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  1. #1
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    Pulmonary Embolism - Blood Clot in Lung

    Hey guys. Unfortunately I made a road trip out to Colorado from Jersey and a blood clot developed in my leg and traveled to my lung. I'm currently in the hospital and am on Coumadin and trying to regulate the anticoagulation of my blood. The doc says I'll be on this for 6 months. Has anybody had something similar? I'm really upset that my season is over since it was going so well. It could have been worse and gone to my head or heart I guess. So now I'm looking into getting back on the bike when I can and setting up for a stellar 2011.

    Any stories you can share to help my motivation?

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    wow!

    I am really sorry to hear this. I know your avatar/name from some of the races I did in the Spring.

    Can I ask...any history of clotting disorders in you or family? any prior clots in you? what is your age? were you moving around a lot or staying still in car?

    I thought some of these questions might help others. I keep going to Leadville for the Leadman series and now you made me paranoid...

    I am just curious, as I suspect this was a very rare occurrence for someone of your profile.




    keep us updated

    MX

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    Good job! Here's to a speedy recovery

    Get well soon.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    wow!

    I am really sorry to hear this. I know your avatar/name from some of the races I did in the Spring.

    Can I ask...any history of clotting disorders in you or family? any prior clots in you? what is your age? were you moving around a lot or staying still in car?

    I thought some of these questions might help others. I keep going to Leadville for the Leadman series and now you made me paranoid...

    I am just curious, as I suspect this was a very rare occurrence for someone of your profile.



    keep us updated

    MX
    I'm 30 with pretty much perfect health. Season was going strong and getting some good results to hopefully help towards my pro upgrade and now this road block. There is a history as my father had a stroke related to blood clots. The doctors say this may play a part but not necessarily. The biggest thing they can see is that just sitting in a car and not moving the legs for long periods of time can do this(long flights as well). The best way to prevent this is to stop every 2 hours and get out and walk around and get the blood flow going. This should stop anything from clotting and getting any issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    I'm 30 with pretty much perfect health. Season was going strong and getting some good results to hopefully help towards my pro upgrade and now this road block. There is a history as my father had a stroke related to blood clots. The doctors say this may play a part but not necessarily. The biggest thing they can see is that just sitting in a car and not moving the legs for long periods of time can do this(long flights as well). The best way to prevent this is to stop every 2 hours and get out and walk around and get the blood flow going. This should stop anything from clotting and getting any issues.
    did your dad have any type of underlying genetic reason? smoker? was he sitting in one spot for a long time too?

    yeah, I mean depending on what they think caused his, probably not linked to what happened to you.

    were you in car not moving a long time? or did you get out frequently?

    man, i basically fit your profile. I think I will leave a little more time for long rd trips so I can get out a bit more

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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    did your dad have any type of underlying genetic reason? smoker? was he sitting in one spot for a long time too?

    yeah, I mean depending on what they think caused his, probably not linked to what happened to you.

    were you in car not moving a long time? or did you get out frequently?

    man, i basically fit your profile. I think I will leave a little more time for long rd trips so I can get out a bit more
    Father had no genetic reasoning - smoker yes - he worked a lot with wood and specifically pressure treated wood. The chemicals in this were thought to have caused some part of his issue.

    I was in a car driving for a long time. I drove to Colorado in 32 hours. I drove 18 slept 6 and drive 14 the next day. I drove for a max of 4 hours and walked around and went to the bathroom at 4 or less. Probably wasn't good enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Father had no genetic reasoning - smoker yes - he worked a lot with wood and specifically pressure treated wood. The chemicals in this were thought to have caused some part of his issue.

    I was in a car driving for a long time. I drove to Colorado in 32 hours. I drove 18 slept 6 and drive 14 the next day. I drove for a max of 4 hours and walked around and went to the bathroom at 4 or less. Probably wasn't good enough.
    well, certainly don't let this get you down. I suspect it will be an isolated incident that you can now take certain measures to prevent in the future. do your warfarin thingy and you'll be winning again!

    maybe look into fish oil type supplements, I know they can have a thinning effect on blood...not by much. At least they are "considered safe" and OTC. I would take significantly higher doses than what the bottle says. It should help quiet down inflammatory changes all throughout body too.

    Maybe a baby aspirin in the future too.

    But you can discuss all that with your docs!

    lay off the smokes! just kidding.

    take care

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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    well, certainly don't let this get you down. I suspect it will be an isolated incident that you can now take certain measures to prevent in the future. do your warfarin thingy and you'll be winning again!

    maybe look into fish oil type supplements, I know they can have a thinning effect on blood...not by much. At least they are "considered safe" and OTC. I would take significantly higher doses than what the bottle says. It should help quiet down inflammatory changes all throughout body too.

    Maybe a baby aspirin in the future too.

    But you can discuss all that with your docs!

    lay off the smokes! just kidding.

    take care
    Exactly I'm thinking that there's not much I can do to save this season but it's been a good one and motivation for the future. I might be able to pull off some CX towards the end of the season.

    At the end of 2008 I got hit by a car and it motivated me even more for 2009. This is going to piss me off more and motivate me to train 10x harder in the off season to make 2011 a great year.

    We've already started on the better options for diet so I will explore that more for preventative measures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Exactly I'm thinking that there's not much I can do to save this season but it's been a good one and motivation for the future. I might be able to pull off some CX towards the end of the season.

    At the end of 2008 I got hit by a car and it motivated me even more for 2009. This is going to piss me off more and motivate me to train 10x harder in the off season to make 2011 a great year.

    We've already started on the better options for diet so I will explore that more for preventative measures.
    yup, you'll be fine.

    have you read Omnivore's Dilemma? it's on audio too. you might want to consider only meat products not raised on corn. they have been shown to have better fatty acid profile.

    I do my best to have properly raised meat, it's a shame it should have to be called organic or grassfed, etc. it should just be this way.

    same applies to fish...

    i am not saying do Paleo/ancestral, (I have to hold reservation in trying to put my belief on others) but I do think there is good for eliminating a lot of the processed veg oils etc from diet.

    I am sure you know all this anyhow, I forget how good an athlete you are! (like hours faster than me at Cohutta!)

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    Sorry about your ordeal. I'll share the little I know about blood clots. My wife developed a blood clot in her leg years ago after riding several hours in the car. Very painful ordeal. After some testing, it was discovered she had 'Protein S Defeciency'. It's hereditary. She's on Coumidin for the rest of her life. Ask your doc about it & other possible causes besides just not moving for hours while riding in a car. I'm not a Dr, but someone of your age and conditioning should be able to drive from Jersey to Colorado without getting a blood clot. I don't want to be a downer, but you want to find out if this was a freak thing or if there is another underlying reason and you're a canidate for more clots. I wish you well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragged
    Sorry about your ordeal. I'll share the little I know about blood clots. My wife developed a blood clot in her leg years ago after riding several hours in the car. Very painful ordeal. After some testing, it was discovered she had 'Protein S Defeciency'. It's hereditary. She's on Coumidin for the rest of her life. Ask your doc about it & other possible causes besides just not moving for hours while riding in a car. I'm not a Dr, but someone of your age and conditioning should be able to drive from Jersey to Colorado without getting a blood clot. I don't want to be a downer, but you want to find out if this was a freak thing or if there is another underlying reason and you're a canidate for more clots. I wish you well.
    Thanks for the info! Yea as soon as I get back home I'm going to see a doctor and get tested for the genetic factors. The word is they usually wait for the second embolism to start testing but I don't want to be dead before I can know what's going on. I figure that's a better way to do things. On the bright side today is one week from my embolism and I'm feeling waaaay better than I thought I would by now. Doc says I'm the fastest one she's ever seen anticoagulate and recover like I have. I'm happy with that. Maybe all this hell I put my body through on a regular basis to race has other benefits besides going fast...

