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Friday, March 04, 2016

March Athlete of the Month

March Athlete of the Month...

March "Athlete" of the Month...


What is the definition of "Athlete"?

Honestly I don't know... But for the purpose of this humble blog to me an "Athlete" is anyone willing to put one foot in front of the other and willing to overcome the challenges of a blood clotting episode.  In my eyes you don't have to be a World Class Talent to be considered an Athlete.  Although I have featured plenty of world class athletes on this blog who have suffered or are suffering from blood clots...

Regardless of the talent level being able to read an account that resonates with you can be very powerful because in the end all Blood Clot Survivors essentially go through the very same steps... Pain, discomfort, fear, miss-diagnosis, diagnosis, shock, surprise, disbelief, relief, and hope.  Being able to relate and get inspired is certainly very powerful so that any individual can get on the road to overcome and continue "get busy living...".

I am very THANKFUL and FORTUNATE to have the opportunity to look around and find the various individuals and their stories that I've been able to share throughout this blog.  To me every story is inspiring regardless of the level of talent on when you started in your sport.

All that being said I am writing once more to share another personal account that surely will inspire you to find that spark you need to get going with your own path towards overcoming your blood clotting episode.

Please allow me to introduce to you Mr. JIM BROCK from Lompoc, CA with his personal account of his blood clotting incident and his road to overcome this challenge...PLEASE READ ON

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
Distance running. To me it is meditative -I especially enjoy trail running and seeing plants and animals. I have been fortunate to see all kinds of plants and animals on trial runs.

2) How did you get started in that sport?
I got started in running late in life. When I turned 50, my Doctor was concerned about my cholesterol levels and told me that I needed to lose weight – diet and exercise! At the time I was not getting much exercise. I had heard about weekend running training at a nearby State park and joined in. The weekly training started out at a couple of miles, gradually increasing until the annual half-marathon. The volunteer Coach (now our town mayor) was excellent and has helped many people learn to run or walk a half marathon. He was very patient, encouraging and understanding.

3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did).
My last half marathon was in September. I hope to complete the ‘next’ half marathon. I have an injury that has prevented training lately.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
On Thanksgiving 2013, I completed a six mile run at my favorite trail running location – La Purisima State Historic Park. I noticed an ache in my lower left back area. I thought that I must have pulled a muscle or something. I continued with my day but the pain increased with a little shortness of breath. That night I tossed and turned and could not get to sleep due to the pain. I ended up driving myself to the local ER. They were busy. After a while I spoke with the ER doctor and he suggested that it was perhaps a kidney stone – that I should go home and rest and follow up with my family doctor. I went home and the pain and shortness of breath continued. That second night, the pain increased to the point that I could not stand it – so I drove myself back to the ER. A different doctor ordered a CT scan and saw that there was cloudiness in my lungs – he diagnosed it as pneumonia, prescribed anti-biotics and rest. I was sent home. The pain and discomfort continued throughout the weekend. On Monday, I went to urgent care. A doctor there did a number of blood tests and took a chest x-ray. She found a thoracic compression fracture and prescribed pain meds.

The following day (sixth day) I was getting worse and drove myself to my primary care physician. He looked at the tests done so far and immediately ordered a Chest CT scan with contrast for possible PE. The CT scan showed multiple pulmonary emboli throughout both lungs. I was admitted to the hospital. No DVT was found. After several days in the hospital, I returned home – and told that I should discontinue running (at that point I was unable to run!). I was in great health running every weekend and half-marathons sometimes monthly.

After lots of tests, I was diagnosed with Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. I am on blood thinners now and will be for life. I am very grateful to have survived and recovered!

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
I was not able to run for about three months. At first I was afraid when I felt a pain, but gradually, I was able to get back to running every weekend and entering races. My speed was much slower, but I was happy to get back out there!

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 do have my Clot Buster Running Polka-Dot shirt!  

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Every day you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
Right now it I am recovering from and injury, but I hope to get back to weekend running. I also prefer a training run mid-week.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout.
I love to eat – when I am running regularly, I can pretty much eat what I want. After a weekend run, I often have French toast or a pancake afterwards.

9) If you could go someplace to visit and explore, where would like to go?
There are so many places! I have been fortunate to visit a few foreign countries and enjoy travel and learning about other cultures. I would like to see the Pyramids in Egypt.

I have been surrounded by great friends and family that have encouraged and supported me throughout my recovery. I have been fortunate to be able to participate in over twenty half-marathons – including the Medio Maraton in Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

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.
A few things – it gets better and take one step at a time. Listen to your body!
A favorite phrase is: Life is a marathon. Find a good pace, then challenge yourself to do a little more…
Share your story to help educate folks about clots and the warning signs. Be a clot buster!
Mr. Jim - THANK YOU a million times over for sharing these answers with all of us.

Scary to read about the miss-diagnosis time and time again... With such a fine line on the potential outcome of having PE's every day that those go undiagnosed most be terrifying knowing after the fact.

Here is hoping that you heal from your injury very soon so that you can get back on those half-marathons and finding all that wildlife that is rounding up and allowing for your meditation time!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

1 comment:

Alex Neil said...

I appreciate your information on the Blood clot. I wrote about this, too, recently. More specifically about the causes and cure to Blood clot.

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!