Also March is very special because we continue to celebrate ALL BLOOD CLOT SURVIVORS and remember those we lost along the way. We should not have to EVER lose anyone so that is why this effort continues to make this condition preventable every time.
As crazy as it sounds blood clots are also linked to INSPIRATION TO OVERCOME. This is the positive side of having blood clots. The incredible will to beat this challenge deserves all of our admiration. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to share these personal accounts with you every month. Every single one of them provides me with a spark to overcome.
This month MICHELLE M. is sharing her personal experience with us. THANK YOU Michelle for your willingness to share your story. Your experience will resonate with someone who is need of answers and guidance. Every word below has the power to provide someone that spark that can and will provide hope to get them through the challenges of a clotting incident. READ ON...
What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
How did you get started in that sport?
This has changed back and forth between my “story” and an injury, but it has always been running. I have always struggled with my weight and after the birth of both my children it became clear that I needed more than just nutrition. I started taking a spin class at my gym and learned that I really liked it. The rush was like no other and the calorie burn was amazing. That obsession grew. Within a few months I was starting to run short distances on the treadmill and learning that running was an even bigger “high” for me than spinning. It didn’t take me long to begin racing. I started out with a biathlon, a few 5k’s and then it grew from there. I also fell in love with trail running. I wasn’t very fast but being able to conquer the trails and terrain was a bigger accomplishment for me than the actual speed. Before I knew it, I had signed up for my first marathon. I would plan family camping trips around races and they were extremely supportive of my passion. I was a runner and enjoyed my time alone and strength that it gave me.
What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
Well, this has been altered due to my health issues. I had major hip surgery in September 2017 and was told I should NOT run again until I have a full hip replacement (hopefully in 7 years). My hip has never been shaped “normal” due to being born with some dysplasia but running on it like I did created even more issues. So, today 4 months post major hip surgery, my accomplishment is making it to spin class 2 times a week and hoping to sneak in an extra from time to time.
Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
The first few weeks after my PE diagnosis, it took everything I had to just walk around the block. Living in the Midwest and it being July, the humidity played havoc on my healing lungs, so my process was slow. I was out of work a complete 12 weeks due to healing of both the hysterectomy and the PE’s. By fall I was ready to run. That first run, I laughed, and I cried. It felt amazing and I had a feeling of being blessed to just be alive and able to get back to my sport.
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…
Today my favorite piece of gear is my polka dot running shirt paired with my old (and falling apart) Under Armor capris running tights and my spin shoes.
How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
Part of my PE recovery included learning the condition of my hip and the limitations that were included in that so, I have had to rediscover my passion for biking to preserve my hip. Right now, I’m at the gym 2 – 3 times a week attending a spin class and strengthening my hip.
What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
My favorite food is pizza. I love pizza in all its many forms. My favorite is fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella but am learning to make my own cauliflower crusts and use my own ingredients. It’s a work in progress, but I’m getting close to perfecting my process. Add some homemade sauce and a nice glass of red wine and I’m a happy camper.
If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
I’m not a big traveler, but if I could go anywhere internationally it would be Italy. Pizza and wine 😊
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 I could tell anyone anything about my clotting episode is find a solid support system and depend on it. If I didn’t have my husband and my mom to lean on, I’m not sure where I would be. This is a disorder that is hard for others to understand because you cannot “see it” by looking at someone. If you are lucky enough to survive the clots, find a way to embrace that. There will be a number of “after effects” that follow and I’m about 18 months into my recovery and I still have a lot to learn. I have learned that many of the issues I am facing are related to what is called PTSD. I didn’t get in a terrible accident, I didn’t fight in combat, but I have been diagnosed with a disorder that will forever live within my subconscious and some days it haunts me more than others. Physically, I’m clear of clots. My lungs are healed and there was never a specific place identified that the clot came from. I’m still working through the mental side of things and I don’t think I will ever be 100% but I can tell you that I wake up every day and hope that I can help one person get through their day as a survivor. This is a condition that I do not wish upon anyone but today as I write this, I am a changed person and although some days I don’t like that person, other days I am so very proud of the obstacles I have overcome, and I cannot wait to see who I will become.
We are all looking forward to see who you will become Michelle as you continue to navigate the challenges of the survival from your clotting incident. Never Stop trying to overcome. I am looking forward some day to share in a slice (or two or there... in case you did not know I can eat...) of your home made pizza pie! I will be sure to bring the best vino I can get my hands on...
Thank you for reading,
The Clot Buster