SSMI Patient profile: Mark D.
This was written by our patient, Mark D. It's a great story and a great testament to the power of the VO2 Max test. Thank you, Mark, for sharing your story and inspiring others to push harder and do more!
I started running almost 5 years ago. It was October of 2008, and the girl I was dating at the time came up with this idea of paying my entry into the P. F. Chang's Marathon as a Christmas present. Yah!!... Some present.
While the relationship didn't last long after that, I spent 10 weeks training for my 1st marathon. I made every mistake a 1st time marathon runner could make. That was the most miserable 4:52:19 morning of my life!!!:-) ... Don't let them fool you... a cup of coffee and a banana for breakfast does offer the fuel efficiency one would hope.
After the aches, pains and blood blister under my left arch (felt it happen at mile 13)... all went away, I stated doing some research and discovered that the average training program should take 16 weeks -- NOT 10.
By fall of 2009, I was determined to discover what I could do if I had 16 weeks to train. So I spent 16 weeks training for my 2nd marathon, P. F. Chang's. 2010. Training smarter and longer I shaved almost an hour off my time with a finish of 3:57:00.
After that, I was hooked. I fell in love with the sport. Later that year, I ran San Diego in June, Portland in October and came back and did P.F. Chang's again in 2011, where I set a new PR of 3:33:14. I did Chicago in fall of 2011 and found myself FLAT with my results, after less-than-happy finish with P.F. Chang's 2012, I stopped racing, let myself fully heal and "went back to the drawing board."
Revamping my training all summer long, my next race found ME. It was the Phoenix Marathon 2013. By far the smallest venue I've run, however I was open to the change. December of 2012. I decided to "test" my new approach to training during the Hot Chocolate 15k. That turned out to be the race of my running career. I ran negative splits every mile and finished with a 7:12 average pace. Whatever I was doing was working!!:-)
March of this year, I ran the Phoenix Marathon. It was an awesome experience although I was still "hitting the wall" at about mile 18 and from there off pace to earn my BQ (boston qualifier). I did set a new PR though!!:-) I finished with a time of 3:25:47. Not too shabby after some "G.I. Distress" at mile 13 which added almost 3min. to my day.
Now a week out from Marathon #9, The Lehigh Valley Marathon in PA, I feel more ready and race confident than ever before. Why? Because 3 weeks ago I made an appointment with Scottsdale Sports Medicine to do something I read about on runnerswold.com last year. I knew that if I wanted to MAX out my training... I need to know what my VO2 MAX was.
I spent the morning with "Fireman Dan," and he gave me all that I needed to know about what the test would provide me. After a 5min. warm up, and the mask they make you wear (which is not as easy to breath in), I was ready to see what I was made of that day.
As the results will show, it took quite a bit to "break me" and get me to hit my threshold. 9min. 35sec. into the test, I was done!! However it took a 6:40 pace and an 8% grade on the treadmill to break me!! Not too shabby for a 43 year old male. My results were impressive enough that the doc invited me to have my pics posted and share my story with you.
Leaving that morning, I was given a training plan strictly based upon my HR (heart rate). I'm 3 weeks into that program and let me tell you... OMG!!!!... I was WAAY TOO EASY on myself!!!:-) I've never ran so fast on a daily basis. I've learned from this that my body, properly trained can handle a LOT more than I was giving it. I have seen the improvement in my HR since starting this training. For those who don't run distance, the goal is to run as fast as you can with the lowest possible HR. Because of the training his HR program has given me, I can now say I'm more ready for this next race than ever before.
What do I need to qualify for Boston? A finish time of 3:15:00 or less. This equates to a 7:26 mile x 26.2 of them. For those who want to improve their sport, there is a LOT to be said from what you will learn from having a VO2 MAX test done.
Thanks Fireman Dan, thanks Doc. you're both great guys!! I'll let you know how things go in PA.
Before meeting with Dr C, I weighed 230 lbs, had a 1872 Triglyceride count and a 289 overall cholesterol. After religiously practicing the concepts that Dr. C teaches in the 12 week metabolic program, I'm down to 175 lbs, with a 134 Triglyceride and a 128 overall cholesterol. I've continued to practice the concepts taught by Dr. C and his team and have maintained the same body levels. I feel great. The team at SSMI was awesome.
