Friday, May 2, 2014


Wow! It certainly has been a roller coaster ride the last few days. I have not trained at all since Wednesday and with good reason. It really all started a few weeks ago. After the time trial, I finished and immediately had a really dry cough which contained some blood. No big deal really. Right?

As the month progressed, I carried around some lingering fatigue and even though Abby doesn't sleep much, (which we are used to) this was a bit more than the norm. I was tired!!

I carried on with my training and was managing to get in all of my sessions until last week. I ran on Monday and felt awful. I think it's the worst that I ever felt during a run. I could barely go. I had pain under my rib cage which was not normal, but I really didn't give it much thought. When I got home, I bent down to pick up Abby and something just locked in my shoulder. It was excruciating pain to say the least. It was one of those pains that make you feel like you are going to throw up. Yep, that bad. I couldn't bend my head forward, back, or from side to side. The pain was intense and I felt sick from it. This carried on into Wednesday with no ease. I went to swim thinking I could loosen up my shoulder and I couldn't even make it one length of the pool. No help there. I decided to see Bill at Precision Fitness for some relief.  On Thursday of last week, I went it for some deep tissue work to relieve the pain in my shoulder. Bill was amazing. The deep work hurt really bad, but I was certain it would help and it did. He wrapped me up and by that evening, I went from pretty much 0 mobility to 75%. 

All taped up in pink

On Friday, I took it easy and it was feeling better, but had shortness of breath. It wasn't too bad and I noticed it mostly when walking up the stairs. I continued to take it easy and then on Saturday, I decided to do my long ride with Leyla and Nicole. What I noticed on the ride, was that I was just lagging. I didn't feel like myself. I managed to make it through it and then rested again on Sunday.

On Monday of this week, I ran with Abby in the Bob. That's quite a workout! After running we had our open water swim session and I completely bombed in it. I just felt awful and felt like I couldn't breathe. My neck and shoulder ached and I was starting to get really annoyed with it all.

On Tuesday evening, I had a hard trainer session and pushed myself to the max on minute intervals. I felt strong but breathing was a bit more labored than the norm. I got off the bike pretty pleased with my numbers but about 3 hours after that session, my ribs began hurting really bad. Same side as my shoulder. The left side. I took some ibuprofen but woke up with my ribs in even more pain than when I had gone to bed. I decided once again to swim to see if that helped, and I managed a hard swim, but after it, I knew it was time to see a doctor.

I went in at 3:15 that afternoon to see my doctor and they did some blood work and took chest x-rays. The doctor said, "I'll only call if something is wrong", and by the time I arrived home, my phone was ringing.  My doctor said that she and the radiologist had found a suspicious pleural effusion on my lung and a blunted costrophrenic angle. What? What is that??? She told me that they wanted me to come back on Friday (today) for more testing. I immediately took to google which is not the thing to do. It scared me. Really scared me. I spoke to Dr. Nick and with the coughing up blood and being on the pill, there were some concerns of pulmonary embolism. I was flipping out. How could I go from pushing some major power outage on my trainer intervals to the next day having fluid on my lungs with a possible embolism??? 

Google searching health conditions is no man's friend, especially when you become your own doctor via google. One things leads to things leads to another and then there's this thing and that thing and all these things and then shit, I'm dying. Seriously. NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT GOOGLE WHEN YOU ARE SICK OR INJURED! 

Anyway, needless to stay I was a wreck for a couple days thinking the worst. Just google for yourself 'pleural effusion' and look at the causes. It was not a good feeling. So, back to the doctor I went this morning for more tests. They did an EKG on me first thing and all revealed okay. Then she sent me to the hospital for an emergency CT scan to check for pulmonary embolism. 

Patient Tonya....not very patient having to wait 4 hours!
I have never had a CT scan before and wow, it was all really quick, but weird. They hooked me up to an IV and injected a dye into my veins which made me feel like I was on fire and also made me feel like I was peeing my pants. Thank goodness I didn't actually pee my pants! How embarrassing would that have been??  It was a weird feeling, but it was short lived and I was thankful. 15 minutes after the scan, I was cleared to go. GOOD NEWS!

My doctor called me back later as well to confirm. My lungs are all clear! YAY! Woo hoo! Yippee!! There are no clots and the best news of all...the effusion that she had diagnosed me with on Wednesday, was not present on the CT scan. This was a relief because as of this morning had the CT scan been cleared of embolism and the effusion was still showing, I was going to have to have a biopsy of the fluid in the pleural cavity which scared me. Anyway, that is NOT the case now. 

After being poked, prodded, x-rayed, drained of blood, scanned etc etc, I feel like I can breathe for the first time in a couple of days. My beautiful healthy, strong lungs are a-ok, as are my kidney, liver and pancreas. There's no inflammation in my organs, no infections, nada. Yay, yay and more YAY!

Now the doctor wants me to see a cardiologist next week to have a test to check my heart valve functions. After speaking with Dr. Nick for a second opinion on this, he doesn't feel that it's necessary since my EKG was good. My chest, ribs and shoulder still ache, and am a bit short of breath, but with the clearing of the other things, Doctor Nick thinks that this could be a pulled muscle in my diaphragm. As far as the blood tinged spit after my time trial, he believes that the coughing that I had after the race could have caused a blood vessel in my throat to burst, and it could have leaked blood into the cavity of the lung and that could have been why the other doctor diagnosed the pleural effusion a couple of days ago.

I have been ordered NOT to race the Time Trial race this coming Wednesday and I am absolutely gutted about it. I have to refrain from any hard training until my chest and shoulder pain have subsided. I don't know how long it will take, but my health is more important than a race result.  I have been cleared to do easy stuff and I will be keeping it easy until I feel 100%. I have Lake Hickory Tri at the end of the month and as of now, the plan is to still race that one and then the next Time Trial in June.

I can honestly say that the slightest health scare can make you fully aware of everything around you. Sometimes we take for granted breath, life, family, or the ability to swim, bike, run or even just being alive. My outcome was a positive one and for that I am so thankful. I've read it before...."It is health that is real wealth" and it makes sense to me. I learned a lot over the last few days and I have also realized just how thankful I am for my health! 

Until next time....


No comments: