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Friday, May 04, 2018

May Athlete of the Month

Do you believe? 

Do you believe that anything is possible? 

Do you believe that anything is possible for survivors? 

Do you believe that anything is possible for BLOOD CLOT SURVIVORS? 

Well... after almost 10 years of blogging about what Blood Clot Survivors CAN and ARE achieving I would say that this blog and STOPTHECLOT.org...

DO BELIEVE THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR BLOOD CLOT SURVIVORS!!!

It does not matter if it is your first race or your 100th... Just the fact that you can overcome the challenges of your blood clotting incident puts you in a category on its own.  It is not an easy road to travel but the rewards of feeling the "sweet pain of your accomplishment" are greater than anything!

DAPHNE is definitely recovering from enjoy the "sweet pain of her accomplishment"... She is back and willing to share her inspiring story with all of us.

Read on and enjoy!

What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it? 
I take a few classes at the gym at work. I enjoy running and hiking as well. Running especially is a great way for me to relax and release stress at the end of a long work day. It's a time where I can just be alone in my own head and think.

How did you get started in that sport? 
I started running several years ago to lose weight and get in shape. I really enjoyed it and saw some great results, but as time went on I got busy and started a family so running fell to the back burner and eventually I stopped it altogether. I decided in January of this year that I wanted to get back into it so in order to motivate myself I signed up for my first half marathon and started a training program.

What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
My latest milestone was completing my first half marathon on April 30, 2018.

Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission? 
I was diagnosed with massive bilateral pulmonary embolism on April 10th and was in the hospital until April 13th. We are fairly confident the PE resulted from a combination of birth control pills and a long flight to and from Africa at the end of March. My symptoms really started a couple weeks prior to my diagnosis when I had horrible left shoulder, chest and back pain and I couldn't take a deep breath because it hurt so bad. The day before I went to the ER I tried to jog on a treadmill at work and couldn't even jog for 1 minute because I was in so much pain and it was so hard to breathe. The next day I walked up one flight of stairs at work and thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest and again I couldn't breathe. I decided to go to my PC physician and she, after speaking to her husband who ended up being my Pulmonologist in the hospital, sent me to the ER. My Pulmonologist is fairly aggressive at treating this condition, so since I was relatively healthy otherwise he moved me to ICU for one night and gave me tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) to actively dissolve the clots. The reason for ICU is this treatment can lead to an increased risk of bleeding so I was in ICU for closer observation. The treatment worked well and I was released 2 days later with no restrictions. I was put on Eliquis and will be on it for at least 6 months at which time we will do an ultrasound on my legs and a d-Dimer test and make a decision on what to do next.

When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?
When I left the hospital I had no restrictions. I was just told to listen to my body. My Pulmonologist is actually the one who encouraged me to go ahead and run the half marathon I had been training for prior to my trip to Africa. My first week out of the hospital I just walked on the treadmill a couple days for 30 minutes each time. That felt good, but I was still afraid to actually run. I finally decided to try to run around my neighborhood toward the end of that first week. Once I got the courage up to go from walking to running I was surprised I felt as good as I did. I ended up running/jogging for 30 minutes less than a week after being released from the hospital. The following week I ran a couple days on the treadmill at work and then at the end of that week. Just over 2 weeks from being released I ran my half marathon. I ended up walking more than I wanted to during the race, but considering where I had been just 2 weeks prior, I was pleased with my results. I finished in 2:56:46!


What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? 
My favorite running shoes have been Brooks for several years now. I've had a few different styles and love them all!

How much are you getting out doing your sport? 
I do some form of workout at least 4 days a week. While training, I was running 3 - 4 days a week on top of my regular workout classes. Now that the race is finished I will continue to run at least a couple times a week in addition to the classes I take at the gym.

What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout.  
I've recently started using RX Bars and they are great! I like them for a between meal snack or after workout snack. That is also what I had for my pre-race "meal" along with a Naked Juice. 


If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
I would go back to Australia or Kenya. I've been to both and absolutely loved them, so I would love to go back...this time with compression socks and leg exercises on the plane. :)

What would you 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? Tell us about your concerns and what you look out after. 
I would tell someone going through a similar experience to trust their gut and if they think something is wrong go have it checked out. I would also say to ask your doctor about the possibility of a tPA, especially if you are healthy and strong otherwise. Once you are in recovery, do as much as you can and trust that the medicine you are taking is doing it's job to keep you safe from more clots. I believe a big factor for me being able to return to as close to normal as I can has been my faith. I have no doubt that the reason I'm still here is because God wasn't done with me yet. I just have to trust Him that He is taking care of me. I do have concerns and fears at times that the little pains I feel in my legs or in my arm or chest might be another clot, but when those fears creep up on me I just remind myself that I'm on blood thinners, it takes a little time for the clots to all dissolve completely, and God is with me. When I tell myself those things I always calm back down and can think rationally.

How cool is it that she was able to run her half-marathon so soon after her clotting incident...!

I have seen quick recoveries but this one is beyond impressive.

No question that Daphne will be out there enjoying the sweet pain of more accomplishments down the road.  Who knows maybe they will be in far away places so that she can show those clots who is the boss!!!

Anything is possible to those who believe.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

2 comments:

Wes said...

Thanks for sharing! Faith is such a strong component. Sometimes that’s all you can do is trust that God is taking care of you and He’s added this event to your life for a reason that includes helping others.

UMARU JALLOH said...

Thx for sharing !

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