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Thanks for the info! Yea as soon as I get back home I'm going to see a doctor and get tested for the genetic factors. The word is they usually wait for the second embolism to start testing but I don't want to be dead before I can know what's going on. I figure that's a better way to do things. On the bright side today is one week from my embolism and I'm feeling waaaay better than I thought I would by now. Doc says I'm the fastest one she's ever seen anticoagulate and recover like I have. I'm happy with that. Maybe all this hell I put my body through on a regular basis to race has other benefits besides going fast...
    That's great news about your quick recovery. I'm glad you're feeling better. Until my wife had her clot, I had no idea how painful they could be. Or how dangerous they could be. It sounds like you and your doctor have a plan about what to do next and I'm sure they've told you symptoms to look out for in the future. Get your pro-time checked when they say to and get it checked if you feel the least bit uneasy. It seems like you have a good, positive attitude which in my experience is very important. Keep it up, don't let this get you down. I hope your recovery continues well. Let us know how you're doing after you get home.

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    Just a little update:

    I've been back on the bike for a few weeks now and I'm starting to feel better. I've got full clearance from the doc to train again and race when I feel better. I even took my first fall on blood thinners and it's not as bad as I was originally told. I scraped/bruised up my knees and it bled a little longer than normal but not much at all. The difference wasn't really noticeable. (The scare tactics say you'll bleed to death if you get a papercut...lol) I'm very happy with that.

    Hopefully my recovery will continue as it's been going and I'll be back stronger than ever next year.

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    Uh, you got the OK to mountain bike while on Coumadin? That was a brave decision. Why not just play it safe, shelve the season, train on the stationary bike or cross train, until you are off Coumadin? That drug causes almost as many problems as it fixes.
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    Ouch just ran into this Ryan as I decided to browse rider down for the first time. 5 weeks now since I've ridden a bike after breaking my right thumb

    I hear you on making 2011 a good one as my plans for this year definitely got screwed.

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    Yup I got the OK. The doc said just to be careful and don't do anything stupid basically. He assured me that the normal cuts and bruises will be a little worse but nothing life threatening like some say. I tested this theory out by going over the bars the other day and like he said it wasn't much different. I've been going nuts without being back on the dirt so I'm really happy getting back to the MTB. If I had to train for the next 6 months on a trainer I'd kill myself for sure.

    John - Sorry to hear that. 5 weeks is a LOOONG time. I hope you're getting close to coming back. Let's both rip up 2011.

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    Hey XC62701. Sorry you had the PE. Sounds like you have a reason for getting it with the long hours driving. Having that reason means you'll most likley be able to get off the coumidin!
    I'm 56 and my story is on a monday I was camping and stepped out of the tent, bent over a few times to get my shoes on and felt dizzy and gasping for air fell back in the tent and passed out, don't remember anything for a couple of min. Wife called 911 and I was checked out at ER with good oxygen. On Wed. follow up with own Doc with good oxygen, he set up a ct scan for the brain. Well on Thur and Fri I felt some SOB and by Sat morning I was gasping for air just turning over in bed. Went to ER and they did tests and found PE. Lots of clots bi-lateral. 5 days in hosp. Good they did blood tests before they started coumadin, because most can't be done after starting coumadin. Ct scan for the brain cancelled. No cause for the PE found except I sit on a forkift for hours but they say you are moving some with that. Anyway they say for now,,, the first time PE 6mo to a year on coumadin. If it happens again coumadin for life. I think I'll be scared to go off it. I like your Doc giving you the OK for riding. I didn't ask my Doc if I could ride because I don't want to hear really you shouldn't. I haven't wrecked on my bike in a long time. Now I feel a little chicken thinking about what if's. Don't want to ride alone in remote places. Glad you tested out the bleeding rate,, I was scared about bleeding to death. I pray your recovery goes well. Ride safe, and tighten up the chin strap on the helmet.

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    Cayenne pepper busts clots.

