7.15.2011

The unplanned detour... Room 231.

It's funny.  I was just talking to my husband late last week about how whenever I hit a really nice high - I know there is going to be a really low low.  Circle of life, yin and yang, all that good stuff.  I sort of chuckled when I opened this page to start writing because that is when I noticed that my last post was a high peak along my lifelong roller coaster ride.  And today... is not.

I am writing this post from the lobby of Palmdale Regional Medical Center.  I am adorned in an oversized striped hospital gown with silly blue and green diamond patterns and my yellow knee socks.  I got tired of the brown hospital socks with grips on the foot so that I don't tumble and fall on their overly waxed floors.  Trust me - I will make certain I don't do anything more to ensure a longer stay here than necessary.  I'm going to share the whole story - so that whenever people ask, I can just direct them to this page.  I figure I'll also use it as a reminder later down the line for some precautions I need to take when I get a little lax about paying attention to my body when it is screaming at me.

Rewind to last Friday.  I completed a heavy lifting WOD on Wednesday... 5x5 deadlift.  PR.  I was happy.  School on Thursday.  Nice train ride home.  Mary on Friday.  20 minute AMRAP of 5 handstand push-ups (I did pike push-ups), 10 pistols (I did one legged squats off the box), and 15 pull-ups.  I was a little tired... didn't think anything of it... pushed my way through... finished with 5 rounds and 4 push-ups.  No big deal.  Woke up Saturday a little tired and sore.  Nothing new.  Lounged on the couch all day and watched mobster movies with the hubby.  Woke up Sunday really sore.  Why was I getting MORE sore?  Stretched out some.  Jumped up on my pull-up bar at home to practice a few pull-ups on the tiny purple band.  1 and fail.  That was weird.  Way not normal.

Woke up Monday and couldn't extend either arm out from the elbow past 90 degrees.  Didn't think much of it.  I've been pretty sore from workouts before.  I went running with a friend and felt WIPED OUT.  Totally.  Wiped.  Out.  My left leg had bizarre cramps in my calf and quad.  Arms were killing me.  And I wanted nothing more than to go back to bed.  But I didn't.  I went to CrossFit instead.  Squat cleans, push-ups, and wall-balls.  More arms.  115# was the Rx weight.  I struggled to get up 95#.  Not at all like me.  I know I can Rx that WOD.  After the 3rd round, out of 5, I dropped the weight to 85#.  My arms were empty and my body was out of gas.  I was more tired than normal after this WOD.  Not wanting to think about it, I went about my day like normal... running errands and getting ready for my big day at school on Tuesday.

There was a little chatter on Facebook about the potential of a mild case of "rhabdo" earlier that morning.  Started doing a little research.  A little more.  Google is pretty good and I started getting some answers... and probably more information than I was prepared to handle.  Closed all the Firefox tabs and got on with my day.  Practiced a few 50 minute massages on Matt that night to ensure that I could still perform a massage with stiff, sore, achy arms that didn't extend all the way... Success.  I would most certainly feel better in the morning.

Tuesday I went to school like normal.  Ate a banana.  Chugged coconut water.  Water.  More coconut water.  And more water.  Arms just as stiff.  Just as sore.  And REALLY swollen.  Like a weird creepy, no visible elbow swollen.  The WOD wasn't THAT hard Friday or Monday.  Class was great.  My clinical intro massage went well.  My first paying client went well.  Both clients seemed (and expressed that they were) satisfied.  Second class in the evening.  Excellent learning.  Excellent hands on.  It was a really good day.  Mentally, I was perking up.  Until I notified a friend on my drive home that I might have a mild case of rhabdo and my arms were hurting.  Don't EVER tell a nurse that something serious is wrong with you... even if you don't think it is serious.  She will insist the world is going to end if you don't get checked and will not leave you alone until you have some answers for her.

Wednesday.  Awoke with stiff, puffy, sore arms.  Five days after pull-ups in a workout.  Yeah, okay, MAYBE something isn't right.  Ate bananas.  MORE coconut water.  And more filtered water.  I'll just flush my system and things will get better.  I know it.  Skipped the run.  Skipped the WOD.  More Googling of rhabdomyolysis.  Then I found them.  Pages full of stories about CrossFitters and the workouts they did that landed them in the hospital.  GHD sit-ups.  Lunges.  And in many cases - pull-ups.  They have been CrossFitting for years.  Nothing changed.  Many didn't even have the cola colored urine.  They couldn't extend their arms past 90 degrees.  They were stiff, sore, and ridiculously swollen.  And their Creatine-Kinase (CK) numbers were in the tens of thousands.  One of the highest - 175K.  Wow.  All of them were in the hospital for a few days, with varying degrees of pain and discomfort.  And all of them had to be flushed until their numbers returned to normal.  Hmmm... maybe I should take this a little more seriously?  Just in case.  I contacted a very respected coach and friend from CrossFit CalCity... the one man, that in fact brought the possibility of rhabdo to my attention on Monday morning.  Between Coach Bob, Nurse P, and her daughter Nurse K (with first hand experience)... They insisted in a very assertive way that I go get checked.  Just to be safe.  And for the sake of the long term health of my kidneys.

I didn't want my Wednesday to be ruined... so I went to an existing appointment at noon.  Shared a delightful lunch with my husband.  Thai.  I had the Panang beef... an excellent and very delicious choice at one of my favorite restaurants - The Thai Restaurant in Lancaster.  Then I leisurely made my way to the ER at Palmdale Regional.  14:30 I fill in my paperwork.  "Symptoms consistent with Rhabdomyolysis."  And outlined what I did on Friday.  Where it hurts.  How it hurts.  15:30 - I've peed in a cup.  They're going to take blood.  The rest gets a little fuzzy on timing and order... 18:30 - I learn that my CK levels are at 22,000.  Normal levels range from 90 to 200.  Oops.  Insert IV.  Start flushing the system full force.  21:30 - doc on duty comes by to tell me I have rhabdomyolysis.  Really?  I'm pretty sure I figured that part out by now.  I may possibly have to stay the night.  REALLY?  Now THAT I wasn't 100% ready for... a little bit, based on everything I had read.  But hearing it was still a shock.  Matt ran to grab dinner - Chipotle bowls.  So darn tasty... the last darn tasty thing I would eat until... well, I just don't know yet.  I'm still here. 

Rhabdomyolysis: the breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Some of these are harmful to the kidney and frequently result in kidney damage.


For all the causes, symptoms, and possible prognoses - click HERE.  Basically - if this was the WORST case... my kidneys would fail and I'd be on dialysis for the rest of my life.  Praising God that I am not anywhere near being WORST case.  What I've also read in my continued research around this topic - rhabdo can be induced with high stress levels and lack of sleep.  Hmm... I could be the poster child.

For those of you that don't care to hear about my adventures at Palmdale Regional, you can stop here.  For the other one of you (thanks, Mom for still reading on)... the rest of this post will be a journal of all the eventful on-goings in and around room 231.

I'm wheeled up to my room at midnight-thirty late Wednesday/early Thursday.  Why wheeled?  I can walk.  I'm not sick.  Seriously.  I. am. not. sick.  Matt makes sure I get settled in.  Kisses me goodnight.  And now I'm left alone, in this sterile room... trying to piece together everything that has just happened.

My kidneys are at risk of permanent damage?  All I did was workout - nothing different than normal.  My hydration was deficient.  My sleep was deficient.  And I had a lot on my mind.  The desert was its usual hotness.  I sweat a lot.  Nothing outside of normal.  Now, I have a needle in my arm with the 3rd liter of saline going through.  And I'm told I have to measure every ml of urine that comes out of my body.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep much on Wednesday night.  This really can't be happening, can it?  Wake up at 3:30 to have my blood pressure, pulse, and HR taken.  Normal.  I'm healthy.  I knew that.  Wake up at 6 to give more blood.  Ooh - maybe the CK numbers are down and I can go home today!

Crappy breakfast at 8.  Cream of wheat.  Scrambled eggs.  A strip of bacon.  English muffin.  Cranberry juice.  A carton of milk, people?  I believe I told you when I went to bed last night that I was allergic to milk.  Whatever.  I eat the eggs, THE bacon strip (all that was provided), and the cranberry juice.  I stash the english muffin for later.  I knew food would be hard to come by.  When offered the opportunity to order my lunch - I jump on it.  I even throw in a brownie for Matt.  I'm a big spender like that.  Okay, so HealthNet is the big spender.  But whatever.  Matt got a brownie.  It was about all the thrill I could offer him in a hospital room.

Kidney specialist came in sometime that morning.  Kidneys are good.  Liver is struggling a bit.  Up the fluids.  Great.  AND a diuretic?  Geez, people... I might as well move the bed into the bathroom and set up camp in there.  To be expected - I peed.  A lot.  All day.  And I made sure to write every single ml down on the "track Dania's potty progress chart" posted on my door.  Glad they don't want me to measure anything else.  I'm just saying.  I had an enjoyable visit with my mother-in-law.  I insisted she didn't come - only for the reason that she has spent more than enough time in hospitals over the past few years between my father-in-law and his mother and the array of health issues and broken things that accompanied them.  But she came, and we sat and chatted.  Joked about how healthy I look (and felt).  Our time together was briefly interrupted by a visit from an apple-headed chihuahua and a poodle - both members of the "Pet Pals" pet therapy organization.  Puppy kisses heal all.  I'd prefer my own little babies, but these gals would have to do.  In fact, I'm looking into volunteering with Volt.  He'd LOVE to visit patients and give them all kisses.  I think he'll do great with kids, especially.

Kathy left.  Matt came soon after.  And it was just a long, boring, depressing day.  I had a headache.  I felt nauseous.  And I couldn't really move around.  Matt and I walked a loop around the floor.  And then I came back and laid down.  I felt bad.  I enjoyed having his companionship, but I knew he was tired and had a lot of work he needed to take care of.  After my paltry dinner of two bites of crummy teriyaki chicken, four broccoli florets, and a few bites of rice... I kissed my wonderful hubby goodnight and he headed home to tend to our four legged, fur babies.  I caught up on e-mail as best as I could with PUFFY fingers and an iPhone keypad.  Thank goodness for my friend Emily, who introduced me to a fabulous little time killer - 7 Little Words.  Ugh.  Love it.  Addicting.  And perfect for wasting away time at 3 am when I can't fall back asleep.

I dozed off around 21:30.  Woke up at 22:15 for vitals.  I already knew it was going to be another long, sleepless night.  C.N.A. returned at 23:00.  I think for more vitals.  I don't know - because I actually fell asleep.  Deep.  Deep enough that it felt restful and good!  Played a few rounds of 7 Little Words... and knocked out again.  3 am - vitals.  Pulse - 49.  BP - 89/57.  Freak out time.  4 am - I am woken up, basically to see if I am alive.  I have a series of five leads that are connected to a wireless vitals monitor that is constantly watched from staff on another floor.  They called my nurse to inform them that my pulse was fluctuating in the 50's... then all of a sudden dipped to 39.  39!  I thought that was kind of cool... That's Mikko Salo levels - resting HR of 31.  Mikko Salo, I am not... but man... it made me a little happy.  All I know is that I was extremely relaxed, getting some good "hospital" sleep and all the meditative breathing I have been doing since I got here is finally kicking in.  Don't startle me awake to get it back up!  Heh heh - it was still 49 when they took it again.

6 am.  Right arm = pin cushion for the 5th time.  7:30.  Breakfast.  Milk.  AGAIN?  I want to be like those gnarly old ladies that throw things and scream at the staff (I haven't encountered one here yet, but I was hoping to channel my grandma)... and I wanted to hurl the milk carton (probably the same one from last night's dinner) at the food delivery folk.  But I didn't.  I ate my scrambled egG, piecE of bacon, and cranberry juice.  Brushed my teeth.  Washed my face.  Walked two laps around the floor.  And came back to my room.  Kidney doc came for another visit.  CK down to 8K.  Good news.  Staying at least one more night.  Bad news.  Boo... that means at least three more milk laden meals here.  And at least two more pin cushion pricks into my right arm.

Then I made a choice.  Lay in bed all day.  Sulk.  And wait for tomorrow to see if I get to home.  Or make the most of my day.  If I keep myself busy - time will go by faster, right?  So I showered.  And washed my hair with a bar of soap.  Like a Motel 6 bar of soap.  Mental note and note to all of you - don't do it.  Ever.  I may have to hose my head off later today just to get the residue out.  Even after like five minutes of scrubbing.  Ah well, at least my scalp is clean.  And my face.  And my arm pits.  And the nethers.  Seriously - clean pits and nethers can do wonders for boosting your mood.  Even if I can't get a brush through my somewhat scraggly hair, I feel much better than I did yesterday.  The best part - for 20 minutes - I was completely disconnected.  I felt human again.  No IV cable attached to my arm.  No battery pack with cords connected to my torso.  And no pokey gooey leads poking me in the underbosom.  For 20 minutes.  I relished those moments.

Then I went for another walk around the hall.  Made some phone calls.  Came back to the room, packed up my computer, phone, and IV pole and made my way to the lobby.  Where I started this post.  Looking out the window over the Antelope Valley... seriously, you can see quite a bit of valley from here... being on top of this hill isn't so bad.  On top of a hill in the hospital - meh, but the view is a nice escape.  Blogged a little.  Gazed a little.  Googled and Facebooked.  Then went back to my room.  Lunch.  No milk.  Maybe they're learning.  Fish, carrots, rice, fruit cup.  I DID order an oatmeal cookie for Matt.  I thought someone swiped it while I was out, but noticed it wasn't on the order sheet.  No stale dry cookie to surprise him with when he arrives.  Bummer.  A few more laps.  A vitals check:

BP: 111/73
Pulse: 53
SpO2: 98%
Temp: 98.3

And now I blog.  Sitting up in my bed with my funkified hair... a leaky IV and the hope that MAYBE I'll get to go home tomorrow.  The doc that just stopped by indicated that until they see a HUGE drop, I'm a semi-permanent resident of Palmdale Regional.  Like CK needs to be at 200.  Hmm...

Here I sit... thinking about what is going to happen to my NWM 13.1 training schedule.  And how I'm going to have to be creative, and careful, and even more focused.  Good thing I'm versatile.  And determined.  I'll find a way.  And I'll still PR.  But this little detour has opened a new outlook for me - and I will be more mindful of self-care.  Of hydration.  Of getting sleep.  And more deep breathing.  And most importantly: listening to my body... and especially my friends.

Ha... the admitting department just came in and told me how much my deductible and in-hospital co-pay is.  Put the HR monitor on me now, people.  I'll show you some numbers to worry about!

1 comment:

  1. can't believe it took me this long to read this, or that i found the time to sit in my green office and read every word while husband tends to baby in the other room. feel all holed up in here, but you know what? WORTH IT. Helluva read...of course i focused on the crappy food parts. SNARF!

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