Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another Mile Down the Road

The last we got to catch up things were a little rough for Anna, but we started were eating in a way that would help her feel better. We are slowing adopting the Paleo lifestyle. The first thing out of our diet has been anything processed.  This has thankfully helped Anna tremendously. We finally feel like we have our little girl back. This lifestyle does require a little more meal prep and planning, but we will do whatever to make sure she stays well. Not only that, it has forced all of us to eat much healthier.

Even Anna's arm healed up in time for her to play her last few softball games. Which she was very excited about after being laid up for weeks.

You would think that the reality would be that we would be in a good place for a few days but that wasn't meant to happen for us. Our youngest ended up with a bad stomach pain, and we ended up going to the ER with her. Afraid that for whatever reason we were going down the same road with her, but instead it ended up being extreme constipation. Damn you cheese sticks!

Then to make things worse Allie decided to fall out of box in the garage and badly sprained her ankle. We aren't exactly sure why she was in the box to begin with, or why the lights were off in the garage, something to do with hide -n-seek in the dark. Who knows, we never get the full story from her or Anna! After her complaining for a few days and the swelling didn't go down, we went for X-Rays, lucky it was just a bad sprain, nothing broken. Luckily, because of all of the rain she didn't miss any softball games and after about 2 weeks she was much better. 

After we got over the constipation issue, and in the middle of the ankle issue, Anna ended up with a respiratory infection that kept her out of school for a few more days. She was on breathing treatments around the clock for 2 full days. She finally got over this and both girls finished school on high notes! We even found out that Anna passed the STARR test and did a lot better than average. This is really saying something considering she missed 23 days of school!!  

So for the last 2 months is has been a guess every week on which girl was going to have an issue. As parents we were just happy for a day that everybody felt good and nothing happened. 

Over Memorial Day weekend, we were finally in a place to have some friends over to celebrate our close friends birthday. During our visit he mentioned that I should come with him on Memorial Day and try this crossfit workout called The Murph. Since I was not training for anything specific I thought why not do something different. Not to mention it would be a good challenge for me.

The Murph is a crossfit workout that is done on Memorial Day done in honor of Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy a Navy Seal that gave his life for us in Afghanistan. It was his favorite workout that he called body armor and after his death it was changed to The Murph. It consists of:

A mile run
100 Pullups
200 Pushups
300 Squats
Finished with a mile run

I might mention that at this point Susan did say to me I was going to get hurt, because well she is usually right. Just don't tell her I said that! 

Anyway being the athlete I am I knew I could make it through, but since I don't do much upper body I knew I would be sore. Just not this bad. The other problem with being an endurance athlete coming into this workout is that the part that most of us have that says you should stop I have learned to suppress. This it turns out was a bad thing, because what I didn't say at the start of this post is that I started writing this it from my hospital room. 

That's right we were in the hospital again, but at least it is not one of my kids! Since Monday(Memorial Day) I have developed a rare condition called rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo. It is an excessive breakdown of muscle tissue that is from a release of a damaging protein into my blood. If left untreated will damage or shutdown your kidneys.

I have pushed myself through so many challenges, and I have been sore before but this was a completely different level of sore. I was obviously fit enough to complete it, but my upper body was not conditioned enough for this kind of workout. I am sure that all of the other weird Keebler blood issues contributed to this level of damage along with the statins that I took for years. Either way I was so sore the night after the workout that it physically woke me up, but I still didn't think anything was real serious. Then Wednesday morning I noticed blood in my urine. 

As usual I tried to blow this off as well, but since we were going to go out of town over the weekend Susan convinced me that a doc visit was a good idea. Even though I still had blood in my urine my doc didn't think it was that bad, but he wouldn't know until he got back some blood results. Then he  called me while I was at lunch on Thursday said that I wouldn't be going back to work or leaving town, and instead I would be going to the ER right then. He was also very impressed, because he had never seen levels as high as mine. This has turned out to be a theme with the medical professionals during my stay in the hospital.

Most people's CK levels range from 55-170, mine would only register as >100,000. They weren't even sure how high they were past 100,000, because their test wouldn't measure above 100,000. They typically have seen damage to the kidneys around 6,000. I have been blessed with the fact that I still don't have any damage to my kidneys. Since Thursday I have been a bit of a spectacle, because of the levels of my ck readings. The funny thing is that my nurse last night told me that when he was in Dallas he did see it twice, but it was from severe trauma in an accident, or someone going though extreme cocaine overdose. Nice!

Situations like this always make me feel so special :)

The first few days here my levels didn't really drop much, and when they did they would go right back up the next test. Finally over the last 24 hours they started to drop. At the end of the day yesterday they were 40,000, but my last blood work yesterday came back at 46,000. Then yesterday's was back down to 27,105. This was close enough for us to go home, but I still have away to go before it is back to normal.

I won't lie the up and down is very frustrating, but at least the trend is down. The other problem has been that the pain I had from the workout is very slowing going away. It really has been unlike any thing that I have ever had to recover from in the past. They don't really know why things are going so slow, but they are feeling confident that I am going to make a full recovery. It is just going to be a very slow recovery. 

A couple of positive things have come from this experience. As part of my blood work they ran a lipid panel, and for the first time without medication my total cholesterol was 186. It has never been below 200 without meds, and I can only contribute it to the change in diet. These results gave both of us so much joy,  because we finally feel like we have control over something that is genetic and for the longest time we didn't think we would ever be able to control it. 

The second positive that has come from this little hospital stay is that Susan and I went to see the memorial for my Dad in the Cath Lab waiting room.  A couple of ladies were sitting under it, and we each shared our stories. Her husband has been through so many things like my Dad, and she said that getting to meet us gave her hope. That was really the whole  reason for Dad's memorial. It was for people to have a story to turn to to give them hope and fight. God puts us in some interesting places to help others.

Some people will look at my example and say that it might be another example to NOT workout. Yes I pushed myself beyond a limit that I should have know was there, but that doesn't mean I should not try to be as fit as possible. It was a reminder to build up to what I want to do, but never quit fighting to be healthier. I would have never have ran a marathon or ran a 50K without training, I am not sure why I thought I could do this. Once again, Susan might have mentioned this a few times before I went.

 In my family quitting fighting could mean your dieing. My conditioning and stupidity might have gotten me into here, but it has also helped me survive a bad situation that would have been much worse if I wasn't healthy and fit.

I have said in the past this is the year of just trying to stay fit, and this will be an adjustment for me. Regardless, I am still going to be fighting. Sometimes I might just have to fight at a slower pace than I want.

Living to fight another day,

P.S. To all the doctors and nurses a big thanks, but a special thanks to: Joy, Mariana, Stephanie, Kenneth, Katie, Sara, my nurse practitioner Young, Dr. Kruczek, and of course Dr. Landry. I hope that I haven't forgotten anyone. If so I am sorry I have been slightly delirious :)