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Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Athlete of the Month

Once more that magic of the web put me in contact with an individual who is without a question a perfect candidate to be Janaury's Athlete of the Month.

Please allow me to introduce to DAVID PIETRANGELO who is clot survivor and a person with story that is worth reading because blood clotting episodes can happen to anyone at any time.

Read on David's story as he told it to me and get inspired because if there is a will there is a way to return to your normal life...

"I have always been extremely active and competitive. I was born into playing soccer, starting around the age of 4. That was my sports life until high school then came hockey. In college I discovered the gym and have been a gym rat ever since. A serious gym rat though not a weekend warrior or just going through a fad. Everyone knew me as the workout freak and the healthy eater etc. I have been that way since I was 18, health and physical fitness have always been a huge part of my life.

In August 2010 I went to Japan to meet some of my then girlfriend’s relatives and just to experience a great country and culture. While I was there I kept up my workouts with running etc. I noticed that my calves were really hurting me, I did not think much of it and just went about my time there site seeing and enjoying everything. I noticed that my calves would really hurt when I woke and first got out of bed but they would feel better once I started walking and even jogging. Being active all my life I just figured these were normal pains and muscle aches that would simply go away.

When I got back from Japan the calf pain persisted but I continued to go to the gym and play soccer. I noticed that my next few soccer games that I was out of breathe a lot quicker which was very unusual for me but just thought it was due to being on vacation for a couple of weeks. I then started to get short of breathe doing normal things like walking from the train to work. I also noticed a sharp pain in the middle of my back. I had similar pains in the past due to the gym and working out so still I did not seek think anything was wrong and did not seek any medical attention.

One day I just felt terrible, completely out of it so I went to the nurse at work. She got me a quick appointment at a Cardio Vascular center by my job. I went and they did several tests; breathing, heart and even a doplar scan of my legs. All the tests came back negative and the said that I had some type of adult asthma and gave a prescription for an inhaler. I thought this was pretty strange to get asthma at 30 years old but I took their advice and went home. I dropped my prescriptions off and when to my girlfriend’s house to wait for them. At this point I am having real trouble breathing and the pain in my back was very sharp and consistent. When I got back to the house I asked my girlfriend to pick up the prescription because I could barely move. While she was out the pain just got to be too much and I walked to the emergency room which was luckily right across the street. It took me about 10 minutes to go half a block to the hospital. I had to wait the usual 30 or 40 minutes to be admitted, then I told the doctor how the whole day had went. They did all the normal tests, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. The basically said there is nothing they could find and that I should go home. I flat out told the doctors I CANT BREATHE I cannot go home! The doctors said since I was having trouble breathing there was one more test they could do, a CT Scan. I needed a painkilling injection just to lay down for the test.
There it was... a bi-lateral Pulmonary Embolism. I was baffled I had heard of them but did not really know what they were. They said that it was very rare for someone my age (30) to get a PE but they have seen it before. I was admitted that night and stayed in the hospital about a week. The next day they did another doplar and found a DVT behind my left knee. I was scared, my family and loved ones were scared. In the hospital I heard every cause from cancer to the long flight to Japan.
When I got out of the hospital and started to see a specialist I got the low down on what had happened to me and what the treatment was. I ended up on Arixtra injectable blood thinner. I was supposed to be on this for 6 months initially and then everything would be back to normal. Long story short I saw about 4 different doctors who gave me 4 different opinions. I had everything from I would be on blood thinners for the rest of my life to I could stop immediately. I ended up staying with a doctor I saw about 10 months into treatment who said I should just finish out a year of treatment but with the last 2 months at a reduced dose. All the genetic test were negative, no family history no risk they say the reason was the 15 hour flight to Japan.

I have been off blood thinners for about 3 months now. While I was taking the injections all the contact sports I loved (soccer, hockey, flag football etc) were out of the question. This got me more into running and swimming. This eventually led to swimming, running, and biking... so TRIATHLON! I did my first few races while on blood thinners and my last couple while off them. I also became very interested in obstacle races like Spartan race. After being sick I really re-dedicated myself to fitness and my health. I really just want to take advantage of everything I can. When I was sick I thought I might never do the things I loved again. While I was in treatment I was always thinking that something bad was going to happen like internal bleeding. In the end I just had to decide that my risk factors were very low and that physical activity was huge part of my life.

I want people to know that if you experience DVT or PE that you can get back to the things you love. Get several opinions from doctors and don’t take only one persons opinion. You need to do your research and you need to make educated decisions about your future. Do not get down on yourself and do not give up."

What do you think?

How lucky am I and all of us to have David sharing his story with us?

Without a question we need to be proactive and defend our position with doctors just like David did. If he did not persist they would still be wondering about his "adult asthma". Be aware and be proactive those are the lessons I am taking away from David story.

I hope to get the chance to race with him in a triathlon some day. I better start training because otherwise he will be waiting for me at the finish line for far too long.

David - Thank you for sharing your experience!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If you had the chance...

While swimming this afternoon (much longer set than ever thanks to the "Hour of Power" I just completed) I got thinking about the following:

If I was good enough to be able to approach sponsors through my agent, what sponsors would I have? Since this is as possible as me growing a pony tail let's dream on...

*** NUTELLA >>> Would be title sponsor. I can't get enough of that goodness.

*** CHIPOTLE >>> Speaking of goodness... it simply does not get much better than that.

*** KESTREL OR DOLAN for bikes.

*** MIZUNO OR KARHU for shoes. Over the last 6 years the only pair of shoes that I have used. Mizuno's Wave Rider just provides that security cushion and stability that I cherish while running.

*** SPIUK >>> Fine clothing that I wish I could have more to use and put to the test.

For a second there I thought I could come up with a lot more choices but truly I could not think of any more that I would LOVE to represent.

Maybe if I ever get around to grow that pony tail I mentioned before perhaps a sponsorship opportunity can come my way...

In the mean time I better concentrate in getting faster at all three of my sports and prepare for the 2012 season that should be a fun with a new CLOT BUSTER jersey in the works...

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, January 20, 2012

My new ride...

Check out my new set of shoes for 2012...

What do you think?

How do they look? (Mrs. Clot Buster does not like them AT ALL...)

Can you guess the brand?

So far, I've only ran a handful of times on these and they feel very comfortable. We will see how fast I get to with them during my training and racing this year.

Speaking of racing, I will be out there again this year doing some local triathlons so be in the lookout for the polka-dots...

In addition to a handfull of triathlons I am toying with the idea of celebrating my entrance into a new age group category with an epic event. Nothing bigger than doing a MARATHON... However, I am only doing it if I can manage to bring my weight down to under 172 by Junior's birthday June 3rd. If I am able to do that I am either racing the Dayton, OH Air Force Marathon (September 15th) or perhaps the Columbus Marathon (October 12th). We will see how it goes... Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Please check out the following link for a sale on bike frame that it is too good to be true...

I personally have a DOLAN HERCULES and I am in love with that machine.

Go ahead and take advantage of this great opportunity!

I highly recommend both the bikes and the folks from DPMSports to take care of you!

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, January 08, 2012

What a start of 2012...

Words cannot explain how lucky were.

Although he came early and he is not home with us yet.

Getting the chance to see this little one every day makes me the happiest man on the planet.

It is an amazing feeling to hold him in my arms and know about his progress every day.

Check out this angel, his big brother and proud parents!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!