Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Note on Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) aka Blood Clots

This morning, bringing my current blood clot hiking
(I am now past the significant risk for pulmonary embolism)

DVT, Part Two. 

For those of you with a history of blood clots and certain genetic mutations, I include this personal post as a way to show that even someone with vein damage and recurring Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can get out there and keep going.

DVT, Part One was when I was pregnant with Alex.  To make a long story short, I developed an extensive blood clot in the deep veins of my left leg and pelvic region when I was pregnant with Alex in late 2002.  Turns out I have a genetic mutation (MTHFR...C667t to be specific) that makes my body susceptible to blood clots and cancer.  My veins eventually recovered, but with permanent damage in my left pelvic area.  That damage hasn't stopped me from doing anything though, as one can plainly see from my blog.

Part Two...But Not Really came in 2013, right before we did the Camino de Santiago.  A technician in a local hospital misdiagnosed the permanent vein damage in my left pelvic area as another blood clot.  That hospital put me on a regimen of warfarin, etc....and then I saw my specialist in Boston who did more testing and told me no, that was not a blood clot, that was just leftover damage from 2002/2003.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  Suddenly, in spite of my fairly active lifestyle, I felt a familiar pain in my left calf which increased as the hours and days went by.  I went to the hospital (different one from 2013!), told them I was sure I had a blood clot, and was told by the excellent ultrasound technician that yes, he could see I have a new clot (and he could see the old damage in my pelvic region, which is in a different section of my veins from this new clot).

I am now on what will likely be a lifelong regimen of a new-to-me drug called Eliquis.  I like this new drug -- it's just a pill, no hospital visits or shots needed.  I can also drink one alcoholic beverage every 24 hours and eat whatever I like.  Hooray for advances in medical research and new drugs!

I have already built my leg strength back up over the past week by hiking increasing distances up a local mountain every single day.  The first day was painful and I could barely walk to the trailhead.  I kept at it and increased my mileage a little each day until, this morning, I was able to do the entire mountain loop hike, ledges, scrambles, and all (6.2 miles if you include the walk to and from the trailhead from my home).  By the time the girls get back from their vacation with their dad in two weeks, I should be more than ready to tackle Four Thousand Footers with them again.  I have also lost four pounds in the past week, since I now feel the need to get rid of all excess body fat.  This is not a vanity thing as I am 46 years old and past the point of giving a damn what I look like.  It's about optimizing circulation; being as fit as possible is good for my leg.

I am not a doctor, so if you are reading this and you have a blood clot and/or are trying to get your leg back in shape, consult with your medical professionals.  I will be so bold, however, as to say that you need to get back out there and do what you love to do, in the way you and your doctor see fit.  Don't stay home and wallow or fret or give up.  Find your motivation and, when the doctor says it's okay, fight through the discomfort and pain and, little by little, more and more each day, build yourself back up.  Otherwise, what?  I have too many trails I want to hike, with and without the girls.  My entire future involves hiking as much as possible.  In other words, there's no way a DVT will prevent me from doing exactly what I want to do.

Another photo from today

Yet another one.  I can't possibly be expected to stay away from sights like this.

So that's the scoop.  Besides that, all is well in our world.  The girls will have another episode of GraniteGals out in a week, and then we will resume hiking 4Ks for the Grid in mid-June.  We are also thru-hiking something in August, but instead of announcing that hike beforehand, I'll let Alex and Sage talk about it when we get back.  It will be an adventure...it always is.  Life is good.

Hope everyone out there has a fantastic holiday weekend.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

New GraniteGals Episode, and Adams/Madison Trip Report

Hi folks!

Alex and Sage posted a new GraniteGals episode; this one features Pam Wilmot, White Mountain four-season hiker and AMC Hiking Leader -- check it out here.

Also, Alex recently posted a trip report of last week's Adams and Madison hike.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Introducing the GraniteGals podcast!

Alex and Sage recently launched their original podcast GraniteGals!  In this podcast, they interview a different female hiker of New Hampshire's mountains every other week.  The first episode features living legend Sue Johnston and is now available through the GraniteGals website in mp3 format.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Garfield, Osceolas, and Hale

A reminder that Alex is the one writing the meat of the blog posts now.  Sage will join her in blogging duties after she turns 13 next year.

Alex recently posted trip reports of Garfield, her final Grid hike of Hale, and the Osceolas.

There are other, important, fun things happening besides our own 4K hikes....Alex (and I) will post of those things very very soon.  Stay tuned.  Good things are happening that will hopefully serve the general hiking community.  Should be able to post what I am talking about in a week or so.

From time to time, as the girls grow, I will post my own musings on hiking with them now that I am the weak link (they are now stronger and faster than I am), and of their progress on and off the trails.  For the most part however, I am purposefully stepping back so our hiking can now be told through the voices of the girls.  Kids grow and find their own voices...Mom doesn't need to do the talking for them anymore.  A bit bittersweet, but all is as it should be.  :)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sage turns 12, and new adventures on the horizon

Hey there,

Remember, I am stepping back from blogging in general, though I will keep things generally up to date on this blog with notes and mentions now and then.  The main blogging is now being done by Alex.  In another year, after Sage turns 13, both girls will share their adventures via blogging and social media.  In the meantime, for the most current info on what we are up to, follow Alex's blog.

On thing of great importance -- Sage turned 12 on March 24!  Happy birthday to you, kiddo!

Sage celebrating her birthday at MetroRock in Everett, MA
Also, the girls have another adventure on the horizon; they look forward to sharing it with everyone in a few weeks.

Happy spring!  Hope you are enjoying the late season snowstorm.  (I'm not...I'm ready for bare rocks and dirt).