    Don't listen to big pharma. Go natural.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Get A Clue
    Weaknesses: Doesn't work when used incorrectly

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcdale
    Cayenne pepper busts clots.

    Don't listen to big pharma. Go natural.
    Going "natural" can be fatal for many people once they are known to be at risks for blood clots.

    There are lots of reasons blood clots form.

    If you are prone to them due to a genetic risk factor or aquired condition, it's not the clot "busting" you need to worry about, it's stopping the clots from forming in the first place.

    Lots of people would prefer to stay off the drugs and go natural, but that's a big gamble when the risks are pulmonary embolism, heart attack, pulmonary hypertension, stroke, deep vein damage. All these things can kill or cripple.

    So, if you are one of the people at constant risk of blood clots and don't particularly want to go through the event one time-much less multiple times-the MINOR side effects of the main big pharma treatment(Coumadin)-are probably the least of your concerns.

    Sure, the natural treatments can help prevent clots and can help the body break them down, but the "go natural" catch all should not be applied to everyone who is at risk.

    Sometimes the "better living through chemistry" approach is the best choice.

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    There's also a thread in the passion forum on riding with anticoagulants.

    any riders on blood thinners?

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    I'm curious, what did it feel like to have a blood clot in your lung? What were your first symptoms, etc?

    Also, have you asked your doc about aspirin/fish oil, as a more conservative approach than Coumadin? Has he told you how long you should be on it?

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    I don't think there should be any side effect risks. That's the problem with the pharma drugs. They ALL seem to have them because they're a concoction of things that should never normally be taken since they're engineered. I can't tell you how disgusted it makes me to listen to these commercials which speed talk through 5-10-20 different life threatening side effects, including aspirin and blood thinners, when Cayenne is safe and doctors don't know or don't care because it's not money in their pocket. I had a relative nearly die when the ER staff just HAD to go right in there with one of those balloons up his leg because of a clot. It nearly killed him because another area ruptured, requiring emergency surgery.

    It also stops heart attacks if that's a worry for you. Plenty of documented facts, since that was mentioned.
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    Yeah, crashed in 08, had symptoms, got a shot of heparin and monitored and a few months later, nothing to worry about.

    Oh, the natural twats in this thread are retards. They will advise you to go natural when it's your life, but won't talk **** when it's their life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junktrunk
    Yeah, crashed in 08, had symptoms, got a shot of heparin and monitored and a few months later, nothing to worry about.

    Oh, the natural twats in this thread are retards. They will advise you to go natural when it's your life, but won't talk **** when it's their life.
    It's really starting to annoy me how many people here (and there are a lot in this forum), will take a simple discussion, or opposing points of view, and make it about insults and name calling.
    Who raised people like this?

    Personally, I doubt most of the naturalist claims about remedys as well as about the dangers of pharmaceuticals.
    The beauty of of the FDA, is that they require evidence of SAFETY and EFFICACY before approving a drug. You normally do not find evidence to justify use of natural remedies, which is unfortunate because at least some of them have to have benefits.

    A quick Pub Med search of "Cayenne, thinner, anticoagulant" brings back zero results.
    Maybe there is some info about anti-coagulant properties of cayenne, but would it be anecdotal, would it be general, or would it be clinical outcomes of a double blind placebo controlled study, to show people are better off taking it than not taking it under specific circumstances?
    I don't know, but for many natural remedies, there is no evidence based justification for its use, which means you are rolling the dice.
    Sure pharmaceuticals have side effects, but the risks and benefits of them are well understood, and in almost all cases, they do more good than harm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcdale
    I don't think there should be any side effect risks. That's the problem with the pharma drugs. They ALL seem to have them because they're a concoction of things that should never normally be taken since they're engineered. I can't tell you how disgusted it makes me to listen to these commercials which speed talk through 5-10-20 different life threatening side effects, including aspirin and blood thinners, when Cayenne is safe and doctors don't know or don't care because it's not money in their pocket. I had a relative nearly die when the ER staff just HAD to go right in there with one of those balloons up his leg because of a clot. It nearly killed him because another area ruptured, requiring emergency surgery.

    It also stops heart attacks if that's a worry for you. Plenty of documented facts, since that was mentioned.
    Can you provide some of these documented "facts" of cayenne pepper stopping heart attacks?

    Yes I despise direct-to-consumer drug commercials but don't blow off every single drug as big pharma ripping you off. Warfarin is a crappy drug without doubt but it's a generic and dirt cheap so no, the doctor is not ripping anyone off whenever he/she prescribes it.

    Please don't come here and take someones crappy experience to push your "go natural" agenda. Take that to some other forum. I agree with the junktrunk, if you were in a hospital having a stroke or heart attack and a doctor had a heparin drip in one hand and cayenne pepper in the other, you'd be begging for the heparin once you knew how effective and safe it is. And heparin is not "big pharma" and ridiculously cheap.

    Natural products have their place but please, leave them at the door to the ER.

    Next time do a Pubmed search to get a little more educated before giving out wrong info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I'm curious, what did it feel like to have a blood clot in your lung? What were your first symptoms, etc?

    Also, have you asked your doc about aspirin/fish oil, as a more conservative approach than Coumadin? Has he told you how long you should be on it?
    Whoops guessed I missed this one...

    Anyway it felt like I pulled a muscle near my rib cage. It would just get tight and felt like it was squeezing my ribs. It was feeling better for a bit but then it got REALLY painful. Very uncomfortable and very shallow breathing. I walked across the room and almost passed out. Then I had to carefully eek my way up a staircase to get help and almost passed out.

    As far as fish oils my doc says to keep using them but he didn't say they would fix it. I'm on the warfarin and have had to deal with no side effects(knock on wood). The doc was saying 6-9 months and once I come off of it then I'll have the genetic testing for the factor V gene, to see if it's heredity or a random issue.

    On the up side, today is 2 months post embolism and this past weekend I was 2nd in the state championship race and I locked up the cat 1 series win overall. I'm getting back to my old self and it feels great!!!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Whoops guessed I missed this one...
    Thanks for the response. Even though it was a month ago I was still curious. It sounds like you are doing great. Good for you!

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    XC/NormClyde/others,

    Long story shorter I was diagnosed with a DVT in my right lower leg and PE's in my lungs 9 days ago. I am 39 and spent lots of time doing several 100 mile races and rides on my MTB over the spring/summer. I never felt that bad overall but my right calf hurt a fair amount and it grew to be about 2x the size of my left calf and I had adema in my whole lower leg. My father had a blood clot in his leg about 10 years ago and it looked like his leg...my wife said it was like an overstuffed wintersquash or zucchini.

    I headed to the ER after not racing in my night race that I host here in Minneapolis. I knew something was up with my leg and over the past week or two I was finding it more and more difficult to breathe in upper zone 2 and zone 3. When I walked into the ER and told them I thought that I had a blood clot in my leg they said ok and I was checked in. I had no difficulty breathing and my vitals were fine...blood pressure was up a little bit but not crazy. An hour later I had an Ultrasound and the tech said to me, "there it is...you have a blood clot". I went back to my ER stall and then 20 minutes later the ER doc came and told me I had a clot and that they wanted to do a CT scan and check my lungs. They did that and then 30 minutes later told me I had multiple clots in my lungs (bilateral PE's and one that was saddle) and that it was very serious and that it was really good that I came in. At that point I had my first "I could have died from this and still could thoughts" and it was not a good feeling as a husband/father of a 7 yr old son and a 9 year old daughter. The ER doc and nurse commented to me several times that they had never seen anyone look so good while having so many PE's and a DVT. I guess that my fitness level from riding my bike a lot this summer helped with that. They said that usually people look like death warmed over with gray, ashy skin or have difficulty breathing and/or chest pain. I had really none of that. My chest pain that I had was way back in May but will talk about that in a bit.

