Get YOUR very own CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots

The "CLOT BUSTERs RACING to STOP THE CLOT" RUNNING SHIRT + TRIATHLON TOP + CYCLING JERSEY + PERFORMANCE TRUCKER HAT & PERFORMANCE VISOR!!!

PLEASE HELP US CELEBRATE CLOT SURVIVORS and spread awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.
If you are a CLOT SURVIVOR you need polka-dots to inspire others and CELEBRATE that you are Survivor.
If you are a FAMILY MEMBER or FRIEND of a blood clot survivor you need polka-dots to spread the word, create awareness and CELEBRATE your Survivor's Accomplishments!
(If you don't see the size you need we can make special arrangements so just ask @ CLOTBUSTERPOLKADOTS@gmail.com)

CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot PERFORMANCE TRUCKER HAT

Option

CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot PERFORMANCE VISOR

OPTION

CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot PERFORMANCE RUNNING SHIRT

CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot RUNNING SHIRT Options

Follow the CLOT BUSTER on Twitter @CLOTBUSTER


Tuesday, October 02, 2018

October Athlete of the Month


As the months continue to pass us by I am more and more inspired to post about all of these personal experiences that can make a difference for individuals facing the challenges of their own blood clotting episodes.

10 years and counting... Not planning on stopping any time soon... and I hope that you don't plan on stop reading either...

From September's Athlete of the Month Thomas we will get to learn about another THOMAS with a unique story and willingness to overcome the challenges of blood clots to the point in which he is about to take on an even bigger challenge in the coming weeks.  Read on to find out what this challenge is and about his story of survival... 


*** What is you sport/activity of choice?
So my activity of choice used to be running! It was how I started in endurance sports. Today I would have say cycling, because of the lower stress impact, I can do it longer without feeling as sore afterwards.

*** How did you get started in that sport? 
I started running because a friend and neighbor began running up & down the street in 2012. I remembered running when I was in high school, but knew I couldn't run a single mile now if my life depended on it!  I was overweight, had a horrible diet of junk food, etc.  I am a local truck driver, and did nothing but sit and drive all day, and sit around the house.  I kept buying bigger clothes.  Finally joined a local gym & started running. (many, many setbacks along the way),

*** What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
Fast forward 6 years, and I'm currently only 6 weeks away from competing in my 1st full Ironman triathlon! 140.6 miles. I never would of believed I would be where I am just a few years ago! Crazy!

*** Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission? 
Earlier this year in April I began having a pain in my side when I would lie down at night. Figuring it would go away, I ignored it for a few days. It was keeping me up most the night, so I finally went to Urgent Care. They didn't open till 8am, so I did a 90 minute cycling ride on my trainer at home before I went!  Urgent Care took x-rays, and told me I had pneumonia because there was fluid in my lungs! I thought this was odd, and I told the Dr about my workouts, and that I wasn't sick. I explained that I had planned on doing a long run later that day.  She left the room & came back and told me that she insisted I go to the emergency room and get further testing because something was wrong.  Reluctantly I agreed, still thinking it was nothing. I did feel tired a lot lately, and my run workouts weren't very good. A few days earlier I had went to the park to run & ended up taking a nap in my car first. Then I only ran half of what I planned, but figured I was just having a bad training day.  So at the hospital, they run some tests and body scans. They came back with the results of multiple pulmonary embolism in both lungs! I was being admitted.  I really had no idea, and I never felt sick! Thinking back, I did have a swollen vein in my leg that was a little uncomfortable.  I have vericose veins too, so I didn't think much of it.  They kept me for a couple days for observation & testing. They couldn't find any more existing clots. They prescribed blood thinners (Eliquis) and said I wasn't under any restrictions, just to be careful while taking the blood thinners.

*** When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time? 
I started back into exercise after I got home from the hospital. Really I was lucky I guess. Because I didn't have any existing clots. My biggest concern was crashing on the bike, taking the blood thinners. 


*** What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity?
Favorite piece of gear would have to be my tri bike! I just bought a new Trek Speed Concept. It was April and outdoor riding season was just beginning!