Metabolic Enhancement Weight/Fat Loss Package
Start: 230 lbs
End: 175 lbs
When it comes to the very best healthcare- from annual checkups to more serious health concerns there is simply no one better and no one more understanding at how to help than Dr.Dave Carfagno. His attention to detail,compassion and follow-up is the best I have ever experienced as a long time patient of his practice.
Treating the whole person...
Dr Carfagno is one of the last of a dying breed that actually cares about his patients and their recovery! Prior to meeting him, I visited several top-rated surgeons in the area none of which would look at me as "whole" being...they only viewed me as the sum of my parts and how they would be paid, immediately ready to schedule surgery on one part of me and a new appointment with new copay to review another part inter-related. Dr Carfagno recently completed Orthovisc injections in my hip that has corrected the knee by eliminating the pain and its effect on my walk. He and his staff care...it's about YOU, not their bottom line. I could not recommend more.
Amniogenic Therapeutic Injection with a Great Result!!
Our patient Marvin Y. had a rotator cuff tear and along with physical therapy, eventually underwent an Amniogenic Therapeutic Injection Ultrasound-Guided and had a fantastic result. Ultrasound pre and post are displayed.
Go with your gut: Terra's story
The following was written my SSMI patient Terra. Thanks, Terra!
I have been a patient of Dr C. since 2012. No major medical issues except for typical triathlete pains and nags. No one would have thought that I would end up with a DVT and PE (blood clots) after racing. It started way back in July with a 12 hour drive from San Jose back into Phoenix. I was coming back home to catch a 5 hour red flight into Indianapolis for the 70.3 Muncie half ironman. I was swimming the relay portion (1.2 miles) and had no problems during the past 2 months prior where my training consisted of swimming 1.5 miles 3x a week. Every time I fly or drive long distances, I wear my compression sleeves.
During the swim, which was 24 hours after I arrived in Muncie, I ran into some issues about 3/4 in. Basically, I could barely breathe and was choking on water; so much so that a fellow swimmer helped me to the lifeguard where I immediately peeled off the top of my wetsuit in attempst to breathe. I hung out with the medic and lifeguard for a good 10 minutes, still trying to catch my breath. Now, I am a RN and probably should have listened to my brain, but I decided to push on because others where counting on me. I still struggled a little, yet I made it ashore and pasted the chip to my teammate. I immediately left the course cause I was exhausted, still coughing up water. I got back to the hotel, put my compression sleeves on and jump in a car for a 6 hour car ride home-I slept.
Fast forward to the end of July when I flew back into Phoenix from Wisconsin, another 5 hour flight. Did some moving and went for a run on a Saturday. Now I hadn't been running in while cause I have been recovering from an overuse injury that had occured awhile back. Getting off the treadmill, my left calf was tight, like a cramp. Did not think anything of it, got a massage on Sunday which didn't help either. Monday I called the office for an appointment cause I was limping. One look by Luke, PA and the thought was a pulled or strained calf muscle so I needed an ultrasound the next day. Tuesday I ended up getting a MRI done instead which proved I had a small blood clot in my left calf. Doc urged me to go back to get an Ultrasound done on that same leg. I went home to rest as ordered
Doc, relying on his gut instincts, thought there might be something more when he never received a call regarding the Ultrasound done that day. Instead he called me stating I needed to go to the ER for a high resolution CT of my chest and labs. Specifically a d-dimer [a blood test that measures a substance that is released when a blood clot breaks up] which I had to tell the ER doctor to order because he wasn't going to. While waiting for labs to come back, I went for another Ultrasound which was also negative for a clot in my leg. The d-dimer came back elevated which indicated a possible PE therefore I did get my CT scan proving I also had a clot in my lung.
I can say two things after this: If you run into problems breathing during anything, especially when racing with a wet suit on and you traveled a distance to that race, think twice about going on. It is a race and not worth risking your life over (which I should have done and let the medics take me ashore). Secondly, I thank Doc for trusting is gut and sending me to the ER that night and for getting a MRI done because of the 2 ultrasounds that I had done, neither showed that I had a clot.
If Doc says do something, DO IT! There is a reason for it.
I had great results from the program. I saw big gains not only in my weight, but in the weight i was lifting as well. I would definitely repeat the program and use a little more discipline next time and see even better results.
Metabolic Enhancement Weight/Muscle Gain Package
Start: 167 lbs 17.7%
End: 177 lbs 20%
The success that I had was because the program allowed me to coordinate the diet, the supplementation,strength training and the aerobic exercise into a daily regimen where the results showed weekly in reduced body fat and reduced body weight.
