If you ever wonder if having healthy habits pays off, I can tell you from experience, they do. I am active male who loves cycling and I try to keep myself in good shape at age 47. Two years ago, I developed some back pain and of course ignored it until it was impacting my ability to function. An MRI eventually showed I had some pieces of vertebra floating around and a collapsed disc that was squeezing off my sciatica which was the main source of the pain. I had an unsuccessful first back surgery that resulted in the loss of feeling in my right leg and excruciating pain so I had to endure a second surgery to see what was causing the new issues. After the second back surgery, I regained feeling in my leg and the pain subsided – yea! One day later while recovering in the hospital, I collapsed.
My body had decided to blood clot, from my heart down through both legs and into my ankles. I was placed in the ICU for more than a week. With doctors working to keep me alive, my family researched my condition and found a paper online that was written by a doctor that had basically written the book on how to handle these extreme cases of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Luckily for me, the doctor that wrote the article, Dr. Ryu, was at UCH in Denver. I was transported to UCH and Dr. Ryu met me at the emergency room and advised me of the seriousness of the situation and the need for immediate surgery. Due to the amount of time the DVTs were in my body (day 12 at this point), it wasn’t looking good for me, but no one involved gave up the fight.
After many surgeries and a few re-clotting episodes since, I am happy to say that I am back. I live with a horrible case of neuropathy but I am so grateful for the expertise of Dr. Ryu and his phenomenal abilities that saved me. I was advised by the doctor that my strong/good health going into this situation is what helped and eventually allowed me to make it through. Last summer I was back in the saddle, riding more than 3,000 miles and completing 10 Century Rides.
You never know when things will happen that are out of your control and strike you down and test your resolve. You do have 100% control over your health and your habits. My advice to all: take care of yourself…it may save your life someday.