I have to my record the summits of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo mountains in Ecuador which I was very lucky to be able to climb.  At any rate, I can completely related to Trine and her love for being outside enjoying it all.  Now, she can keep the skiing because I don't do so well on them.  If you ever want a good laugh ask me about my skiing attempt as a freshman in college in Colorado.  You will not believe how funny that story is due to my inability to ski.

Now, I want go dust off my old pair of climbing shoes and see what I am able to do still... although it has to be in an indoor gym.

Trine I am very THANKFUL to have met you and for your willingness to share your story.

Keep going and never ever give up!

By the way, someday I will need your help if I ever attempt skiing again...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, November 09, 2012

NBCA Fundraiser by LAUREN - September's Athlete of the Month

How cool?!?!?

Wonderful to see September Athlete of the Month - LAUREN HAMETZ start her very own fundraising page for NBCA.

As a blood clot survivor she truly is an inspiration to all.

If you have it in you please checkout the following link in order to help Lauren reach her project goal...

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/laurenraehametz/laurenraesfundraisingpage

All funds raised are going towards helping NBCA @ www.STOPTHECLOT.org continue to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

Thanks for reading!

The Clot Buster


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, November 03, 2012

COME RUN WITH ME...!!!

One year from this weekend...

One year from this weekend I will be taking on...

One year from this weekend I will be taking on the challenge of a lifetime...

One year from this weekend I will be taking on the challenge of a lifetime as I will be toeing the line for the 2013 New York City MARATHON.

Although I am terribly sad for the folks who missed their opportunity in 2012 I am certain that their training is not lost and they will be able to participate next year on a different race elsewhere. 

In 2013 however, I am faced with the challenge to run 26.2 Miles and on every step of the way I will carry with me the CLOT BUSTER STOP THE CLOT polka-dots in order to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.  Everyone needs to be aware of the dangers and risks of blood clots so running on this event should allow me to increase my platform and reach even more people.

While spreading the message is good raising funds to support NBCA (www.STOPTHECLOT.org) is even better in order to allow this organization to continue their mission to reach as many people as possible through the multiple programs they conduct.

If you have it in you please consider checking out my fundraising page at >>>  http://www.crowdrise.com/clotbusterinnyc/

*** New for this fundraising effort...

For those of you who would be interested in dedicating this race to someone you know who has battled a clotting incident you can purchase one of the polka-dots on the jersey that I plan on wearing for the race.  The name of the person you are dedicating I plan to attach to my jersey and have them run along side me from start to finish.  Each polka-dot is available for dedication for a minimum donation of $100.00. 
It is my hope that if you don't know anyone who has suffered a clotting incident you would consider taking a person from my "ATHLETE OF THE MONTH" series of blog posts and allow them to run along side with me...

Your help on this challenge I will be very much appreciated.

I can't do this alone so your participation and support will be key for me.  If you know of others who would be interested on helping me out please pass this along to them.

Let the training begin!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Get Yours!!!

Never too late to get your very own
 
CLOT BUSTER - STOP THE CLOT tops.
 
Help me and NBCA spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.


Order your very own polka-dots and stand out to STOP THE CLOT.
 
Check the top right hand corner of this blog to get your order in.
 
All proceeds from this sale are targeted back to NBCA in order to help accomplish their mission.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
The Clot Buster

Friday, October 19, 2012

October Athlete of the Month

INSPIRATION.

Any Athlete featured in this "Athlete of the Month" blog = INSPIRATION.

Blood Clot Survivor as "Athlete of the Month" = INSPIRATION.

Now, when a blood clot incident survivor is taking on the challenge of a Marathon you can't find a measuring tape large enough to measure the inspiration that story can provide. 

This month a blood clot incident survivor took on the CHICAGO MARATHON and ran through all of the 26.2 Miles carrying the STOP THE CLOT message for all to see.  Please allow me to introduce you to ERIC O'CONNOR a CLOT BUSTER Athlete with a story that you must read!

Chicago Marathon


Please take the time and get inspired by the answers Eric was able to provide to my interview questions...

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?

Marathons are my favorite. I love the race and the training. I have had a few health issues in my life and I find marathon training mirrors those times. When I was faced with a few daunting physical and mental issues I found my marathon training helped give me the mind set of tackling them one day at a time. There is no replacement for the freedom and energy I feel when running. I love the mental exercise as well. Running for me is about pushing beyond limits in my mind and body. It's about setting goals and breaking them. Sue and I have 3 little boys, 7, 5, and 2. I hope I am setting an example for them. If they put in the time they'll be able to accomplish anything they want.
2) How did you get started in that sport?

I was always athletic. Soccer, baseball, and yes marching band kept me busy in high school. Running however was not my first choice. I remember trying out for cross country and immediately coming up with ways I could roll my ankle so I could stop running. I ran to stay in shape for sports but never enjoyed it. Then came my first year out of college. My father in law was a marathon/triathalon competitor until he hit 50. The man is a machine. So I picked up my two favorite habits from him, smoking cigars and running marathons. Not simultaneously of course. In the last 11 years I have run 13 marathons.
Strange History: I ran the 25th anniversary Chicago marathon. I was hooked. However by December I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without a rest. I had Hepatitis C and had to go on a one year intense chemo-like treatment. My goal was to run the Des Moines Half Marathon 4 months after my treatment. I had a long way to go. I dropped from 175 pounds to 130 in that time frame and didn't have much muscle left. I did end up running it and then ran the Des Moines marathon in the fall.

3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
My first race back from my clotting episode was the Chicago Marathon. I took it easy and ran with a friend. We shattered her time from last year by 20 minutes. It was great to be back and there is nothing like running in Chicago! Next up is the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Antonio in November. We'll see if I can get some speed back for that one.

Boston of course is on my list. Prior to the PEs and DVTs I was right where I wanted to be to qualify. 1 year later I'm still a long way off, but qualifying is still on my to-do list.

I want to run a 50 miler in Arizona in March. I'll start training for that after San Antonio.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
In 2010, I ran 3 marathons and had full intentions on running in 2011. I tore my meniscus playing soccer with my son so I needed surgery in August. My doctor assured me I would be back training in time to run Chicago in October. A week later while standing in the garage with the boys I felt like I had just done a 10 mile speed workout. I was short of breath and sweating. My wife rushed home from the ER and took me in. Turns out I had massive blood clots in my calf and multiple bilateral Pulmonary Emboli in my lungs. After getting through the initial diagnosis the doctors did a bunch of blood work and discovered I have a Prothrombin Factor II mutation. I then went on a 6 month battle with Coumadin. I was lucky though and stopped at 6 months. My PE specialist explained the episode was a provoked incident due to knee surgery. Had it come without the surgery he would have recommended Coumadin for life.

Getting back to work was a struggle. I'm a wedding photographer. A normal day is 12 to 14 hours of running around. It was tough to breath and the near 100 temps an humidity didn't help much. The first couple weeks my heart rate would elevate and every time I felt a pain in my leg or chest I wondered if I should go back in. I actually developed a little anxiety. Funny to think how much mental prep we do for marathon training then your brain can actually convince you have problems that don't exist. I would have sworn my heart was racing in the 140s-150s but sure enough I took my pulse and it was 60 or lower.

The doctor told me I could get back to running anytime I wanted. Of course I tried running a few days after I got home. 1 mile, 15 minutes. Realizing there was no way I could run I then took 4 months off. I spent some time in the gym but that was almost as hard. My heart rate would hit 175 or higher lifting. I had to take breaks to catch my breath.

San Francisco Marathon

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
I finally started training again in January almost 6 months after the week in the hospital. I tend to have 1 speed, all or nothing. So I went straight into training for a spring marathon. I stress fractured my left foot and spent 3 months in a boot. If anyone every has to spend time in a boot try P90x2. It's an awesome workout and about the only thing I could tolerate while not running.

Finally, the boot came off this July and I started training for Chicago. By this time I was READY for training. Training has been a lot of fun and also frustrating at times. I am almost 1.5 minutes per mile slower than a year ago. It's a long process to recover and I've come to terms with that. I'm just happy to be running again.

6) What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity?
Favorite gear would be my watch. My coach, Andrew at McMillan Running sends me workouts and I dump them in my Garmin. 405. I want the new 610 but sadly the 405 won't die. Second on my list would be my Yurbuds headphones. They sound amazing and never bother my ears.