Metabolic Enhancement Weight/Fat Loss Package
Start: 288.7 lbs 32.9%
End: 247 lbs 25.7%
Best at promoting well-being
Dr. Carfagno and his team greatly motivated me in my fitness goals with a specific and realistic diet and exercise plan. Dr. Carfagno follows a truly holistic approach and is extremely empathetic. I am fortunate to have been guided by a physician like him!
- Gitika P
Dr C and the staff @ SSM are professional, caring, and knowledgeable!! They take your healthcare seriously and are willing to go the extra mile to assist with patient counseling, fitness or lifestyle needs. They make you feel like you're "Family"
NBA Hall Of Famer
I started Dr. Carfagno's weight loss program over two years ago. In my initial 3 months I had a lot of success losing weight due to my change in diet and exercise routines. I had tried other plans like Atkins with short term success but I always gained the weight back.
I think the thing that helped me most was when my wife joined the program and we we're both following similar nutritional plans. It made it easier when we were both working towards similar goals.
It's been 2 years and I am still following the plan and enjoying continued success. Everyone at Dr. C's office is great.
Metabolic Enhancement Weight/Fat Loss Package
Start: 216 lbs 40.8%
End: 198 lbs 37.5%
Dr. C, you have helped me improve my health from the first day I walked into your office. I thank you so much for that. I feel better now than I did 5 or 10 years ago. You are a major reason why. Thank you, my friend.
A/K/A Rapper Young MC
I did the 12 week program with SSMI and was impressed with the depth and commitment that the staff had towards me reaching my personal weight-loss goals. I enjoyed working with them and have found that this really is a lifestyle change and not just a diet.
Bob M. Patient
Pain free for the first time in years...
It has been about a 1 1/2 years since my amniotic and PRP injection into my left knee. Instead of facing knee replacement surgery in another 6 months, I am back to a routine of walking daily and being able to work out without a knee brace. I can actually kneel on the tile floor to perform tasks like changing the water filter in the refrigerator. What I want now is a similar procedure to reduce my age and the aging process, but that is probably unlikely even for a miracle worker like Dr. Carfagno.
Cave Creek, AZ
A year ago I experienced unexplained lethargy and fatigue, along with a culmination of tremendous weight gain. I had always been a very energetic person who especially enjoyed running. I am so happy that I made the decision at that time to enroll in SSMI's metabolic enhancement- weight/fat loss program. After the 12 week program, I lost my goal of 25 lbs. and began to feel much more energized. It took hard work but Dr. Carfagno's staff, (including Luke K. and Brittany Z.), was very supportive and well-coordinated with my exercise and diet regimen. I really feel that I experienced such success because Dr. Carfagno also astutely explored the reason behind my RMR results and did blood work to discover the cause as well. Scottsdale Sports Medicine Institute is indeed a unique medical practice and Dr. Carfagno and his staff are the consummate healthcare professionals. This program was very educational and enlightening. I next plan to train and run in the PF Chang's half-marathon with my husband and daughters.
Metabolic Enhancement Weight/Fat Loss Package
Start: 174 lbs 50.0%
End: 151 lbs 45.8%
Meet Joseph W and just try to stay unmotivated
The following was written by my patient, Joseph. Thanks so much!
"O. K......so here's the question Dr. Carfagno is always asking, "Do we grow old because we stop playing games or do we stop playing games because we grow old?" So how would you answer that question for yourself....... hmmmm?
I have learned that nothing and I mean nothing, keeps us young at any age like inspired self-thinking......... like thinking thoughts that make us feel good....like thinking thoughts of self-appreciation about who we are and what we do. Thoughts that make us feel good about our bodies. Thoughts that make us feel good about how we willfully commit to gift our bodies with enjoyable focused practice and training that creates and promotes well being for us and for our fabulous bodies.
I invite all of us who train...... all of us who practice....... all of us who workout to passionately appreciate the loving gift we give our body each and every time we start our "well-being regimen." I invite all of us to passionately appreciate how we willfully choose to honor our bodies and willfully choose to embrace and contribute to our own well-being. I invite all of us to passionately appreciate how each of us willfully chooses to grow youthfulness and expand joy directly into our daily lives....... YESSSSSSSSSSS!
My mom taught me a long time ago the great thing about self-inspiration, the great thing about feeling good about yourself is that it is contagious..... so pass it on and enjoy all the smiles!
I wish Youthful Well-being to you and.......... Yo! Doc, "keep asking that question."
