Spring is coming along...
Weather is warming up...
And we are less than a month away from the CAPITAL CITY HALF-MARATHON in which TEAM STOP THE CLOT will be participating as we attempt to create awareness against blood clots and blood clotting disorders via our #STOPTHECLOT polka-dots.
I am very excited that our team of SURVIVORS and FRIENDS/FAMILY of SURVIVORS is coming together. The red polka-dots will be running along the various available distances showing to all that we need to be aware of the deadly clots.
One of the participants on our team will be LYNSEY FUGATE who is coming all the way from Kansas City, MO to join us.
I can only hope to keep up with this speedy lady during 13.1 Miles of the event and I will have even less of a chance if her brother paces her... I will be glad to see Lynsey's #StopTheClot polka-dots from the back... I mean the way back!
Even after a year it is hard for me to believe the news of Lynsey being diagnosed with PE's... But I am thrilled to know that she has rebounded incredibly and ready to join us for this event. Please read on to learn more about Lynsey and her story of survival...
THANK YOU LYNSEY for your willingness to share your story!
What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
- I was a competitive swimmer since I was 7, but then after college, I got sucked into Triathlons. I always thought my two older brothers were crazy for doing an Ironman and thought I would NEVER EVER be crazy enough to do one of those. Well…I guess I am crazy because that is my favorite distance of triathlon. Not fun to train for sometimes, but I sure as heck can’t sprint (even though in triathlon an hour or more event is a sprint).
- I mostly enjoy participating in triathlon because it brings my family close and is something we can all relate to. I also enjoy it because it forces me to be in shape, to strive to be the best I can and to train hard every day. I feel that swimming and triathlon has shaped me for whom I am today competitively, professionally and personally.
- I wouldn’t be into Triathlon if it weren’t for my two older brothers, Bryan and Chris. They always excelled at what they did and I have always followed in their footsteps just trying to keep up. I feel that I have an advantage with having them in the sport in front of me because they can iron out all the kinks and I reap the benefits including how to train, when to rest, nutrition, what to do in off season etc. I would have NO IDEA what I was doing without them.
- I would have to say my most recent milestone would have to be finishing Ironman Arizona in November 2014. Although it was not my best race and not my first Ironman, it made me confident that I could get back into the gist of things after my PE in April 2014. I really wanted to be able to do Ironman Louisville 2014 with my brothers, but just didn’t have enough time to train (for MY body anyway), so that was disappointing.
- From the beginning: I had noticed I had been having some very quick heart palpitations as I would be training in 2013 and it would be off and on and didn’t bother me that much because it didn’t happen too often. I decided I would wait until after Ironman Arizona (2013) that November to get checked. Well, I was hard headed and didn’t worry about it and started training again for the next year. The palpitations started coming on more often and lasting longer. I then decided to go to the cardiologist.
- I went through a lot of testing and they finally figured out that I had what was called “SVT” which is short for Supraventricular Tachycardia. This is something that is quite common; however, I was told that most people don’t ever notice because they don’t get their heart rate high enough. Anyway, I had to have a cardiac ablation (basically cauterizing the extra electrodes I was born with so that my heart would beat normally). This is also a very common procedure and the cardiologist said that I could get back to training in one week! I did make sure he knew what “training” meant for me. Aka: Hard core pushing myself to the limit. He still told me everything would be ok. I was excited that it wasn’t that big of a deal.
- I went home the next morning with 6 pin hole incisions in the groin area with no issues (or so I thought). Two days later, I had a little soreness in my chest with breathing in deep. Didn’t think anything of it, just thought it was part of recovery. The next day it got worse and I was very short of breath with walking very short distances. One of my friends who is a nurse told me that she was worried it could be a PE. ME? No! Well? Maybe? I went to the ER the next day and they found a clot in my lungs. Thank God for her telling me!
- I was on Xarelto (blood thinner) for 3 months (I think…it has been a year now) and then got my blood re-tested and am off of it for good now. I would recommend having a primary care doctor to follow up with because I didn’t have one and I had to take control and follow up on my own with a hematologist. I was cleared to start working out “hard” again two weeks following my PE in April of 2014. I decided myself to only train on my trainer and not on my bike outside to reduce risk of a crash while on blood thinners. I thought I would get back to normal pretty quickly. Man was I mistaken. I was really tired and was short of breath pretty easily when I first got back into it. It took me a good six months to get back to where I could say I was prior to surgery. I actually lost my drive to even want to exercise and train which is 100% abnormal for me because I love competing. At this time, I didn’t think I would ever get back to where I was, I was pretty depressed, but kept with it and kept training hard. My brother Bryan was always my rock and would help me with training when I got worried about something. When I hit November, I was probably in the best shape I had ever been, but come race day, it just wasn’t my day. I think it was just a bad day with no rhyme or reason, everyone has those days and this was mine. At least I finished. I am now training for IMAZ again for 2015. Here we go!!
- Oh…what I failed to mention was that on my training journey since my blood clot, I have had random pains in my chest and feeling that I may have a blood clot again, but it always turned out to be nothing. I think this happens a lot with people with history of DVT or PE (at least I have read this).
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 don’t really have a favorite piece of gear, but it all has to be yellow on race day. I am obsessed, but at least my family can find me.
- I am just now getting back into training after my last Ironman, but when I am in training, it is 7 days a week with a rest day here and there.
What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
- I usually crave a cheeseburger after a good workout.
If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
- I would like to go to Italy because that is where my ancestors are from. Always wanted to go to Egypt… not anymore
What would like to say to someone who is going through a clotting episode, perhaps very similar to yours?
- I would say stick with your goals and don’t give up, especially on the days where you feel so tired and have pains. You will make it through. I always tell my patient’s that anything traumatic that happens to your body, it takes about a year to heal, so be patient. I know, easier said than done.
- Start out short and easy activity and gradually build up. It is helpful to wear a heart rate monitor or take your heart rate manually to make sure you aren’t going to hard. Stop when you think you are struggling, otherwise you will get burnt out. You will get it back; just look at all the other stories.
Looking forward to see Lynsey continue to overcome and improve on her performance from last year's IMAZ. Very inspiring to see what blood clot survivors are capable of regardless of the physical challenges.
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster