30 June 2008

Did Not Start

I've never DNS'd or DNF'd a race I've entered, although I'm sure there's one out in the future somewhere. I have certainly DNS'd and DNF'd training runs. This weekend's 31 mile trail run on the Ice Age Trail wasn't an official race, nor was it a training run. I'd been looking forward to it for a long time. The Ice Age Trail is my favorite place to run, and I've even run on other segments of it in other parts of Wisconsin when given the chance. More on that later...

This weekend was a perfect opportunity for the run. Ellie left for Ireland (she's in a wedding over there) on Friday, so she wouldn't have to listen to me talk about how fantastic the run was for endless hours after it was over. Along the same line, I didn't have any obligations this weekend so I could simply enjoy the run and selfishly lay around after it, all dirty and sweaty and smiling and eating ice cream.

Then the weekend came. As I had mentioned, I was getting pretty run down by the end of the week, especially when I tried to run on Thursday and ended up walking. Marcy yelled at me in comment section to suck it up, so I did.*

However, Friday after work I felt crappy again. I had a headache that made my face hurt when I would move my head in any direction. I honestly have no idea when I had previously had a headache. I went through 4 years of chiro school without any illness-related absences. I haven't missed a day of work in a year and a half of practice. Despite all that, though, my head was pounding and it hurt to move my neck all afternoon. Not surprisingly, during dinner with my parents at an Irish restaurant, the headache subsided with a pint of Guinness :)

Saturday morning I woke up with the same headache. And a low back ache. I'm a chiropractor! I don't get low back pain! WTF is going on? I decided I'd postpone the run until late morning or mid-day and see how things went. Unfortunately, things continued to go downhill, and my temp continued to climb, all the way to 102 at one point. Not good. But all hope is not lost. I won't run Saturday, but Sunday I will. I continued to hydrate and eat oranges, bananas, and strawberries.

In bed Saturday night I alternated between sweating fevers in only my underwear and shivering chills in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Three times during the night I woke up and changed clothes again. Sunday's run was not looking good.

Sunday morning, same old story. Headache. Stiff neck. Sore low back. No energy. Swollen and painful lymph node in my right armpit. Something's not right. Lyme Disease (which had been on my mind since that tick run) became more and more likely in my mind, but its hallmark symptom is erythema migrans, or a bulls-eye rash, which I didn't have. Nonetheless, I knew I needed blood work and scheduled an appt with a doctor friend for Monday afternoon.

Sunday night I drenched the sheets in sweat. Gross.

This morning I still felt like crap. Headache. Stiff back. Chills. But the icing on the cake was provided by a glance in the mirror as I dried myself off from the shower:

Bulls Eye!, complete with an extremely downtrodden and disappointed look on author's face.

While not quite a perfect bullseye, the last part of the diagnosis is now present. Since then, it has become more distict, to the point that the doctor told me he could take a picture for a textbook.

I caught it very early, which bodes well for treatment. It's in early "Stage One" which is best described in all the symptoms I have had the last two days. Stage Two is when it gets more serious, so I'm optimistic to take care of it and get on with it. I guess I can look forward to 4-5 day flare ups like I had this weekend occasionally for the next couple months, but the frequency of the flareups can alter based on personal and immune system health, so I've got an advantage in that respect. I'm leaving to join Ellie in Ireland and England on Friday, so let's just not get a flare up next week...

So now I'm on antibiotics and a couple supplements to boost the immune system, and the running is on hold. If I'm up to it, I may take a Parsenn Pace run or two, but my plans for the fall are definitely on hold for a while. There's a reason for this...I just need to open my eyes up to it!

* I added this sentence just to make you feel bad, Marcy. I only hope Mr McG and your kids get a bit more sympathy :) LOL JK But I DID include my first ever bathroom picture!


Jenn said...

Oh no! That sucks. Good luck with treatment and feel better.

Turi said...

Wow - running and training through sickness is never fun, but - dang. We'll all be thinking about you, sending good thoughts your way, I'm sure...

Marcy said...

Duuuuuudddeeee after the 3rd and 4th paragraphs I was thinking LD. Especially since you had that nasty tick fest. Man that totally totally sucks. I'm sorry homie! :-( I hope you start feeling on the up and up soon :-) Take care of yourself.

And I swear I was only bustin! ;-) But thanks for the BR shot and half nude too :P

Triseverance said...

Been there done that my friend. I however had more acute symptoms then you which landed me in the hospital for two days. Funny story but to long for a comment. You will feel better very quickly from the treatments. I know I did and never any subsequent problems. Good catch Ticks SUCK!

keith said...

Aw, man...I hope you feel better soon. I can't believe such a tiny thing can make you feel so crappy. It sure seems like lots of people are getting that this year. I guess I'll be looking EVERYWHERE when I get done running now.

glad you caught it early, and FEEL BETTER SOON!

Nitmos said...

Uubelievable. That totally stinks. Hopefully it won't lay you up to long. However, it might be one of those unasked for breaks that ends up being a blessing in disguise.

Do you need a separate passport to bring Lyme disease to Europe?

*aron* said...

OH NO!!! that is horrible!! i hope you start feeling better soon.

The Laminator said...

Man, that's so not fun. I was totally looking forward to your training stories for sub-3:00.

I'm glad you figured out the diagnosis and sought treatment before it got worse though.


My wife has Lyme's. It's an ugly disease with very serious long-term problems if you don't get it under control immediately.
Please be sure the antibiotics are strong and for at least three weeks. Hopefully your doctor knew this. The first doctor we went to only gave her a ten day cycle and that just kind of hid the disease. we're now three years later and just making real progress. The latest diagnosis is that it has morphed into fibromyalgia. She'll now have to deal with it for the rest of her life.


I just saw the comment you left for me. It sounds like you got the correct type and length of meds.
Jen has been tested for every known strain of Lyme's and has always tested negative. Our understanding is that this disease shows a false negative at least 40% of the time so we've given up on the tests.
We even had one doc tell her he didn't believe in Lyme's and then he suggested antidepressants. Jen nearly dropped him right there in the exam room.

MN Ultra Runner said...

Hey bro,

Sorry to hear the news. Stay strong and you're right, everything happens for a reason.

Meg said...

I'm glad to see you're on antibiotics! I'm the only one in my family that hasn't had LD (not far from Connecticut), and it can be fairly annoying if you don't catch it right away. You should be feeling fine soon!

David said...

I was reading this last night but was too tired to really grasp it. So you got nailed by a bad tick? Man, that sucks! And it's too bad it's going to derail your running for a bit. Hopefully you will rest up and get that thing completely taken care of. Thanks for the lesson in Lyme Disease, though!.

Jess said...

I've known many people who have had lyme's disease and they've recovered fine. Hope the same is true for you!

Have fun in Ireland and England!

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