Not Pleased to Meet you Uncle Rhabdo
I was planning on starting a weekly member blog, but had no idea my first blog would be describing an experience with the infamous Rhabdomyolysis. I’m sure everyone is somewhat familiar with Rhabdo. Fortunately it is rare enough that it doesn’t happen often. However, most people know of someone, or a friend of a friend who finds themselves at the mercy of Rhabdo.
I am trying to piece together what made last week different and why the conditioning or my behavior outside of CFB could have contributed to the onset of Rhabdo. So far I only have a few ideas.
I CrossFit about 4 to 5 days a week, and last week I completed WODS Monday- Thursday. My quads were tight, and sore but nothing that seemed out of the norm. On Friday I was planning on doing the 4:30 WOD, and I was foam rolling and stretching which is something I am adamant about doing before every class.
As I went to get up from mobility, I felt a sharp pain down my left quad and quickly sat back down, feeling light headed, and weak, I thought I had pulled a muscle and decided against working out that afternoon instead opting for continuing mobility. I went home iced my leg, took Tylenol and continued on with my Friday.
I awoke on Saturday experiencing the same pain and I was having a hard time putting any weight on my leg. I posted on the CFB BS board asking for advice and immediately members mentioned Rhabdo. I started Web- Mding, which is not advised, but I was experiencing some of the symptoms. My leg was tender to touch, swollen, and feeling warm.
With a lot of encouragement from the CFB community, I decided Sunday it was time to head to the ER. I was lucky because Krista picked me up, and she was working in the ER at Brigham and I received the VIP treatment.
At first the nurses didn’t think it was Rhabdo, because I was not acting like a Rhabdo patient. After multiple people looked at my leg, noticing the swelling, redness, bruising, and warmth they concluded it probably was more than a simple strain. They were concerned with Rhabdo as well as compartment syndrome, which was an even more terrifying possibility. I was started on fluids while my blood was sent to the lab for tests. After a couple of hours it was confirmed that my CK levels were elevated and I indeed had Rhabdo. I had caught the Rhabdo early enough so my course of treatment was simply fluids and rest; fortunately there is no apparent kidney damage. I was discharged in the morning with instructions to continue hydrating, resting and no crossfitting for a couple of weeks. As far as what caused it, its possible I was not drinking enough water throughout the week or I simply just over did it, I will never really know. I probably was experiencing Rhabdo for a few days and Friday when my muscles were in a vulnerable state any amount of strain was just too much. I am still feeling pretty weak, and sore but I am definitely on the mend!
My take away from this whole experience is positive. I am thankful for the CrossFit community in that they are informed of the symptoms and their insistence that I went to the ER. I think if anyone ever feels even slightly concerned that they could be experiencing Rhabdo they should head to the doctor. It is not something you want to mess around with, but if caught early the treatment is rather simple. In the end I think this experience will make me a more cautious, and aware Crossfitter and hopefully down the road a knowledgeable CrossFit coach!