After roughly 2.5 weeks, I made it back to the gym this morning. Felt freaking awesome. And now for a long story some of you may find boring, but should read anyway.
I’d been out with a mild case of rhabdomyolysis. If you crossfit and you don’t know what rhabdo is.. please read this article, because you should know:
The short story is this quote:
… a potentially lethal systemic meltdown initiated by the kidneys in response to the presence of shed muscle-fiber debris and exhaust in the bloodstream.
(yep, shed muscle-fiber!! good-bye six pack abs and core strength. I hope to see you again someday.. but on a more serious note please notice how that says potentially lethal. the loss of my abs is minor)
Lucky for me, I did know what rhabdo was and the warning signs of it. I was also educated on things that may cause it and to avoid them. However at an open gym, against my own better judgment I just kind of wasn’t thinking and did way, way, way too many GHD’s. INCREDIBLY STUPID. My trainers often warn about doing too many GHD’s and for some reason in the hustle bustle of open gym.. I forgot. Seriously, I haven’t posted about it yet because I’ve been embarrassed about how I got it- that’s how stupid it was. On a normal day, it never would have happened.
Anyhoo, the day after I did this stupid thing (Monday) I actually wasn’t too sore. I thought I had escaped unscathed. Tuesday I couldn’t even stand up straight without some serious work because it was so difficult to straighten my abs. I worked 15 hours on Monday, and 20 hours on Tuesday, was on 2.5 hours of sleep going into Wednesday and was a physical and emotional mess (the perfect storm for a terrible recovery for my muscles). I had a bulge of something in the bottom of my stomach which I had convinced myself was a hernia, started having a panic attack, noticed my feet were also swollen and took my ass to Urgent Care.
The urgent care doctor assured me it wasn’t a hernia (turned out to be a pocket of fluid.. sexy, i know), had no explanation for my swollen feet and wanted to do blood work. She mentioned something about my kidneys… BINGO. I was like, “Well now that you say that, there is a chance I might have rhabdo.”
Her response, “How do you know about rhabdo?” See, it’s important to keep yourself educated. She hadn’t even considered it as a possibility, even after I had told her why my abs were in such pain and what exactly I did to cause that.
She wrote me off as a weirdo hypochondriac but ordered an extra blood test for rhabdo anyway, just to shut me up. The next day she called me and told me to go to the ER. My blood test results were as follows:
CK NORMAL = 129; MINE= 38,000
(hello mild rhabdo! Take that, doctor who thought I was crazy.)
I say mild rhabdo because luckily I didn’t have any of the kidney damage that rhabdo can cause. I never had the dark urine symptom, and my bloodwork didn’t indicate anything wrong with my kidney function. However, I also had highly elevated liver enzymes, which once I assured them I was not an alcoholic they attributed to the muscle damage I had done. A week later I had my blood redone with much better results (thanks to actual sleep, REST, and drinking roughly 95 gallons of water.)
CK NORMAL=129; MINE = 500, phew.
And the morals of the story are:
1) Don’t be an idiot like me. This kind of story is fuel for the CrossFit haters’ fire. But, I’m a firm believer in personal responsibility and this was my own stupid fault.I had been sufficiently warned against this.
2) Know your body and the warning signs. If I hadn’t had so little sleep and been under ridiculous stress I probably wouldn’t have gone to the doctor and would have gone back to the gym too soon to further the damage.
3)Also, know your limits. In retrospect, that was clearly too many and on any other day I would have realized that. But, I didn’t really do the math til after I had started and then I decided it was too late…stupid. I was lucky the damage wasn’t much worse.