Two Personal Accounts

A continuation of the dangers of DVT’s in athletes. Two personal accounts below-and another person’s story in the comments section from Sunday’s blog.

Tom from Illinois:
Hi Kim. I am currently recovering from a DVT which also spread into both of my lungs (PE). Though I am a little older (age 56), I have been keeping myself very fit for the last five years. My first full year of running I ran 2237 miles, currently I am more around 1300 per year. After I run I stretch, and do exercises with my dumbbells, cable machine, and dip and chin-up station. I also had gone to yoga twice weekly over the last eleven months. And I am a UPS service provider with 32 years of service which is sort of an industrial athlete-like life.
Around ten days ago I awoke with significant pain in my right calf and a bad limp. I finished out the last two days of the work-week in this condition. Over the weekend, thinking that I had a bad calf strain, I used Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, but things continued to get worse.
Finally on 8/4/09 I went in for the duplex doppler on my right leg, they found a thrombosis which is around a foot long, and I went straight to the emergency room, and was later admitted to the hospital. I was released on Lovenox, and Coumadin on 8/6/09, and I know that I will be recuperating for weeks if not months. I am hoping that I recover enough to return to my job, and eventually to full fitness. If you or your friends want to say hi, I am Tom, Joliet, IL.

Rob’s account:

I am lucky to be alive today and I mean that with all of my heart. Even though I was receiving recent medical care I had a blood clot not treated in my left calf. I think sharing my story; my signs and symptoms may educate you on this scary event and just may save your life.

As you know I have spent past 7 days in the hospital with DVT in my left leg and PE in both of my lungs and multiple clots at that. I do believe that when I completed the Pig May 3rd I failed to hydrate and keep stretching as I then drove home for 3 hours. I do carry 98 to 99 % O2 in my lungs even with the PE.

My DVT symptoms were pain in my left calf that it felt like a muscle pull. My PE symptoms was I had some limited shortness of breath when running but severe pain in my back to lower rib cage in the front. This pain felt like a muscle pull but came and went and hurt more when I breathed in. I also was coughing some blood.

As I lay in my hospital bed the past week I reflected over the past few months and trying to figure out what has been happening to my health.

At 38 years of age, I recently ran a 4:12 at the Green Jewel 50k and a 3:34 at the Cincinnati Pig Marathon all while maintaining 50-70 mile training week(s). The high mileage weeks were to train for my need complete the Mohican 100 Mile trail race. Not bad for a 190-195 lbs man.

In the period of time from my marathon in May to today I have been hospitalized for 9 days so far with two of those days the result of back surgery. The past week (7 days), I have been hospitalized for blood clots in my left leg and both lungs. I am sharing this with you now to try to get the word out about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

The cause of my blood clots is really not know for sure as of yet. I am receiving tests to help determine if I have a genetic predisposition to having blood clots or a medical condition. It is possible that it occurred as a result of my back surgery (June 4th). I think that you will draw the same conclusion that I did my signs and symptoms developed before my back surgery.(read my blog)

In fact I think it is likely I have had a blood clot (leg) since May the 6th and I received blood clots in my lungs in the last two weeks. I think that I received the blood clot in the leg after the Cincinnati marathon after not taking a break and then driving home while having limited stretching.

This is a very serious situation and I am lucky to be alive. Time will tell if I will ever be able to run again. I will need medication that will make me bleed like crazy and presents a new hazard. Of course the Drs found other things to poke and prod so go get a physical blood work chest x-ray etc.

3 thoughts on “Two Personal Accounts

  1. ErieTom

    Interesting stuff… so how do you really know then if you have DVT or just some calf issue? One of them said it got worse… how so? On several 100+ mile races I’ve had issues at the back of my knee / top of my calf that I thought was some strain or over-use injury, or cramp of some sort. Could it have been DVT? Not sure, they always seemed to heal after 2 or 3 weeks after the ultra. Got me.

  2. Rob "Buckeye" Powell


    My thought is that a visit to a DR and get treatment for a strain and then DEMAND an ultra sound on the leg just to rule out DVT. It will take 10 min to do and some extra time to get in to get the procedure done. This little bit of time may just save your life. My Dr told me my calf was related to my back injury. I complained about the calf being a problem several times. I was even limping before I started feeling sciatica pain shooting down my butt and hammy. You probly have a strain but worth getting checked with any pain inteh calf. Of course DVT can start any here.


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