Mental illness a growing concern on tennis tours

For Petra Kvitova, everything changed thanks to a single, simple text message. It was February, and the Czech tennis standout had just landed in Doha, Qatar, for the next stop on the hectic tennis circuit. Seven months after winning her second Wimbledon title and four months after clinching another Fed Cup, she ought to have been on a high. But something was wrong. She felt empty, listless and, most worrying of all, unable to explain why.

Kvitova was preparing for her second-round match against Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic when she checked her text messages. Among them was one from her longtime coach, David Kotyza.

Petra Kvitova said she was burned out, mentally, after playing so much tennis. AP PhotoTim Ireland

“I think it’s a good idea to take a break,” he said. “Otherwise, I don’t know how long you are going to keep on feeling this way.”

Taken aback by the message, the 25-year-old knew something had to be done. She thought it over “for four days and for four nights” until she realized Kotyza was right. The pair had discussed her feelings in January during a tournament in Sydney in a conversation that had Kvitova on the verge of tears. Mentally and physically, she was exhausted.

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Catching up, finally, with Amber Trotter

Ukiah cross country runner Amber Trotter, left, celebrates with Montgomery's Sara Bei after the state meet in 2000. (PRESS DEMOCRAT ARCHIVE)
Ukiah cross country runner Amber Trotter, left, celebrates with Montgomery’s Sara Bei after the state meet in 2000. (PRESS DEMOCRAT ARCHIVE)

November 23, 2013, 3:00 AM

UKIAH — The fastest schoolgirl in American history speaks rather slowly. She is introspective and articulate, and she chooses her words carefully, though she remains as candid as ever.

“Right now, I just don’t have much desire to prove myself,” Amber Trotter said. “The older I get, the harder it is for me to want to prove myself.”

Granted, Trotter is not a schoolgirl anymore, unless you count her Ph.D. program in clinical psychology. She is 29 now. But anyone who follows distance running in the Redwood Empire knows her name, and probably remembers the records she shattered as a senior at Ukiah High in the fall of 2001.

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Vital Signs: A Twitch of the Heart

When a cardiac nurse collapses during a stress test, her physicians must track down a rare heart condition before it kills her.

By H. Lee Kagan|Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Human HeartI was checking on my patients in the cardiac monitoring unit at the hospital where I am on staff, when Denise, a 31-year-old nurse on the unit, stopped me to ask about chest pains she was having.

“I think I need to come see you,” she said. Denise had been my patient for several years. “I’ve been having these pains off and on. It’s been more than a month, and they’re not going away.”

Denise was clenching her fist over her mid-chest—a signal that, despite her relatively young age, she might be experiencing cardiac pain. Patients describing angina, the major symptom of a heart starved for oxygen because of narrowed coronary arteries, often clench their fist against their chest to illustrate what they’re feeling. Typical angina is a pressure-like pain felt in the middle of the chest that is brought on by physical exertion. It fades away with rest. The ache may radiate into the neck or jaw or down an arm.

But Denise’s chest pain was not typical of angina. Her pains were occurring at random times, unprovoked by anything she could identify. And the discomfort went away spontaneously after several minutes, whether she stopped what she was doing or not. Exercise didn’t bother her at all, she said. As I eyed her overweight frame, however—she was an even five feet tall and weighed 150 pounds—it struck me that serious exercise was something she probably thought about more than she actually did.

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Sonoma County cyclist, 23, collapses and dies on steep ride

Published: Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 14, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.
Matt Wilson
A well-known Sonoma County cyclist died on his 23rd birthday Friday after collapsing during a ride up a steep hill outside Santa Rosa.

Matt Wilson of Camp Meeker was climbing Los Alamos Road with another rider at about 12:30p.m. when he complained he wasn’t feeling well, got off his bike at the summit and collapsed.

His riding partner, Henry Stroud, 27, of Sebastopol, said the two had crested the hill and were returning over the top when it happened.

“We were going slow in the lowest gear, talking all the time,” Stroud said. “It took me by surprise.”

Stroud said he started CPR after Wilson drifted in and out of consciousness twice. Then he called 911 on his cellphone.

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Welcome to Thrombo Blog

Hi Everyone,

We hope that you all enjoy the wealth of information we provide  based on Dr. Gary Bodensteiner’s new findings after years of personal experience and research. He has uncovered some never before understood issues that may be the root of a lot of medical conditions.  Do you want to add years to your life and find ways to stay healthy?  If so, keep checking back and we will attempt to aid everyone in unlocking the secrets to a healthy body.


John McKenzie