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? 
I have 3 training runs a week and 2 easy 30 minute recovery runs. I do one of the P90x2 workouts on the 30 minute recovery days as well.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout.
Pancakes are a must for me after training runs. I eat as many as I can.
9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
I want to run marathons in other countries. I don't really care where I just want to do as many as I can. As our boys get a little older the exploring will start. My 5 year old wants to go to Africa, China, and Hawaii, so those are on the list.


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.
If you are reading this blog you are already on the road to recovery. You may be just starting but this was actually a huge help for me. I immediately wanted to find people like me. Doctors and even a lot of friends don't understand the love of endurance sports. The days and weeks after a clotting incident are lonely. All you want is to get back to normal. There really is not a ton of information out there for endurance athletes recovering from blood clots or PEs. I read Rolands posts every morning when I woke up. They were and still are a constant reminder that I could work my way back. There are so many amazing stories here.

I'm so fortunate to be back to running. I really don't have any concerns going forward. I take a few precautions. I take a littler more care to stay hydrated. I have to get out of the car every hour on trips and take Lovenox when I fly over 5 hours. I really have it pretty easy.

Here is hoping that someday I get to keep up with you while running a marathon.  For sure that day we will be wearing the CLOT BUSTER Stop The Clot polka-dots and continue to spread the word.

Thank you for your willingness to share your story.  No doubt that others will draw from your experience which will lead them on their path to recovery.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

IRONMAN World Championship...

Could not get enough of it last Saturday.

So many memories from our time there back in 2009.

I am still drooling about the event.

Not sure that I will ever stop drooling about it.

How do I come around the thought of having to double the suffering and pain that I have felt from doing a half-ironman race?

Someday when I don't have any more hair... well I am passed that deadline... never mind.

I am looking forward to see the coverage on TV but kudos to the coverage on line which had me glued.

At any rate, random thoughts of the race that it is slowly becoming my virtual Mount Everst... there available to me but difficult to attain.

Someday when all of the stars line up I will get the CLOT BUSTER Stop The Clot to the Big Island of Hawaii...

DREAM ON!!!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September Athlete of the Month

This month's Athlete of the Month clearly illustrates the challenges that clot survivors have to face after dealing with a clot incident.

It is not easy to get back to the level of fitness and desire once experienced prior to a clotting incident. However, giving up is NOT AN OPTION and this month's featured athlete for sure is an example of the fighting spirit all of us can hope to have in order to overcome the challenges being thrown our way.

Please allow me to introduce you to LAUREN HAMETZ a clot survivor and whose story I want to bring to you today.

Lauren has been kind enough to share here story with NBCA and below you will find content from the story she shared on www.STOPTHECLOT.org as well some additional thoughts she shared with me during a tweeter/email exchange a number of days ago...


"... I graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in May 2012 with a Masters degree in Secondary Education, although I am originally from Edinboro, PA. Recently, I stumbled upon Stop The Clot on Facebook, and immediately felt a strong connection to National Blood Clot Alliance. Why? In May 2011, I almost died at age 23 from bilateral pulmonary emboli (PEs). I felt agonizing pain in my stomach that traveled to my left shoulder. The pain became a lot sharper and I felt a ping of pain every time I took a breath. Whenever I tried to lie down, the pain became even worse. I noticed an extreme loss of energy during that time. I used to run for about an hour every day; instead, I felt short of breath just walking up a flight of stairs. Since I had previously had mononucleosis, I went to see the school doctors, who told me nothing was wrong. My energy level continued to decrease, and there was one time in particular when I went for a run, yet could only go about 100 feet before I couldn't move anymore. My legs cramped, so I had to walk, and I felt completely defeated.

I also traveled to Hilton Head Island in late April 2011 in a 10 hour straight car ride. I spent three days working at a golf tournament and drove another 10 hours straight back to school. I woke up one morning with tightness in my chest a couple of weeks later. I felt as if someone had knocked the wind out of me, and I also had pain under the ribs on my left side later in the day. I couldn't lie down on that side, because the pain was so intense. I had a list of symptoms that I should have realized were serious, but I viewed myself as healthy. To the best of my knowledge, I was a completely healthy 23-year-old who had always made healthy choices in my life. I never smoked, took illegal drugs, and played Division II Volleyball in college.

I woke up one morning with pain in my left elbow that same month. I assumed I hit it on something, although the pain persisted for a couple of days and I kept looking for bruises where I assumed I hit it. A bump formed near my elbow, and I joked to my friends that I had a worm in my arm. The worm turned-it was a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

I was getting ready to head home for a couple of days, which is a 4 hour drive. My symptoms continued to get worse, and I couldn't even lie flat without moaning in pain. A friend told me my symptoms were probably due to gas. My mother was very concerned, and I told her I just needed to get rid of the gas. After the long drive to Hilton Head, I told my roommate about my pain, who told me I looked sick. I spent the night searching Google to try to find out what my symptoms meant, since I could not sleep, and came to the conclusion it was my gallbladder. My friend accompanied me to the Emergency Room (ER), after I went for a run the next morning.

The ER doctors couldn't find what was wrong until they did a chest scan that showed PEs. My parents came to see me right away. When I heard I had blood clots in my lungs, could not help but wonder what was happening to me. Doctors questioned me about my life choices to try to determine how I ended up with blood clots in my lungs. I was in shock that this happened to me. How did it happen that I have blood clots?

I was using the hormonal ring for birth control. I did not get many answers to my questions while I was in the hospital. I was scared and confused. I was young, and there was no family history of blood clots. I was started on blood thinners and carried on with my life. It wasn't until August 2011 that I learned I had Factor V Leiden and Factor II blood clotting disorders. I will now take blood thinners for the rest of my life. I was advised to stop hormonal birth control immediately. The doctors weren’t sure if it was what caused the blood clots, but they saw it as a contributor to my risk for blood clots, given that I have two blood clotting disorders.
It is now almost a year since this whole nightmare happened. I’ve had one more blood clot since, again in my left elbow. This time I felt the pain and immediately knew what it was. I am now on injections of low molecular weight heparin, which my doctor says I will be on for the rest of my life. I am praying and waiting for the doctor to tell me when there is a new blood thinner that treats DVT and PE, so that I don't have to inject myself every single day and have bruises and bumps on my stomach.

I learn something new about my disorder every day and am still learning. The www.stoptheclot.org web site was eye opening for me. Merely seeing that March is an awareness month focused on blood clots makes me feel as if I can make a difference, since I want to help others learn more about risks, prevention, and treatment of blood clots. Reading the stories written by others who had blood clots stopped me in my tracks. The first story I read was about an active 23 year old girl, who died from a PE. This made me realize for the first time that I could have died last May. One more day, one more hour, and I may have died.

I think it is extremely important to improve awareness about DVT and PE, especially in women. I inherited the Factor V Leiden blood clotting factors from my dad, who at 58 has never experienced a known blood clot. I look back and realize that I was someone who ran for an hour every day and then all of a sudden could not walk up a flight of stairs without stopping. I did not persist and delayed seeking care, even when my symptoms were worsening. I will now pay more attention to symptoms in the future, as I did with my second DVT in my arm.

I learned to listen to my body. It tells me when things aren't right."


Also please read below for some additional answers Lauren provided for me as we got to talking over multiple digital media alternatives...

What do you do to stay active? favorite Sport? How many times do
you get to do this or any other activity per week?

...my favorite sport is Volleyball, however, that is
a hard sport to pick up and play by yourself. I would love to find a
league or something to continue to play, but also being on blood
thinners volleyball is a sport I would need to be careful playing
competitively. Thus, to stay active I go to the gym 5 times a week or
go for a run.


What is your favorite food? What is your reward after a big
workout?

Ehhh...this is tough for me. I don't know if it's the lovenox or my
odd energy levels, but my appitite has been very off kilter. My
favorite food is ice cream! However, with my odd appitite these days
I really don't crave anything. It is strange. This is another reason
my doctor has leaned torwards giving my iron transfusions. I really do
not crave anything and have a very small appitite. Before my PEs I was
a very healthy eater..go to food always a salad creation with grilled
chicken and fruit and lovely healthy stuff to put on top. Nowadays it
is a strange day if I crave a salad. I hate this part because I can
never figure out what to eat. It's strange.


Do you have a favorite piece of gear?
Haha, I love this. Living in Hilton Head I got the oppurtunity to enjoy paddle
boarding. I so wish I could get a paddle board. From above how I
mentioned loving doing activities that keep you active...paddle
boarding is amazing. It's a fun activity and you work your butt off.


Lauren THANK YOU so much for your willingness to share you story with Clot Buster Nation. Your determination will continue to push you forward and hopefully improved on your fitness. For sure, someday I will find a way to get your some ice cream after a nice paddle board workout...

Get out there and NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dilemma...

What would you do...?

What would you do if you had the chance...?

What would you do if you had the chance to run...?

What would you do if you had the chance to run in the NYC MARATHON this coming November...?

Well it turns out that any CLOT BUSTER volunteer can have this chance.

NBCA (www.STOPTHECLOT.org) has been able to be added to list of organizations for which runners can raise funds as a result gain entrance to the race.

I wish that I could do it. I really, REALLY DO... but October and November of this year will be wild busy and difficult to get away. Plus, I am no-where ready to do a marathon and enjoy the experience let alone have the time to string any sort of long run these days...

However, there is always next year... 2013... we will see.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, September 14, 2012

CEDAR POINT REV3TRI Half-Iron Distance Triathlon

I have to consider myself VERY LUCKY.

We had a perfect day for racing last Sunday. We could have not asked for better weather.








I have to say that although I suffered out there I very much enjoyed the organization of this event and the venue. It was challenging but great fun all the same.

The only real complaint that I have is about the first 5 Miles and last 5 Miles of the bike race were routed over the same patch of road that is in DESPERATE need of some attention. It was rough and could be improved. Other than that this is course in which you can throw down the hammer if the wind decides to be on your side...






I am thrilled with my race from start to finish. I put together a fine performance with a run that at the beginning had me worried that this could end being a long day... But instead I was consistent and kept up a pace that I could handle.


5:26 turned out to be my time in the end... 5 hours and some change in which people got to see the CLOT BUSTER polka-dots and get a glimpse of the www.STOPTHECLOT.org message. The exposure was great at this event.

Although it was not a PR at this distance I am very pleased on how all came together.

Now it is time to get back out there and attempt to regain some fitness ahead of some running races that we will be doing this early fall. For now I will continue to enjoy my smuggled New Belgium FAT TIRE and dreaming of sweating...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 03, 2012

Great Buckeye Challenge Triathlon - Race Report

First in the 35-39 Age Group! What else is there to say...


Fine racing last Sunday in Springfield, OH.

Although I did not have the most stellar bike I was able to make up the difference in my run. A couple of guys from my age group passed me late on the bike but I was able to chase them down in the run and have them read CLOT BUSTERs RACING to STOP THE CLOT on the back of my jersey.

Feels great to have the opportunity to take back time on to the run.

Now, I am looking ahead to next weekend and the Half-Iron Distance race I will be doing in Cedar Point at the REV3 Cedar Point. Not sure if I am prepared to hammer out a 5+ hour race when the longest sustained effort so far this summer has been just under 3 hours.

Well, Guess what!?!?! Nothing I can do about it now...

Time to forget about those concerns and get ready to hammer this out one way or another. Of course, now, I worry about the weather, my taper, the drive north, our Saturday at Cedar Point for my wife to satisfy her roller coaster carving, etc...

At any rate, on we go. Either I am THANKFUL for the chance to improve on my 5:19.36 70.3 PR. Could this be race that brings it down...?

Stay tuned.

If you see the CLOT BUSTER Polka-dots out there racing next Sunday make sure you give me a high-five I am going to need all the help I can get!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 20, 2012

August Athlete of the Month

This year NBCA (the National Blood Clot Alliance - STOPTHECLOT.org) is starting a new episode in our exposure by being granted participation in the NYC Marathon.
A select number of individuals who are able to fulfill the fundraising requirements established by the NYC Marathon organization will have the opportunity to run the 26.2 Miles as representatives for NBCA.

Although I have MAJOR race envy this year I am not in a position to fundraise the required amount.  However, August's Athlete of the Month will be racing in NYC in November.  Please allow me introduce you a RUNNER and MOST IMPORTANTLY A CLOT SURVIVOR ... Karen Khodadadi.


Karen's story is remarkable and you can learn more about it by reading below.  But the most important thing for me is that her clotting episode back in 2010 did not stop her and since then she has ran 10 marathons and she is far from slowing down...

