Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Take a moment...

I’m generally quiet on the good ole’ blog these days and could not find my log in but the past couple weeks have made me stop and realize that the message I am about to spread needs to be heard and not ignored.

In September of this year, about one week after flying home from Ironman CDA, I started to have calf pain. In hindsight it was probably a combination of dehydration and air travel but I carried on.  I had a few more races or the year and couldn't let a "calf cramp" get me down. I sought multiple treatments including massage, ART, and acupressure. After the last painful treatment on 9/18/16 my calf cramp had subsided and I could carry on.  The pain/cramp was now at bay.

In October, I flew down to AZ for AZ 70.3. I had a miserable time in the heat(for me)  and the bike course was a crazy mess. I didn't experience any pain and again flew home the following morning and returned to normal training, work, and life.

Everything seemed fine until the morning of Monday, November 14th (6 days before IM AZ) when I could not step down on my foot upon waking up. The calf cramp had returned and now seemed to run down the side of my foot. Had a treatment that night and attempted running the next day.  I seemed to not be able to put all my weight on my left foot but could certainly try.  We drove the 10 hours to Tempe, I received  multiple ART treatments, manipulation ice, heat and taping. I started taking Advil three times a day. My foot was swollen and painful.

I had no expectations at IM other than to finish and really tried my hardest to overcome a lot that day. I received my first ever penalty on the bike for drafting. (did not) and was in the tent for A LONG TIME. During the swim and bike, I had swelling but the pain came with weight bearing.  I then went on to finish the marathon behind my glasses hiding my tears and tried my best to subside the pain by consuming 22 Advil during the that leg alone. *(Legal Disclaimer- Do not try this at home!) *

After the race was the most pain I was ever in I could not sit stand or lay.  Over the next week, we drove the 10 hours home and I continued to receive more massage, ART, and acupressure through the tears. Between coming home and November 30th I had 5 treatments and I was more swollen than ever. 

Then ONE person suggested that I get it checked out…He said it looked like I had a blood clot? I don't even know what that looks like but I listened to him and had an ultrasound.  That ultrasound SAVED MY LIFE.  

The DIAGNOSIS:  Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) popliteal vein and DVT peroneal vein  (AKA Blood Clots)

The Lesson here: DO NOT IGNORE LOWER LEG PAIN. Massage and circulatory treatment can KILL YOU.   The 22 Advil, although wrecked my stomach and probably my kidneys and liver, probably saved my life by thinning my blood.

How much do you know about blood clots?  Did you know that 85% of air travel thrombosis victims are athletes, usually endurance athletes?  That a combination of dehydration and sitting can pool your blood even in the healthiest of people.

So the next time you have lower leg pain, do not self diagnose or get a massage.  Get checked out!