*** How much are you getting out doing your sport?
Right now I'm training about 15 hours a week because of the upcoming Ironman. Normally I get around 10 hours a week. I don't have time for much more than that with my job and family. I bike 3 days a week, run 3 days a week and swim 2 days a week. 

*** What is your favorite food?
I eat a lot of salads! I make them lots of different ways and have gotten really good at making them. I really enjoy them! I put things like chicken, fruit, nuts, eggs, seeds in them along with variety of veggies. I eat a lot of Salmon & Chicken and I love dark chocolate.
My vices are pretzels and animal crackers! My kids laugh at me because I am always snacking on animal crackers.

*** If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
I've never been out West. I would love to take a trip to Colorado sometime and visit some of the National Parks.

*** 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? 
It turns out that my doctor told me I would have to stay on blood thinners for life because I carry a genetic gene that makes me more likely to get clots. It doesn't matter how fit you are, it depends how "sticky" your blood is. How likely your blood will form a clot.  So it doesn't really matter how fit you are, blood clots can affect anyone. Actually in my case, the Dr said that my fitness contributed to them!  Because I would run in the morning then get to work and sit all day, the blood in my legs wasn't getting circulation. Also, because of my fitness, I have a low resting heart rate and low blood pressure.  This is bad for blood clot disorder because my heart is pumping less volume. That means blood isn't circulating as fast, and it is even more likely to clot. 
Awareness is key! Now I wear compression sleeves at work and I'm always aware to keep my legs moving every little bit. 
The way I understand it is that blood will move through the veins. Blood can sometimes stick to the wall of the vein. More blood comes along and sticks, then you get that snowball effect. The blood thinners help to keep the blood thinner and less likely to stick to the wall of the vein or artery. 
Circulation is important! 
The real problem is when that clot breaks loose. I was lucky and it didn't travel to my brain. That's very dangerous! 
Preventing new clots from forming is obviously very important. It can be done with awareness and medicine. 
It shouldn't limit you to do what you can do. Doctors advised me that road cycling is dangerous because of the blood thinners, and I now wear an ID bracelet stating that I'm on Eliquis. I haven't let that stop me from pursuing my goals and what I enjoy!

Many thanks again Thomas for your willingness to share your story with all of us.

BEST OF LUCK in your upcoming Ironman race.  That sure is a challenge that you will overcome just like you did with your blood clotting episode.  I have never been able to do one but I hope to hear of your success coming up soon.  Make sure you get to take your CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots to celebrate that YOU CAN!

Never Stop going forward and pushing those limits to the best of your abilities.

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, September 06, 2018

September Athlete of the Month

Holding on to summer just a little bit longer.

I can't believe that we are in September.

The second set of hopefully 10 years of this blog are starting off in great form.  

There is never a shortage of inspiring stories out there from Blood Clot Survivors to keep us going with inspiration and desire to overcome all of our current challenges.

It is truly a pleasure to read stories from individuals from all walks of life and from every where in the world.  It is amazing to see that blood clot survivor experiences can span everywhere.  

This time around we are going to meet a NYC native in THOMAS who is doing everything that he can to live everyday to the fullest while he is aware of his body in order to overcome possible blood clots.

Read to learn about truly a picture of consistency... You will see what I mean as you read on...

*** What is you sport/activity of choice?
My favorite sports is running, i've been running for most of my life, since I was about 12.  I love running to continually test myself, for the unique camaraderie that runners at every level have, for the ability to see parts of the world from a runner's perspective.  I also coach a Brooklyn, NY Based club, The Grand Army Pacers.

*** How did you get started in that sport? 
When I was younger, I was very competitive and loved to race kids in my neighborhood.  That grew into Middle School and High School Track and Cross Country, college and then post collegiate when I began to run 1/2 marathons and finally a marathon that I ran in 2:54.  I also began to compete in cycling races and duathlons.

*** What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
Each year I try to run at least 1,000 miles.  Consistency is critical to improving performance..  I also plan to run until I'm 100 or more.


*** Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission? 
I first noticed symptoms back in October 2017.  I had just returned from two trips in a week, One on a plane and the other a 9 hour round trip drive in 1 day.  The next night as I was warming up for interval sessions, I found myself unable to breathe while running very slowly. So I stopped.  That eventually subsided over the next few weeks, but I began to have the same symptoms in early December, so I decided to take it slow for the holidays.  Two days after Christmas I went for a run and could only make it 2 minutes before stopping for several minutes to catch my breath.  I made it 2 miles.  I had to go into NYC for a meeting and took the subway.  I couldn't make it up the steps without stopping and my heart rate through the roof.  For the next couple of hours my heart rate was elevated (RHR in the 80s vs 45-50 normal).  When I returned home I knew I had to go see a Doctor and my wife pushed me to go even though it was 7pm (Thank God she did), so I ended up in the ER.
After lots of tests, including a CT Scan with contrast, I was diagnosed with 2 blood clots in each lung.  After 2 days of treatment in the hospital including blood thinners, the clots dissolved and I was released.  I was put on Xarelto for 4 months, told to wear compression socks and watch my travel, especially driving long distances. 
I am now off blood thinners but take a baby aspirin every day.  I also became involved in fundraising through the National Blood Clot Alliance who put in a walk in the memory of Michael Scott, that went across the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was an eye opener to see how so many people are affected by undiagnosed blood clots.

*** When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time? 
I began running again in late January, and immediately noticed that I could breathe normally again. That was great!  I did feel sluggish though, the doctors told me that was due to getting used to the blood thinners.  Mentally, I have been able to get past the thought that I would get another blood clot, but it took months.

*** What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity?
My favorite gear are my ASICS running shoes.  I get 2 pair at a time so that they "rest" between runs.  I don;t have any polka dot gear yet, but I will soon!!

*** How much are you getting out doing your sport?
I'm back up to running 5-6 days a week, about 25 miles per week.  I need to get back to cycling as well.

*** What is your favorite food?
My absolute favorite post workout food is Chocolate Milk.  Nothing better.  At Prospect Park, where I train, there is a Saturday Farmers Market with the best chocolate milk.

*** If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
I've been lucky to travel extensively around the world, but would love to run more races in different parts of the U.S.  That's always a great way to connect with people in different parts of the country and get their perspective on all things local.

*** 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? 
To anyone who is unfortunate to go through a clotting episode, my advice is to follow what your doctors tell you to do.  Once you get cleared to return to activity, you have to have the idea that you are basically starting over.  So do not compare your activity or performances to what you did prior to your clotting episode.  Set new goals for yourself and look at post clotting PRs!  That could be anything from running a mile, to completing a marathon.  Once you are back, do not forget to make appointments with doctors, try to live healthier, but most of all enjoy the fact that you are a survivor and can help others who are in the same position you were.

Can you believe that Thomas can throw down over 1000 miles every year?  That is simply amazing.

For sure we will need to get him to do some of those miles in the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots.

Anything is possible for those who believe.  In the case of Thomas he believes that he can do anything and hopefully run all over the country as he wishes to do.  Here is hoping that he never stops going forward just like all of us have to do everyday!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, August 09, 2018

August Athlete of the Month

Who doesn't like the heat of summer? 

These are the days in which I want to do nothing else but to be outside playing... 

There is so much more to do than just sitting in an office.  

Therefore don't mind me if I am never available for lunch during the summer months... I need the fresh air for sure.  Breakfast meetings can be a nice alternate option... Not sure how this will fly but you never know until you try...

Speaking of trying.

How about trying to overcome the challenges caused by blood clots? 

How about trynig return to do the sport or sports you enjoy after surviving your blood clotting incident? 

How about trying to spread awareaness and celebrating that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING with the help of the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots for added inspiiration? 

Well our August Athlete of the Month SAM certainly IS TRYING TO OVERCOME.

Read on to find out more about her story...

"In Nov 2016, I had very unexpected Pulmonary Embolism at age 27. I spent 4 days in the hospital and couldn't work for two weeks. Breathing was a nightmare, and my doctors told me to expect shortness of breath and fatigue for 6 months to a year. This was confirmed by the many many personal stories I read from survivors. I was crushed and completely heartbroken. I felt like my world was caving in on me. I pride myself in being able to push my body to new limits and I was now facing up to a year of dealing with the side effects of this. I had very little hope and there were some seriously bad days. I wanted to just give up.

Just before the new year of 2017 (under doctor supervision), I started some light cardio on a recumbent bike and it felt okay. I slowly progressed to some very slow jogging on the treadmill. My back was still iffy (I ruptured a lumbar disc in August 2017 which brought my previous marathon training to a screeching halt) so my doctor wanted me to stay off the concrete for awhile. January 1 of 2017 I ran a grudgingly slow 2 miles on the treadmill. My lungs had a hard time keeping up, but really it wasn't so bad. The next day I ran 1.5 miles. I physically couldn't make it to two. I felt like a broken shell of who I was.  But I still kept at it. My doctor told me to keep a close eye on my heart and lungs, but they got stronger every day. After 8 weeks, I barely felt any adverse effects. I kept at it. A friend suggested I set a goal for the year to keep me motivated and we decided we each wanted to run 1000 miles in 2017. We kept going, and things got easier. It wasn't long until I was running 4 to 5 miles at a time. Running gave me purpose again. I started to feel like myself for the first time in a really long time. We ran a few races and I told myself if I still felt good come June, I'd try marathon training again. After everything I had been through, it seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream.

Until the day it wasn't. I seriously busted my ass. I stuck to the program (Hanson's Marathon Method), and I made it work. Between the stupid hot/humid weather we had that summer, and working pretty long hours at times, I still can't believe I got it done. I passed my 1000 mile mark in mid August and I couldn't believe it. I even PR'ed my 5k during training - something I had definitely resigned being able to do that year.  Some runs sucked, some weren't too bad. I still enjoyed every minute. I was so excited that I got to share my story, a story that might give others hope if they end up in a situation like mine. I know reading something like this could have been a game changer for me 18 months ago.

I ran my first marathon on October 7, 2017. Less than a year post-PE.  I was told I could feel like hell for up to a year following the PE, but in less than that time I trained for and ran a MARATHON. I think back to that day where I couldn't even make it to two miles, it didn'teveb seem real. I may have had some setbacks and devastation along the way, but this journey has been nothing short of incredible.
I ran the Sleeping Bear Dunes Marathon in northern Michigan (with some seriously tough hills!) with a finishing time of 3:45:41.


Unfortunately I had some back issues over the winter again so my running was slow the first few months of this year, but I am back at it strong now and although I don't feel totally ready for a another full, I'm excited to run the Detroit International Half this October and fundraise in the process!

I look forward to supporting Team Stop the Clot! It's great to see so many strong survivors :)"

THANK YOU Sam for your willingness to share you story.

THANK YOU for your willingness help STOPTHECLOT.org with your fundraising efforts.  You are making a difference not only with the fundraising aspect but also the inspiration aspect of the equation.

I can't wait to see your success during your upcomig half-marathon.

Never Stop!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, July 16, 2018

July Athlete of the Month

Here is to the start of the next 10 years of blogging about Blood Clot Survivors and their respective Inspiring stories of overcoming the challenges of their blood clotting incidents.

Every story is different.

Every story is unique.

Every story is full of Inspiration, Dedication, and Desire to return to normal.

Every story keeps me going to wear the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots whenever possible so that we continue to CREATE AWARENESS and also CELEBRATE ALL BLOOD CLOT SURVIVORS!

THANK YOU to Blood Clot Survivor MICHAEL for his willingness to share his story as he continues to break down the barriers of the challenges the blood clotting incident has caused for him.  Read on to learn about this story and how he is overcoming...


*** What is you sport/activity of choice? 
Cycling, Running, and Swimming! Why do you enjoy it? I love ENDURANCE sporting activities!


*** How did you get started in that sport? 
Initially Mountain Biking, then after my clotting episode and subsequent diagnosis I transitioned to Gravel/Road Cycling, Running, and Swimming.

*** What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
Tulsa Tough Gran Fondo 102.7 miles - May 2018, Topeka Tinman Olympic Triathlon - June 2017, and Ouachita Switchbacks 25K Trail Run - January 2016 & 2018 Ouachita Switchbacks is Oklahoma's toughest trail run & technically it is 17.4 miles and has over 3,700 feet of elevation gain! My goal before the end of 2018 is a 50K Trail Run! (If I can find the time to fit the training mileage in)


*** Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission? 
My clot story is pretty weird and occurred two weeks after my 40th Birthday. I developed unprovoked DVT and PE in late December of 2014. I thought I developed a muscle cramp after an easy 4 mile run. The cramp persisted in my left calf for 8 to 10 days and wouldn’t go away. At the time, I was working in cardiology office. I requested one of my coworkers to ultrasound my left calf and tell me I don’t have a DVT. She replied, “you’re too active and healthy to have a blood clot!”  She scanned my left calf and to her surprise, I had a clot in my left calf. After additional blood tests, X-rays, CT scan, etc. I was diagnosed with bilateral DVT and bilateral PE.

My hematologist diagnosed me with prothrombin 20210 heterozygous A. I’ve been on an anticoagulant (Eliquis) for three years. Initially, my hematologist informed me no more cycling. I replied back, “you mean no more mountain biking?” He replied back no more cycling. This was extremely devastating news to me. Even more devastating than the initial diagnosis!  After much thought, prayer, and talking with my wife we decided that yes I should give up mountain biking, but I would continue to ride my road bike and gravel bike once it was safe for me to resume activities.  I was encouraged not to run for at least two months, but got back on the bike after about two months or so and it felt great!  I’ve been actively running, cycling and occasionally swimming since my diagnosis, but with a greater level of awareness. I continue to enjoy what I do even with my diagnosis. I now even ride with my hematologist; who has also become a good friend of mine as well as a great cycling and running partner.
*** When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time? 
My cardiologist and hematologist encouraged me to lay off(running) for at least three months, but I resumed cycling after two and a half months. I WAS SO READY TO GET BACK! IT FELT GREAT!!!

*** What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? 
I love my "new to me"2016 Specialized Venge Pro paired with my Clot Buster Cycling Jersey!

*** How much are you getting out doing your sport?
I attempt to ride three days a week, run three days a week and swim two days a week! I know that 3 + 3 + 2 = 8, but I double up on some days!!!

*** What is your favorite food? 
We have the best little restaurant called "Frank and Lola's" here in Bartlesville and everything there is my favorite! I especially enjoy the weekend dinner specials, or any of the amazing homemade soups!

*** If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
Definitely would be a summer vacation to Colorado with my family to hike and explore!



*** 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? 
I would encourage them to hang in there and to not get too discouraged.  Being diagnosed or labeled with a clotting disorder can be very scary initially, but the good news is that we now have some great medications to control the disorder with very minimal side effects.  Develop a good relationship with your physician, become aware of the signs and symptoms, and get out there! Enjoy the ride!!!

Someday I hope to be able to take my CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots riding with Michael and keep up as best as I can.  After the ride for sure a trip to "Frank and Lola's" where I will gladly pay for holding him back...

No question that blood clots will be slowing down this blood clot survivor which is inspiring to all of us!

Thank you for reading!

The Clot Buster

Monday, June 25, 2018

10 Years of CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dot Evolution

As the CLOT BUSTER Athlete of the Month posts evolved over the years so did the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots.

Here is a look back at the evolution.  It is pretty cool to look back and see...Enjoy !

















Monday, June 04, 2018

June Athlete of the Month

10 Years of posting personal accounts of Blood Clot Survivors... 

Not my words but theirs...

Not my feelings but theirs...

Not my experinces but theirs...

Our collective INSPIRATION to OVERCOME!

This has been a wonderful journey for me.  Getting to meet all of these amazing individuals.  Most of the only virtually but making a connection because their stories resonate with me.  I hope that they resonate with you as well.

Here is hoping that I can continue doing it as long as it helps people in their blood clot survivial journey.

But above all THANK YOU TO ALL who for the last 10 years have been willing to share their story.  You guys are the ones making the difference for others who are in need of a lift.

Speaking of a lift.  This month's CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot Athlete of the Month has a one of a kind experience and story that you don't want to miss.

Please allow me to introduce to you ANGELA who very graciously agreed to share her story with all of us.  You are not going to find a more dedicated person than her... So buckle up and enjoy the ride...!  