Karen Story's as found on her fundraising page...

"I am running the New York Marathon to raise funds on behalf of the National Blood Clot Alliance, a voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and clot-provoked stroke.
As many of you know, I experienced bilateral pulmonary emoboli (over 20 clots in both lungs) in July 2010. As a veteran of over 50 marathons, I was the last person on earth I would have expected to be gasping for air after a routine run. I literally felt like someone was putting a pillow over my head and smothering me.
I saw my internist the next day who performed a series of tests in his office and sent me home. I am SO thankful for my brother Gary, my tele-doctor in the Chicago area, who insisted I get myself to the emergency room. From my description, he felt certain that I had blood clots in my lungs. The fatality rate for a pulmonary embolism is 60%, so I count my blessings everyday. Since my PEs, I have run 10 marathons. With every step I take, I realize how lucky I am to be here, let alone still able to do the thing I love so much – run.
I am so excited about the opportunity to run New York on behalf of “Stop the Clot” and build awareness of how to prevent blood clots. I hope you will consider supporting this important cause!"

Please CLICK HERE (http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamStopTheClot/fundraiser/karenkhodadadi) if you would like to donate to Karen's effort this coming November!

Here is CELEBRATING Karen's determination and the second chance she has to keep on running!

Karen - Never stop running and keep on inspiring others who may be going through their own clotting episode.  You are a great example for others that may need that additional inspiration.

I will be following the NYC Marathon coverage closely and rooting for Karen all of the 26.2 Miles.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vacation - Virginia Beach, VA

Nothing but family time and I loved every minute of it!








Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Giant Eagle Columbus Triathlon

I have no had much time to post anything in while.

Raced the Giant Eagle Columbus Triathlon at the end of July and shortly thereafter we left on vacation Virginia Beach.

Now back from vacation and I am catching up somehow...

Had a great day of racing at the Olympic distance triathlon.

I have to admit that I enjoyed the unique point-to-point racing format of this race.  It is a very fluid race only in the direction of the finish line. 

Of note in this race is that I improved my time from last year by about 14 minutes.  HARD TO BELIEVE!  Last year I had some terrible stomach issues on the second half of the run.

This year, however, the race came together nicely.  The run was awesome and ended up being around 6:55 Minutes per Mile on average for the 10K.

It was a rough field and I only managed a 13th place in the 35-39 age group but I was more than please with my overall time.

2 more races left this fine summer and I am looking forward to an Olympic Distance Challenge (at the Buckeye Challenge Triathlon in Springfield, OH) and to close things up a Half-Iron Distance Challenge ( at the Rev3 Cedar Point Half-Iron Distance Triathlon).

Be sure to know that the STOP THE CLOT Clot Buster polka-dots will be coming along as they had all of the previous races this summer.

If you want your very own Clot Buster polka-dots order them on-line for immediate delivery.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, July 27, 2012

July Athlete of the Month

Better late than never...

Where has the month of July gone?

I feel that it should be just the front end of the month not the tail end.

For July's Athlete of the Month post I wanted to bring to light once again that anyone can suffer blood clots regardless of your athletic ability.

I have to be honest that I could not believe the news when I heard them... MARIANO RIVERA the best closer in baseball experienced a blood clot in his calf as a result of a knee injury that he was resting and immobilizing prior to surgery.
More details of Mr. Rivera's clotting incident can be found by CLICKING HERE.


Every indication seems to point to the fact that this remarkable career of closing baseball games is far from over.

Mr. Rivera refuses to consider anything but his return to baseball.

I have to admit his determination and willingness to travel the extensive road to recovery from his knee operation and treatment of the clotting incident.

I have to admit that I don't root for the Yankees, I am a St. Louis Cards fan, but whenever the time I will be rooting for Rivera as he makes every attempt to return to his professional level of performance.

I have no doubts that his dedication will break any difficulties that his recovery process may bring.

Amazingly high profile athletes in a variety of sports have been suffering from blood clotting incidents and returning to top form.  That once again is a great demonstration that with the appropriate treatment and care athletes can return to be competitive again.  Same goes to those of use who are not even close elite level athletic performance but are simply weekend warriors.

