Thursday, July 29, 2010

Setbacks SUCK!

July 24th at 3 in the morning I awake gasping to find some air and can't find it. I try to relax and go back to sleep or find a more comfortable position just to get some more air in and no good. I end up pacing back and forth for about an hour debating what to do and then I say F it. Time for help. So I had to wake my brother and sister in law up since I was staying with them. Off to Durango CO's new hospital - Mercy Medical. In the triage and into a room very quickly a few tests were done and I was slapped in the face with the diagnosis. A pulmonary embolism. Basically a blood clot that formed and traveled to my lung and caused the massive discomfort.

For the next 2.5 days I lay in the hospital on morphine, oxycodon, and heparin for the pain and to start thinning my blood to protect me from further clots. The doc explained that I would be ok and that the body would absorb any of the current clots. I would then be placed on heavier blood thinners to prevent me from forming any futher clots and causing any damage. My lung was effected and there was a possible infection forming so I was also on an antibiotic to help fight that if it was the case. So massive meds and lots of rest were the directives for the first couple of days.

Day 1 I was totally in bed and pretty much only woke up for food. Painkillers and food were all I remember. Day 2 was better since the pain meds were getting spread out and I was awake a bit more. I even walked around the floor of the hospital and got a little bit of exercise. I went outside too for a walk but felt so weak I almost collapsed and had to go back inside and rest. Sleep, lesser pain killers, and rest was on tap for that day. Day 3 I felt 10 times better and could actually walk around the floor without losing my breath and feeling like I would collapse. I didn't feel like sleeping any more and was just itching to get out. The doc was happy with her checks and with my progress and granted my release - wohoo! I was out.

Day 4 - I was finally home and on self injections for the blood thinners. Once I got to a safe level then I could just do a different medication in pill form. So I had to do injections twice a day until my blood is regulated. At least I was out of the hospital. So of course my first day out I had to go for a bike ride. It was great to feel like a person again and be on this stupid machine that makes me feel so good.

Day 5 - Been off medication for pain for 2 days now and it's been great. Lungs feel dinged up but decent. Better than I thought they would anyway since Sunday I could barely walk without gasping for air. Went for a hike with my brother and sister in law and felt pretty good. I was not in hiking shape to begin with so I definitely had to slow down and do my own pace and just enjoy being outside. It was great.

Day 6 - Another great day and went for ride #2 since the clot. It felt pretty decent but still not pushing it at all. I figure I should give myself at least a week until I put any kind of strain on my system. So easy does it and now it's naptime. It's been a messed up week but one full of learning and motivation for later in the season. So far so good but it's still going to be a while before I'm 100% again.


  1. Dude, see if they can hook you up with some therapeutic EPO! You know, for medical reasons, to help your lowlander lungs deal with the altitude, medically...

  2. Hahaha nice thought! I already got them to give me a beer with dinner the one night. They had to give me a "prescription" Busch beer. The nurse gave it to me and she said it's the first time she's ever done

  3. Serous stuff my friend. I have a friend on thinners for life and can't ride anymore unless he suits up like the Michelin man.

    Take care of yourself. The bike is really not that important. Although I will admit to anxiously waiting to see how you did today at the 101

  4. Hey man. Yea I know it was a big shock for sure. I will be riding again. Actually today was my first day back on the MTB and it felt great to be out there again. Hopefully I'll only be on meds for a couple of months and all will be right again.

    I was anxiously looking forward to lining up Saturday but since I wasn't there I had to keep busy or else I would have been playing out the race all day in my head. Being away has done 1 thing for me - I'm going to come back next year more driven than ever. I was hoping for sub 8 this year. I'm going for 7:30 next year. :-)

  5. Seems like the course was fast this year and weather was perfect.

    Here is an interesting read.