SSMI Patient Story - LC
Meet LC. She's 88 years young and one of our patients here at SSMI. She's been suffering from osteoarthritis of the spine and hip. To treat it, she's done physical therapy, taken medications and had injections in her back. The biggest relief and what helped her start to walk again has been platelet rich plasma, or PRP Therapy.
PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing, bone regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process.
The smile on her face says it all! So happy for LC.
Kind words from a patient...
After years of bad habits, I had begun developing a litany of health issues, ranging from massive weight gain, alopecia (hair falling out), heart flutters, and random injuries. However, with Doc's help and advice, I have gotten in as great of shape and as healthy as I've been since my college days (and all the hair grew back)! Sure, any doctor can tell you what to do, but Doc truly cares about you as a person and a friend. It is this simple yet meaningful difference that separates him from everyone else, and makes his words carry that much more weight. Thanks for everything Doc!
Hey, who doesn't like to hear this kind of thing? We are just so happy to see our patients make amazing progress and be proud of their results!
I feel fabulous. Not only am I thinner, I'm healthier. My cholesterol is lower, I have more energy and now I actually enjoy working out. I have tried many other weight loss programs and SSMI's helped me to learn to control habits, that's it's up to me and not some magic pill or trick. The education and tools given to me help me manage my health and weight.
Metabolic Enhancement Weight/Fat Loss Package
Start: 131 lbs 46.7%
End: 121 lbs 43.5%
Amniogenic Therapeutic Injection in Osteitis Pubis with a great result!
I have been an avid tennis player and runner my whole life. In 2011 I slowly began to develop left groin pain. Over time, the pain and its referral began to spread. Eventually I was unable to not only play tennis or run, but I could not hike nor ride a bike due to the pain. In the Fall and Winter of 2013/2014 my symptoms had progressed to where on rainy days I literally could not walk due to barometric pressure changes. An evaluation from Dr. David Carfagno revealed Osteitis Pubis. In April of 2014 I received a stem-cell injection from Dr. Carfagno. Since then I have been able to return to exercise, snow ski, and even run around the tennis court – all pain-free! I feel like the playground has been brought back into my world! My quality of life has been restored. Thank you, Dr. Carfagno!
David Bayliff, PT, MPT Phoenix, AZ
SSMI Patient Story - My Dad
This patient story hits very close to home for me, as it's by my father! I really appreciate him sharing his experience.
In mid-January of this year, my son, Dr. David Carfagno, gave me a thorough physical exam. In addition to routine requirements (blood profile, urine, etc.) he requested that I complete a CT Heart Score evaluation through an outside facility although it wasn't covered by my Medicare insurance. David advised me that there is no protocol for ordering a CT Heart Score test at my age. Medicine requires this evaluation below 60. But David had a feeling. Being the obedient patient an father that I am, I agreed.
Subsequently, David got the results of my test. It was a startling 1700. The normal range for a 70 year old male is 0 to 400. It's important that you understand my then state of health -- and this is very important!! My blood pressure was 130/80....with no medication. My LDL bad cholesterol was 128 -- in range for me. I've never had a chest pain, shortness of breath, or a heart attack. As a matter of fact, two weeks before during the Christmas holidays, I did the treadmill at home for 35 minutes and covered over 1.5 miles....no pains, no shortness of breath.
David immediately set up an appointment for me with a cardiologist, Dr. David Rizik. We visited on January 22 and agreed to do a Nuclear Stress test. He felt that it could be something; but with my excellent health and lack of heart symptoms, it would probably be nothing. On January 27th I went for the test. Once I'd reached 85% of expected heart rate a nuclear dye was injected. At 5 minutes and 33 seconds, they stopped the test. I wasn't even breathing hard or sweating. I had a lot more endurance to go.
I didn't know that for the last minute my heart was in V Tach which is a lethal cardiac arrhythmia. David later told me that if I continued exercising, there's a good chance I would have had a cardiac arrest. I would have expired!
I was scheduled for an angiogram the following Wednesday, February 5th, at Scottsdale Healthcare. While on the table and semi-conscious, I heard Dr. Rizik call upon my wife, Leona, to be sure she could hear me in the room; then, my son David who was on the phone. He continued to advise all who could hear that although he's paid for putting stents in, if I were his father, he would have me do at least a triple bypass, since my blockage was between 70 and 80% throughout. He further said that he had Dr. Riley in the room to look at my heart on the screen and that Dr. Riley had cleared his schedule for the next day, Thursday, to do my procedure. Furthermore, he said I was a thoracic surgeon's dream to work on, since the central part of my heart and my valves were in excellent condition. Evidently, my heart condition was known as a widowmaker and, according to David, I may have had only one year left.
Dr. Riley performed the surgery the next afternoon, February 6th, and did a quadruple bypass. Fortunately, no bleeding, and recovery has been without incident.
I have two important thoughts to leave with you:
1. I had no knowledge that anything was going on inside my chest. I've always had great energy and endurance. But, my son saw something in me that he didn't like and pursued it, because he's not only a doctor who evaluates by protocol, but also, because he listens to his "gut"
2. I, in combination with my wife, Leona, gave David life. And he's now given life back to me, and I'll be eternally grateful for his education, detail and "gut" reaction. I don't feel special about this since I've seen him react similarly throughout his medical career with other patients.
If there's a moral to this story, it's this: If you're in the peak of health, you really don't know what's going on inside. Do what's necessary to be sure you positioned to live your life the longest and fullest you can. Many people might have said, "Heck, I'm not getting any special evaluation test done that's not covered by my insurance." Well, that could wind up hurting you more than spending a few bucks for your life!!
SSMI Patient Story - Loren M
Meet SSMI patient, Loren M. She's a real inspiration and represents what it means to be determined. I'm so happy to have met her!
"My successes with SSMI have been happening a lot longer than just the one month Metabolic Program. In early 2010, I was diagnosed with POTS [postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome]. Some people are bed ridden from POTS, and at my worst I was only able to stand for 20 minutes at a time before fainting or extreme dizziness. I did some research and found that cardiovascular exercise can be very helpful. I prayed specifically for a Doc that could really understand I was in a bad place, but was a dynamic enough thinker to believe I didn't have to stay in that bad place.
By the time I increased my running time from 4 minutes to 20 very hard minutes at a time, God brought me to Dr. Carfagno. I knew right away he was my guy.
Fast forward to about 8 weeks ago, I said "Doc, I would like to run a marathon, do you think I can do it?" Dr C's response, "YEAH!" And the plans began. Four weeks later, I came in to give an update and get some help on eating. We decided I should do the Metabolic Program. I saw it as a great opportunity to improve my food intake, my exercise plans, my recovery time, energy levels, my POTS, my lean muscle mass and ultimately help me become a more efficient runner.
I am extremely pleased with the results! In ONE SHORT MONTH I have increased my run mileage 3 miles making my most recent run just over 12 miles. My body comp began at 26.4% and is down to 24.5%, my cholesterol started at 159 and is down to 113; breaking that down my HDL started at 69 and is down to 49 with my LDL starting at 84 down to 56. I have lost a total of 2.5 inches over my entire body and am a lot stronger! And probably the thing I most love; my recovery times are a lot faster!! The POTS can make me extremely fatigued, so this was a very important thing to monitor specific to me.
Probably the hardest thing for me to overcome in the month was the belief that I would fail. Dr Carfagno gave me some hard things to follow, but he gave them because he cares and he believed enough that I could do it, when I doubted. I am so glad God brought me to Dr Carfagno and am confident I will get all the tools I need to successfully run 26.2 miles. Peace out!"
SSMI Patient Story - Jennifer H
Jen is just the latest to join our Top Tens list -- check out her numbers! I'm so impressed with what she achieved. Here's what she had to say:
"I'm so happy that I took the first step and started Dr. Carfagno's weight loss and workout program. I'm very pleased with my results so far and will be keeping up with everything I've learned, that is keep active and watch what you put in your body. Thank you to Dr. C, and Dan for being very encouraging!
SSMI Patient Story - Andy D
Congrats to Andy D!! He completed the 30 day Metabolic Program and totally crushed it, And he has awesome results! Here's what he has to say:
"Just wanted to thank Dr. Carfagno and Dan and the whole staff for their encouragement and professionalism. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about changing their health to do this program. It is so simple to follow and the results in 4 weeks are amazing! I dropped 25lbs, my LDL cholesterol went from 126 to 78, and my total cholesterol from 232 down to 162. My LDL started at 126 and went down to 78. My DXA body composition went from 37.5 to 30.5. And my lean mass went from at 55,737 g to 58,265 g. My blood pressure wetn from 126/70 to 106/63. This truly will be a simple lifestyle change!"