    Long story shorter I was not allowed to go home and was checked in to the hospital and was in for 3.5 days of laying in bed keeping my leg up, getting blood drawn constantly and eating carry in food from great friends and family. Once my INR levels were above 2 I was checked out and have been home ever since. I have been taking Coumadin/Warfarin and getting blood draws every 5 or so days. I never felt too bad and still dont.

    I have tried to think back to when I might have had my first DVT or PE. In hindsight it goes back to the Chequamegon 100 back in May of this year. Did the race and then post dinner I was driving back the 3.5 hours and had chest pain the last 1.5 hours. Slept that night and then went to the ER the next night and they did not find anything wrong with me...thought that I might have hit my chest in one of the wrecks I had in the 100 mile race. They did not do any blood clot/DVT/PE tests. I was unable to train for almost 10 days and then really did not feel good at all when training in zone 3 & 4 for the next month or two. I continued to ride and race with my "A" race for the year in mid August with the Leadville 100. Throughout the rest of the summer I trained and raced to prepare for Leadville and although I never felt as strong as I did before the first suspected clot I ended up finishing Leadville in 11:40. Good enough but not as good as I think that I should have done with my weight loss and time training. I never was able to get up to AT and hang out there while at elevation out there like I was able to the prior year. I could do what I could do and it was just good enough.

    It is all beginning to make sense now as to why things were the way they were this season post Cheq 100. I did not really feel right for the rest of the summer and continued to develop DVT's and throw them off (usually I would have a pain in the back of my calf/knee and then it would go away eventually until the last one) and they would just get lodged in my lungs. Thank God that they did not cause more damage...I am kind of surprised they did not at 10,000-12,000 feet racing my bike for 100 miles but so happy they did not.

    I am waiting for the Factor 5 test to come back to see if there are hereditary issues for me to battle but the more my wife (an ex pharma rep who loves medicine) and I research DVT's and PE's and endurance athletes the more it makes sense. If you are an endurance athlete (or in my case a guy who does endurance events...a pretty average athlete) you should educate yourself on how to prevent these as it is suspected that up to 75% of the DVT's/PE's happen to endurance athletes. The same qualities that make us good at endurance cycling/running/whatever make it easier for our blood to clot.

    Here is the best article I have found on blood clots and the endurance athlete so far:

    http://www.stevelehmantours.com/html/tips.html

    Best of luck to all and do some of the things in this article to keep from getting these things in the first place or keeping them from forming in you...they are no fun!

    massalsa

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    The above post is excellent information. I'm convinced that endurance athletes are at greater risk for a travel related DVT. Most medical staff will not recognize this risk as they treat so few endurance athletes.

    It is also very easy to prevent. Hydrate and move, it is that easy to prevent (for those without an underlying blood or medical condition).

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    This is a great subject and a can become a reality to anyone of us if we are involved in a crash on our bikes. If your not pushing yourself to your limits your not crashing.

    I crashed on Sept 5, and broke my tibial plateau and calcaneus bone of my foot while coming in wrong off a big jump that I had perfect distance to clear but was coming in too fast for the next set. I was treated at an area ER and released to my Ortho Dr. I was scheduled for surgery the following week but developed severe pain in my calf. I went to thr hospital and an ultrasound located a clot within my artery below my calf. I was admitted into thr ER and put on heparin immediately. I underwent a radiological surgery in which a IVT filter was installed into my main artery. I was and still remain scared that thr filter to prevent an embolism will come loose and end my breathing days. I had Ortho surgery the following day with three screws inserted into my tibial plateau. I continue to take warfarin and watch my diet. My INR levels are therapeutic and I've begun re HAB on flexibility on my leg.

    Blood clots know no race or creed or background, I'm a former Tactical Officer in a law agency, I made Marine Recon try outs, was a member of the Marine weight lifting team
    and participated in 10k runs as well as race underground DH races. I'm 38 and I will
    Help any of you out with any questions if you become a patient of this ordeal.

    I'm glad there is a thread on thjs subject, pulmonary embolisms kill
    300,000 a year in thr U.S.

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