Lest I forget. I will never ever paddle cross-legged
again.... Ever. Five days in the hospital flat on my back being
pumped full of blood thinners and anti-coagulants should remain
fresh in my mind for awhile but let's remember whose mind we're
Seriously, I'm one of the last people in the world
to give medical advice, but feel an obligation to recount my
experience. On a recent Monday I went to my Primary Care Physician
because my right leg had started to swell below the knee and
felt a little uncomfortable. A quick trip to the hospital and
a Doppler ultrasound later and I was a guest in the hospital
with a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot just below the knee).
Treatment was uneventful but prolonged, all week in the hospital
getting anti-coagulants so the clot didn't get any larger and
blood thinners to help dissolve the clot. Untreated consequences
result in phrases like "pulmonary embolism" and I
feel extremely fortunate not to have traveled down that path,
since many do not return. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is usually
associated with long airflights, multiple day’s confinement
in bed and other events that I hadn't been involved in.
The only change in my lifestyle recently had been
starting to paddle EasyB about 3 times a week usually for about
45 minutes at a time plus portage to and from the creek. I was
going to fit a seat and put in some foot braces just as soon
as I got some time, but sitting cross-legged on a 3" cushion
worked really well and I was a lot more concerned about a new
paddle to match the boat. The Doctor couldn't say for sure that
the cross-legged paddling caused the DVT, but it was the prime
suspect. So please practice safe paddling, use a seat and footbraces.
Got out of the Hospital on Friday evening and
roughed out a seat from 2 layers of 2-1/2" thick urethane
foam on Saturday. Normally I'd fabricate a seat from 2 part
expanding foam (custom formed) but I didn't have any available
and had plenty of the 2-1/2" from a project a nephew was
working on. Took EasyB down to the lake Sunday with new seat
and temporary foot braces to make sure I could stay upright
4-1/2” to 5" off the bottom of boat. Fortunately
all worked well, and I didn't go swimming unexpectedly or feel
particularly unstable. I'll finish the seat and footbraces as
soon as I get caught up on some of the other things that fell
behind while I was on my behind.
Parenthetically, Susie likes to tell family and
friends how I got out of Hospital on Friday, built a seat on
Saturday and paddled on Sunday. Friends and family usually shake
their heads and go tisk-tisk. We went to a bon voyage dinner
for Julie and Colin, who are moving to Perth Australia, and
when Susie told the same tale to the assembled members of the
TCRA (Texas Canoe Racing Association) the response was a shrug
of the shoulders and "So?"....
Good paddling or whatever else floats your boat...