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Friday, August 09, 2013

August Athlete of the Month

How is your summer coming along?

Having a good time whenever possible?

Squeezing every ounce of fun you can get out of every weekend?

There is no question that we are doing that each and every day simply because there is no reason to stay inside.

Speaking of staying inside I know someone else who I've had the pleasure to meet just recently who is more than willing to find herself outside doing everything that she can to return to form as she went through her very own clotting incident. 

Please allow me to introduce to you LAUREN WOOLEY who has been kind enough to share her story with all of us and provide us with an enormous amount of inspiration to get us through the "dog days of summer" and finish up the summer getting everything out of it that we can.

Go ahead read on and get inspired...
             1)    What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it? 
I’m a runner and triathlete. I like the energy I feel after a good run or race.

             2)  How did you get started in that sport? 

I started running with my dad when I was 13 years old. We would run a mile to the gas station, turn around, and run a mile back home. Now we run marathons together.

3)  What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?(Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did) 
The last large milestone I achieved was completing an ironman distance triathlon and coming in second place in my division. I’m hoping to run the Boston marathon again in 2014.

4)  Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission? 
My blood clotting story starts with training for the 2012 Boston marathon. While training, I injured my hip and a year later decided to have surgery to repair my torn labrum. Following hip surgery, I noticed what felt like a bad cramp in my calf. I first felt the pain going up and down the stairs on crutches, but over the next three weeks the pain got worse and moved into my hamstring. The pain was intense and I mentioned it to several of my doctors, but no one recognized the signs of a blood clot. I was unable to stand up without pain or lift my leg to get into the shower without using my arms to physically lift my leg up. A month after surgery I attended a conference for work and was considering skipping my physical therapy appointment by the end of the 3rd day because I was so tired and in pain. Luckily I went to my appointment and my physical therapist sent me to the ER where I discovered I had a DVT that ran from my ankle to my upper thigh. I was put on heparin that evening and transitioned to warfarin about 10 days later. I was advised to stop taking hormonal birth control immediately and a month later I learned I’m homozygous for Factor V Leiden, which also put me at increased risk of blood clots.

I have been on blood thinners for about 6 months.

I still have a residual clot in my thigh and ongoing pain that runs down my leg. I’ve been diagnosed with deep venous and superficial venous insufficiency. Although the venous valves in my groin and behind my knee are permanently damaged, allowing blood to flow in the wrong direction, I’m hoping to decrease the pain by determining if I’m a candidate for stents to unblock the veins.
5)  When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?   
I was able to return to running and biking short distances about 3 months after my clotting episode. It feels great to be back outside on the road, but I also feel like I have a long way to go to get back to running marathons and completing triathlons. As I returned to physical activity I quickly realized that my other hip was in pain, so in a few short days I am starting the process all over again by having surgery on my other hip to repair the labrum. I’m hopeful that the lessons I’ve learned about the signs of a blood clot (swelling, pain, and discoloration) and risk factors (hormonal birth control, hip surgery, and Factor V Leiden) over the past six months will make the second surgery go much smoother and be blood-clot free.
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...) 
I am a big fan of anything made by Lululemon because it is so darn comfortable.

7)  How much are you getting out doing your sport?  (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week) 
I am out on the road a few times a week running and have going to yoga about once a week. I find that any more frequent than that and the pain in my leg starts to creep back up.

8)   What is your favorite food?  Either generally or after a workout.  For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
My mom’s spaghetti is the best pre-race food and chocolate ice cream is a good reward.

9)  If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
I’m still a little nervous about travelling, so right now I am content exploring Boston and taking advantage of all the fun local events and activities.

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.
One doctor told me I would have to give up training and racing completely. My advice is to always get a second, third, or even a fourth opinion and surround yourself with supportive friends and family who you can turn to when you hit bumps on the road to recovery.
Lauren - MANY THANKS for your willingness to share your story with all of us.

Here is WISHING YOU ALL THE LUCK on your upcoming hip surgery to get you all evened out... For sure with the knowledge that you already have about blood clots and blood clotting disorder and all of your previous symptoms you can be on the lookout and be able to react.

The CLOT BUSTER community out there will be looking forward to hear from you and learn about the success of yoru surgery and that your recovery is on track and that soon enough you will be racing again and keep making those polka-dots look AMAZING!

Here is wishing everyone some more fun during the summer.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

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My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!