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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

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!