Thursday, July 22, 2010

Turn Of Events

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling quite good considering my overall fatigue on Monday. I've done this enough to know that once you wobble through a recovery run like I had, the next day usually feels good. Thank goodness I was right. The schedule called for a warm up, hill workout, warm down. The chosen hill was on UMD campus on Niagra. After a near 4 mile warm up I started the repeats and totaled 5 along with 5 striders on top of the hill. (Niagra street is the main street running through the topside of campus) My legs were performing well and I was starting to feel some nice turnover in the legs. After the warm down things were looking good heading into the mid-week.

The details are: 1:12: 36 9.6 miles
5 times hill, rest 30 seconds, 30 second striders,
jog back down, repeat.

I went to work like I usually do and had my lunch about 1230. What would happen over the next twelve hours would be a huge surprise and one that has left me pondering the rest of the summer racing season.

About 2 PM I started feeling some mid-abdominal cramping that seemed to be what I considered "gas pains". The discomfort didn't let up and after two Tum's I didn't feel any better I was wondering if I had a case of mild food poisoning. (I had a major bout of food poisoning when I was about 14 years old and will never forget that feeling!!) Once I got home the pain was a bit worse and caused me to hit the bed in the fetal position. As I waited for the "gas" to pass I just lied there wondering how long would I have to wait. The Tums were given another try with no help, as was the small sip of juice and graham cracker I tried to ingest. It wasn't too long after this that I started thinking like a marathoner. (you never stop comparing life's experiences to your marathon experiences, as the marathon can develop some true character) My thoughts would go on something like, "this is the last 4 miles and you hurt. Just put up with it for a little longer and it will pass." Four hours later I was still trying to talk myself into "waiting it out". The last thing my wife offered before heading to bed was a trip to ER. I looked at her and told her I was just going to lie on the couch and wait a bit more. About an hour later, I wrote a simple note and left it on the kitchen counter. "I went to ER."

Abdominal pain is probably one, if not the most common complaint for ER admissions. Driving down there I kept thinking, "what a goober, I am going to go in there, pass a big fart and have the ER staff wonder why I wasted their valuable time." I was roomed quite timely and soon I had, blood work, urine sample, and a abdominal x-ray. Before heading off to the tests I did get an unbelievable shot of Dilauded. Take this if you can! What a rush, and much help!!

(Oh, first I have to mention a funny side note. When the ER doc came into my suite he looked at me puzzled and said, "I see when you last saw your primary doctor your heart rate was 38. Today it was 37, 38. Can you explain that to me. I politely said, "yes." "Well, why is it?" "Because I run about 75 miles a week training for marathons." "Oh, I see" he said. That was all it took for explanation, as I know he too runs often, and also why I found it odd for me to explain. I guess he was just doing his job. For the rest of the night that was the traveling joke among staff. "Here comes the guy with the heart rate of 38", or "Hey I hear you run a lot". Isn't it funny and sad that in america today I'm the odd guy out there? It's too bad more people aren't active to where something like a healthy, low heart rate goes unnoticed.)

So, after I returned from the X-ray, a good ten minutes passed and the ER doc returned to my room. As he was thinking he said, "all of your labs and Xray's came back perfectly normal." Abdominal pain is very broad and it can be hard to figure things out and often you find a problem by ruling out others. It was at this point where I was thinking to myself there is no way I am going home without feeling ALOT better. It was like he could sense this and asked to palpate (feel) my abdomen once again. He was able to make the discomfort worse when pushing on one area and he quickly told me he was sending me to CT to get a scan of my abdomen. Flash back to a Seinfeld episode where George was hospitalized to get his tonsils out. I'm thinking of him lying there, "what is it doc? Cancer, lupus, am I going to die?" Crazy things started going through my mind and I actually thought I was going to have my gall bladder out. The CT was quick and back to the ER. Less than five minutes passed and a new ER doc shows his face unannounced and says "the CT shows you need your appendix out and it hasn't ruptured yet". "there is good news and better news. the good news is it's a simple procedure that a monkey can do. the better news is, the monkey is on vacation and you get a general surgeon to do it." Hah, funny shit doc, I'm not in the mood to laugh. (no I didn't say that but was really close) Soon I was talking to the surgeon and he said I would be in the operating room in less than an hour. Wow! What a change in events.

After a couple phone calls to wake up Kari I told her what was up and I would see her in the am. (just a side note here, don't leave a note to your wife you are going to the ER, then wake her up and tell her you are heading to surgery. To me that made perfect sense, not waking up our 5 year old son at 2 am, but Kari just wanted to be with me to support, I fully understand, but sometimes I think way to practical.) I was in the OR by 3 am and on the post surgical floor by 4:30 am. (my times may be off a bit, lot's of drugs you know?) I had my appendix out via laproscopic device which is much better than the "open" technique.

I made my way home yesterday (WED) afternoon and I am impressed with the amount of discomfort I had. The bad news for me is I am off of running for 2 WEEKS. Wow, do I feel sorry for Kari...

My summer running plans are altered a bit but I remain hopeful that I can still toe the line at TCM in October fairly fit.

Lastly, I have included a link to a sweet, short video of what they did to me.

video link above.


Christopher said...

Man I hope you are feeling better and you are back on the road again. I think I would have passed it off as gas and went on with it and ended up with it rupturing.

Take Care -

Dave Schuneman said...

Glad you left w/a confirmed diagnosis! Just think boosted your POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO!! See ya outdoors when you're ready.

SteveQ said...

Appendix surgery recovery isn't too bad. You can try to keep fitness with cross-training. You'll be back before you know it!

Julie said...

Hi Gregg,
Oh my gosh, what a turn of events! Actually, your post was pretty funny...not funny that you were not feeling the greatest and needed to have your appendix out....funny how you told the story:) Hopefully you will be good as new in no time! Enjoy your weekend and hang in there!