What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it? 
I’m a runner, short distances for racing, longer for fun. I love the freedom of running, I can do it anywhere, out on the trails no matter the weather. I can let my mind wander and enjoy the beauty surrounding me. I sometimes ski, bike, play tennis, do a bit of yoga, swim but I always run.



How did you get started in that sport? 
I ran as a child, we’d have races around the block. I could beat the boys, I loved how it felt to accelerate at the end. I stopped in secondary and started again in graduate school.

What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did).
My latest race was a 5 x 10K relay, it’s an annual race I do with friends. It was the same race I was running four years ago when I couldn’t breathe. On the milestone list,  I ran the Dublin City Marathon with my son in 2016 and I hope to run another in 2019 with my son and daughter somewhere exotic, maybe New Zealand.

Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission? 
I was in great shape, training for a 10K relay.  Six weeks before, I was working in Seoul, Korea. The day I headed back to the US, I went for a fabulous 10-mile run to explore the city, taking photos of the fish market and other sights. Then I flew to Detroit and on to Denver. I had a glass or two of wine on the plane and slept most of the way (don’t do that…). The next morning, I went skiing at Winter Park. I may have fallen skiing moguls, I may have hit myself with the ski pole, I don’t know. I ran every day in Denver then I flew home to Madison, WI. Fast forward 6 weeks to my weekly speedwork with Movin’ Shoes Track Club running 1000M repeats. After the second 1000M, I had a severe coughing attack, I couldn’t stop. I now realize my lungs were trying to clear something. I rested until race day on Saturday.  I ran the first leg of the relay. On the first hill, I couldn’t breathe. I stopped, caught my breath, told myself to ease up, I always go out too fast.  I kept starting and stopping. I was passed by people who wouldn’t normally pass me. As I didn’t want to disappoint my team, I asked the volunteer at Mile 2 to call the start. I had my team mate Cliff come out the reverse direction to get my baton as I was ruining our time (I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me other than a bad race). I walked up the next hill, the hill I normally do speed work on. Cliff met me at the Mile 4 and finished my race. A friend drove me back to the start. I made excuses and left to go to a 5K Cancer Society race with my good friend who’s a cancer survivor. I couldn’t get out of the car but eventually I did and I walked the course. I was really dragging up the hills. I figured I had a cold. On Monday, I went to the Nurse at work looking for an excuse why I was so slow. She asked me could it be I was just getting older. I tried to explain I couldn’t breathe, my blood was 96% oxygenated (okay). We agreed it might be asthma related to a cold.   That week, I kept trying to run and every time I couldn’t breathe. I did singles tennis drills the next Saturday and was leaning on the wall between points completely winded bemoaning how bad my season was going to be if I was this out of shape. On Easter Sunday, convinced I had asthma I used my husband’s inhaler then met my running friends for our long run. Even running downhill, I couldn’t breathe so I let them go on and stayed out on the trails walking and running for an hour. I finally realized there was something wrong, I was fairly sure I must be having a heart attack (family history) but I was still in denial. I thought about going to urgent care but it was Easter and we had plans. I waited until Monday to see the Nurse. She sent me to the emergency room, they did an EKG and D-dimer blood tests. The D-Dimer was high so they sent me for a lung CAT scan.  My lungs were 60% blocked with bilateral Pulmonary Emboli (high clot burden). They gave me a Lovenox injection and sent me to a cardiac unit overnight. I immediately felt better and was walking around the cardiac unit that evening. They found my primary clot in my Iliac vein the next morning. I was released on Xarelto.

When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?   
I went for a 4 mile walk with my husband the day I was released. I felt great. The Lovenox helped let me breathe. I wasn’t supposed to run for a few weeks. I celebrated my first run with my running group, I felt great.  My struggle was with speed work, I didn’t want to be out of breath, no pushing. I came off Xarelto after 6 months. Anytime I had a coughing attack, I struggled mentally. Any time I was out of breath, I worried. I’d had a lot of trouble running in the cold and I’d cough a lot, basically the only symptoms I’d had before. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with asthma, I believe it was related to the PEs. I take Advair now and it helps a lot.

What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? 
Whatever is clean and weather appropriate.

How much are you getting out doing your sport?  (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week) 
I run 4-5 times a week and play tennis a few times. I travel a lot so running is easiest for me.

What is your favorite food?  Either generally or after a workout/race
I daydream of ice-cream on my runs.

If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
My favorite place to run is a trail around Howth Head, north of Dublin, Ireland. There’s a spectacular view of the city. When the weather is good, it’s tropical. It’s a few miles from where I grew up and I run it every time I’m home. Dublin and its surroundings has beautiful runs including the Wicklow Way.
I travel every month, I wear compression tights, get an aisle seat and make sure to walk around every hour. I hydrate, take salt tablets and aspirin to minimize the possibility of another clot.

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.
 If something feels wrong, pay attention to it. If you can’t breathe, take it seriously, go to the ER. Don’t be embarrassed. To get back, walk then walk-run. I used a heart rate monitor to understand what was going on. Talk with other survivors, I found the Facebook group “Running after a Pulmonary Embolism” very helpful. I collaborated with my Hematologist about my treatment. I had multiple D-Dimer tests after I came off Xarelto, they were frequently very high and always false positives. I stopped having the test. I struggled a lot mentally when I had coughing attacks and subsequent trouble breathing during runs. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with asthma, the symptoms mirror though were far less severe than when I had PEs. The uncertainty was the hardest part. With the Advair for my asthma, I breathe well.
I fly every other week and am meticulous about minimizing my risk. I try to build awareness of the risk even on relatively short flights (3 hours).

PLEASE PLEASE take me to your favortie trail in Ireland... I am going to need a personal tour as long as you give me the chance to stay with you and you take it easy on me.

Simple amazng to see Angela being able to battle the fears and overcome to continue living the life of travel that her work demands.  I truly admier this resolve and determination.

Looking forward to see where else this lady will be running and I will just day dream about keeping up with her...

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, June 01, 2018

IT IS TIME TO CELEBRATE 10 YEARS of Blogging...!

Since June of 2008 I've had the honor and privilege to be doing this blog.

For 120 Months I have have been very fortunate to find people who have been willing to share their story of survival on their own words as I provided the conduit.

Just about 120 Inspiring Personal Accounts of overcvoming the challenges of blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

Just about 120 Personal Stories that have been able to make me cry, laugh, and be determined to keep on going.

Just about 120 Personal Stories that I believe are making a difference for people facing or just findining out that they will have to face the challenges of overcoming their very own blood clotting incidents.  There is hope that you can return to do whatever is you enjoy doing.  

Never I would have imagined that I would be to keep this going for 10 years.  Here is looking forward to 10 more...!

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU! 

THANK YOU to all those who have been willing to allow me to bother you so that you can share your story.  You made this happen to help others!  You are making this possible each and every month.


So... LET'S CELEBRATE!!!

As this blog has continued to develop and grow so have the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots...It is incredible to see the places the polka-dots are going taken by Clot Survivors themselves.  

Every Friday in June (Starting on 06/08) get ready to participate on the Celebration Give Away Packages that will be available for you to win.

This Celebration Give Away Packages will include some CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dot gear, ProCompression Sock Goodies (www.procompression.com), DeSoto Sports Goodies (www.desotosports.com), and some additional surprises that you will not want to miss!  I will do my best to post a preview of the upcoming Give Away Package through my twitter feed at @CLOTBUSTER stay tuned!!!

In order to participate all you need to do is send me an email to clotbusterpolkadots@gmail.com before noon of the Friday in which we will make the drawing.  *** PLEASE NOTE - Your email address will not be shared on any capacity with anyone at anytime.*** 

Thank you to my friends at ProCompression and DeSoto Sports for their support.  

Thank you to all who have helped make this blog a success.

DON'T MISS YOU CHANCE TO WIN SOME SWEET GIVE AWAY PACKAGES and Help Me Celebrate 10 Years of Blogging!

Thank you for Reading,

The Clot Buster

My 60th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 60th Triathlon Finish !!!
First Time ever My Son got to cross the finish line with me. Without a doubt a Wonderful Experience