I like being busy & going or a mile a minute. My husband spends most of his days at a baseball field or at a gym preparing for the baseball season or in a duck blind decompressing from the grind of the baseball season. So me, his wife, has found hobbies. I'm a fitness fanatic, a blogger, a baker, a recipe maker, a mama to two high-energy pups, oh and did I mention I like working out? Add in my full time job, I'm a pretty busy chick.
Well it’s official I have spread myself too thin, literally. The muscle tissue in my upper body began to break down and I have been diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis. If you don't know what Rhabdo is, you're not alone. I had no clue what it was until my diagnosis. After working out with a personal trainer 4 days in a row and being the competitive athlete that I am, challenging myself with what appears to be too many reps and too many slow eccentric movements, my body finally shut down. I thought I was just suuuuuper sore until I checked out my T-rex arms and realized that those babies had swelled up like two big balloons! My elbows were nonexistent and my arms literally would not straighten. My biceps were so tight it hurt to lift anything & everything.
Let's rewind a bit and introduce everyone to Rhabdomyolysis. After Andrew googled my symptoms (what all good husbands do) Rhabdomyolysis was a reoccurrence on every search. According to Wed MD, Rhabdomyolysis results from the death of muscle fibers. This breakdown of muscle tissue releases damaging protein into the bloodstream. This protein (myoglobin) can damage the kidneys. What causes this syndrome? You can read a full list here, but the cause of my specific case was an extreme muscle strain, from you guessed it, working out.
During our google adventures there was one particular search that caught my attention, “Rhabdo CrossFit”. I wasn't attending a CrossFit gym, but I was definitely doing CrossFit like workouts, designed the way I wanted. More and more articles talked about Rhabdo being common in first time crossfitters OR for athletes already in shape but doing a new type of workout. I insert myself in this column. After going into a moment of panic, I emailed my doctor late Sunday night to tell her my symptoms. On Monday morning, I went in for a blood and urine test to see if I did in fact have Rhabdo. Tuesday rolled around and my doc called to tell me I hit the nail on the head. My blood tests came back positive for Rhabdomyolysis. My CK (muscle enzyme) levels were a whopping 36,126 (29-143) being normal. There was no blood in my urine, which was a good sign that my kidneys had not been harmed. My doctor thinks I was able to flush some of the blood out because I am so health conscious and hydrated (high five to the water challenge team)! I had the option of going into the ER for an IV drip OR to self-hydrate at home with electrolytes & vitamin waters. I chose to stay home.
So here I am 6 days in to the Rhabdo diagnosis and trying to figure out how the heck to sloooooow my life down. I've taken this as a sign that I've been trying to do too much. I'm not the professional athlete in the family, my husband is & I need to take a step back. The athlete in me is always striving to do more and is always up for a new challenge. Well here's my latest challenge, learn how to slow the heck down Maggie.
What I am learning is that sometimes doing too much is harmful to our bodies. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Well besides love, there can never be too much love. I am trying my best to spin this injury into something positive. The silver lining … my injury came just before the holidays and I now have 3 additional hours a day not spent at the gym but spent slowing down and cherishing the season with my family in town & embracing the Christmas spirit. I plan to take this time to really connect with myself. To spend more time in the morning with my husband, spend more time with my dogs at the park, more time in the kitchen, more time on my blog & on my book, and maybe just maybe this whole slowing down thing will allow me to get that group fitness certification I've always wanted. Ok, ok maybe I won’t achieve all these things in 3 hours a day over the next couple of weeks but the point is there is always something good that can come from adversity!
The sky is the limit for me with this mindset. My sweating once a day motto has been put on the back burner for a bit but I am walking my dogs every day to keep my legs moving (it's too cold to break a sweat outside)! This injury has definitely been a wakeup call for me. I hate that it took an injury like this for me to come to my senses. However, I am glad it happened now and not when I have babies to lift or a pregnant belly to carry around because these t-rex arms are going to be OUT for the count for a while!!
Thank you to everyone who reached out with calls, texts, emails, & social media messages. It meant more to me than you know that you all were thinking of me. I hope everyone can take a page from my book and slow down this holiday season & enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with your family and friends. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from my family to yours!
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