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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

September Athlete of the Month

Every year this is a challenging time for me...

Unfortunately the summer is ending and my hard earned tan lines will soon fade away...

But VERY EXCITED because it is the season in which Blood Clot Survivors and Family/Friends of Blood Clot Patients get to inspire us all by participating in our various fundraising marathons... 

That is right VARIOUS...! 

TEAM STOPTHECLOT fundraising has expanded from the New York City Marathon to now also include the MARINE CORPS MARATHON.  This is an Outstanding job by the fine folks at The National Blood Clot Alliance! I am so proud of what they have been able to accomplish.

Look Out! The STOPTHECLOT polka-dots could be running along side you...

Without a doubt you will get to see this fine individual at the Marine Corps Marathon coming up in October.  Straight out of from her fundraising page (which you can access in the link below...) please read on to find a truly inspiring personal account of overcoming the surprise and challenges of coming doing with a blood clotting incident... Never Ever stop advocating or yourself... It could save your life!

"My name is Nancy and I'm a blood clot survivor.

In April of 2014 I joyfully learned I was pregnant with my 3rd child, after tragically loosing my daughter at birth that previous August. At the time I learned I was pregnant, I was training for a half marathon. The Dr's approved my continuing to run and in May I ran with a nagging calf pain. About a week after the half marathon, I visited my Dr to have my calf looked at, as it had not improved. My Dr asked me the basic questions I had been asked every single time I had gone in with a running injury- did I or my family have a history of blood clots? Had I travelled over 8 hours in the last two days? Satisfied with my "nos" my PCM declared it was just a sprain and to RICE. (Rest, ice, compression, elevation.) I followed his orders to a T, wearing compression socks and enjoying the break from running.

Two weeks later my calf was still not getting better. It was still a "nagging" pain that didn't ever seem to go away. My anxiety got the best of me, and I began to "DR GOOGLE" my symptoms. Every symptom I had pointed to a DVT, or a blood clot. I found and read story after story of people my age without a family history with similar symptoms being diagnosed. Armed with this information, I went back to my Dr. and insisted on an ultrasound. The Dr called me paranoid to my face, telling me I was over-reacting and my grief from my child-loss was getting the best of me. Still, he relented and ordered an ultrasound.

The first ultrasound was negative. I went home and rested. One week later, the pain still hadn't gone away. I went back in and they ordered another ultrasound. Again it was negative. (More "paranoia" the Dr told me.) They prescribed me Ativan to "help the baby" Another week later, the pain was still there and I was getting "hot spots".  The third ultrasound was negative. My PCM, OB both told me to have a glass of wine and drink more water. The stories from stayed in my head. I asked the Dr's if it was possible for an ultrasound to miss a clot. "But you have nice veins" one ultrasound tech told me. "It was very VERY rare to miss one," they assured me.

The fourth ultrasound- Friday- this one was different. The tech stayed on one spot for a very long time. A supervisor was called in to double check, and assured me it was nothing.
Sunday- the pain was so bad I was in tears. I decided to go back to urgent care. The DR on call looked at my history and shrugged his shoulders "Why not?" I remember him saying as he ordered the ultrasound.  

The fifth ultrasound- the clot was found. I cried openly I was told- vindicated that my gut was right, and scared.  I immediately was put on lovenox for treatment. Drs were in such shock that a clot was found (and missed 4 times) that it was reviewed FOUR times within 24 hours by different Drs.

My new hematologist found a genetic mutation- MTHFR that (along with pregnancy and the calf sprain) amounted to the DVT.  I safely navigated the rest of my pregnancy and gave birth to a health baby boy in December of 2014.

The road forward has not been easy since my DVT. Diagnosed with post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) my calf will "ache" without rhyme or reason. My vein where the DVT was, is now damaged, perhaps permanently. The distance running that makes my soul soar is now hard to obtain. I have had many, many, false starts back into running- each time being sidelined by PTS and calf pain that lasts weeks.

I refuse to give up on what I love simply because of my DVT. I am finding ways to run distance- incorporating massage therapy, weight-training, and always, ALWAYS- wearing compression socks. My calf aches daily. Yet, I will not quit.

I am honored to be running the MCM for the organization that helped save my life. Without the stories on, I probably wouldn't have pushed as hard for repeated ultrasounds. Regardless what is thrown at me during this training, I will not stop. If I get truly injured, I will find another way to continue to train."

Without a doubt Nancy is Tenacious and she is navigating this journey with the best attitude possible. She will not let blood clots stop her... not even slow her down.

Looking at an update from Nancy's Fundraising Page she is going the distance getting up to 18Miles with about 7 weeks to go before the race.  Her confidence is soaring as she is working on her come back!

I can't wait to see her conquering the 26.2Miles in her STOPTHECLOT polka-dots!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

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My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!