I am inspired by the sheer determination and willingness of Mr. Rivera to get well and return to the Yankees pitcher rotation for closing games. 

Now is time to sit back and enjoy the Olympic games... I don't even know where to begin to watch around  the expanded coverage provided by NBC,

Here is wishing everyone out there ALL THE BEST!

Cheers!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, July 20, 2012

CONGRATULATIONS Clot Survivor - SERENA WILLIAMS!

Better late that never...
Serena Williams becomes 2012's WIMBLEDON CHAMPION!!!
Blood Clot incident survivor becomes 2012's WIMBLEDON CHAMPION!!!
Congratulations!

Hang in there...

Dear Friends! It has come to my attention that I am having some issues with my PayPal account and for that reason the on-line jersey ordering link is not operating properly. I am working with PayPal to come to a resolution in order to bring it back to working order. If you are in need of the CLOT BUSTER Stop The Clot jersey you can get in touch with me via polka40@hotmail.com and we can make arrangements. Thank you for your patience and support. Thanks for reading, The Clot Buster

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June Athlete of the Month === Olympic Edition

It is only fitting that on this year in which we will be witnessing the London Olympics our Athlete of the Month would be someone from "across the pond"...

I am incredibly lucky to be able to get in touch with individuals from all over the world.  It is a thrill to reach to far away places and learn of inspiring stories from clot survivors in different countries.  The challenges and the drive to overcome them is the same regardless of the continent and the language.  Stories from clot survivors continue to motivate me and give me the extra push I need to continue spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders to anyone and everyone...

Please allow me to introduce you to Mr. CHRIS BROWN our JUNE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH who so kindly decided to join the line of inspiring stories by sharing his own.  Being from England he is not a footballer (I am talking about the real deal here people... the beautiful game!) but a runner with a story that it is worth reading...

1)      What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
I enjoy a number of sports, but running is definitely my favourite. I have been trying to think why I enjoy it, but I really have no idea!

2)      How did you get started in that sport?
I’ve been into running since I was at school and took part in quite a few road races in the 1980s including the 1986 London Marathon and an unusual one-off 10 mile race on the M25 (London’s orbital motorway). Thankfully this was before it had opened.

Whilst at college I joined a couple of running clubs (Chiltern Harriers and London Metros) and at the former got involved in track running for the first time; mainly 200m, 400m and 800m. I was not particularly fast, (PBs of 24.2, 54.6 and 2:05 respectively) so a GB vest was never going to be the outcome, but I really enjoyed the team aspect of the track meetings.

3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
The furthest I’ve run since having DVT is 10 miles at the Great South Run and to be honest I’m a little nervous of running further. My leg seems to be able to cope as long as I don’t go too fast, so I’d like to try a Half Marathon. I’ve just entered the New Forest Half Marathon in September, so we’ll see how that goes. My main aim is just to carry on participating in running for as long as I’m able.

4) Tell us about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
1992 was the year that I discovered that training actually worked. I ran the London Marathon again and this was followed by a string of modest PBs at varying distances. Unfortunately it was also the year that I experienced Deep Vein Thrombosis.

As seems typical, diagnosis was somewhat delayed. It was partly my own fault for making an assumption that a lower back ache that quickly developed into pains in my leg, was sciatica or similar. I went to an osteopath that a friend had recommended and unsurprisingly his treatment didn’t help, so I visited my General Practitioner. (I should have done this in the first place). However, he didn’t examine my leg at all, but just referred me to an orthopaedic consultant.

To cut a long story short, I had a couple of appointments with the consultant and I don’t recall any specific diagnosis. He was about to send me away for another couple of weeks, when I asked why he thought my leg was so swollen. I think ‘the penny dropped’ at this point and he asked his colleague (a vascular surgeon) to examine me. He took one look at my leg, performed a simple Doppler test and admitted me to hospital there and then. Ten days of heparin and transition to warfarin followed and I am now on warfarin for life. I often wonder how different my prognosis might have been if I had been referred to the vascular consultant in the first place rather than after about 3 or 4 weeks.

It turned out that Protein C deficiency was the root cause of the DVT, though I suspect that dehydration from a weekend of racing in hot weather, including my first and only time of running 10 miles in under 65 minutes, might have tipped the balance.

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
Difficult to remember now, but it must have been a good few months before I returned to any exercise. I started by going swimming regularly and then progressed to run/walking, gradually increasing the distance before I had to stop and walk. Due to the damaged valves in my leg and what I now know is called venous insufficiency, my leg felt extremely achy when I ran, but eventually it improved to a manageable level. The closest I can get to describing it, is being on the verge of cramp and after a few miles it feels like I have training weights strapped to my right calf. On the plus side, my left leg always feels great in comparison. Perhaps I should consider a hopping championship. J

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...)

Can I choose two? Firstly there is the Venosan 2003 Compression sock. It’s not the most stylish piece of kit, but I don’t think I could run very far without it.

The second item is my Lordshill Road Runners vest. It represents a running club with a great ethos and a friendly reputation and pulling on the club vest reminds me that despite the DVT, I’m still a runner.

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
I usually get out running two or three times a week. On a good week maybe five times. A year ago I discovered a weekly 5k event called parkrun, which takes place all over the country (UK). So at the very least I try to run my local parkrun every week.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
Now that’s an easy question – marmite toast.

9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
There was a television programme in the UK called Stephen Fry in America. It was about a tour of the United States in a London taxi. I’d like to do something similar, but perhaps not in a taxi!

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.

I used lots of small, but progressive targets, trying to run a little further each time before having to walking and recover. I guess it depends on your particular medical circumstances, but for me, I did gradually improve over a long period of time and eventually I got back to road and track running, albeit a lot slower.

So you might have to forget chasing those old Personal Bests. That’s fine though, as you can now go for a whole new set of post-DVT PBs. They are just as valid, but probably a whole lot more satisfying than the originals.   


Chris - THANK YOU a million times over for sharing your story and providing us your thoughts on how you came down with the clotting incident and how it has impacted your life. 

There is no question that you were able to cope with the challenge on hand and shift expectations to a more reasonable level which in my opinion is a very big key for success when facing the adversity of a clotting incident.

Here is hoping that you get to go on that tour of the US... At the rate that I am going I will be able to supply you with contacts of folks all over the US you share a similar story to yours and I am sure would be willing to guide through their home state.  Ohio is waiting for you to start whenever you are ready...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, June 15, 2012

Racing at the front...

Unless there has been a terrible mistake that rarely happens to me...

I can count in one hand the number of times I've been able to find myself in the front of a race and actually contend...

In the case of triathlons that happened to me two weeks ago at the Morgan's Little Miami Triathlon.

It was a great experience to find myself far enough in front of all who started with me that I only had one guy infront of me to beat.

I gave it everything that I had to try to catch this individual both the Clot Buster polka-dots had to settle for SECOND OVERALL!!!

I still can't believe that I was to pull this one off.  For sure I thought that a later wave there would be someone else that would beat my time. 

Luckily for me that did not happen and thus I get to enjoy, and brag a little, about the fact that I have in fact been a contender in a race that involved many more people than just me.

Don't know if I ever will find myself in a position like that again but I can tell you that I will do everything that I can to hammer out the upcoming swim, bike, and run races searching for that feeling. 

I felt awesome to look back and see no one and to look ahead and see my competition down the road... unfortunately for me I was not able to chip away any more of that lead as pretty much matched our speed and I could not reduce the gap.

So, if you are racing in Ohio this summer be in the look out for the CLOT BUSTER - STOP THE CLOT polka-dots as they may be in contention to continue to stay at the front...

Hey, day dreaming about this cost me nothing...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Get your very own CLOT BUSTER polka-dots to STOP THE CLOT

CLOT BUSTER polka-dots now available for all to spread the word while riding, triathlon racing, running and what ever else you choose to do in these fine tops!

Get yours on-line by clicking on the PayPal button on the top right hand corner of this blog.

These fine clycling jerseys and triathlon tops are the best vehicle for us to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders while playing, training, and/or racing.

Get one for you and one for a friend! All money made from these transactions will be re-invested in the making of more gear to continue spreading the word.

Let's all together be CLOT BUSTERs to STOP THE CLOT!

I look forward to see many of your wearing these polka-dots while doing your activity of choice and thus inspire others to overcome the challenge of a clot incidient.

Thanks for reading,

Roland "The Clot Buster" Varga

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