Gotta Run: Can’t wait to get back to running again

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 9, 2022

It had been 14 days since I could exercise or do much of anything physical. Everything started with a severe kidney stone issue very early on March 25. A night in the hospital and I headed home with plans to handle the offending stone and the resulting blood infection which became the serious part. Four days and three nights in the hospital, lots of new medicines and procedures and then it was Monday of this past week, where today’s update begins.

On the morning of Monday, April 4, I returned to the hospital for outpatient surgery at 5:45 a.m. Things went great as Dr. Lee Johnson pushed the big stone aside and took out two smaller ones behind it. Then he lasered the large one and brought out the pieces. He also took out the larger stent that was especially uncomfortable and replaced it with a lesser one to help with healing and urinary flow. A catheter had to be used for a day.

We think my stones come from dehydration issues, a very common thing on the long bike rides. I work hard at drinking water and other fluids otherwise but still we all have to stay hydrated. I have written many times about how the body needs proper hydration to do all the good things it should. The brain and every other organ are affected with poor hydration. I can tell that when I lose a couple pounds quickly that it’s likely hydration related. My cycling or running performance is immediately affected. I noticed on Friday morning that a poster in the urology office showed 12 different kinds of kidney stones and one of them looked just like mine. Next comes a 24-hour collection of urine which will be analyzed.

Home care with some stout antibiotics kept up the positive news on the blood infection. I had no fever through the various office or hospital visits.

No running or other exercise this week through Friday morning because every time I did anything remotely physical, more blood showed up in the urine. One trip to the roof to fix some wind damage on a farm building was the worst, but it had to be done. I spent way too much time sitting and taking it easy. Everybody says I should be resting, but I have had enough to last me quite a while.

The removal of the final stent was done in Dr. Johnson’s office on Friday morning, April 8. Two weeks after this saga began with a kidney stone, the stent removal was way easier than I thought. He just cut some tape, pulled a string and the stent came right out. I will leave the more graphic details unwritten, but I hope you have the idea. When I left the urology office, my kidneys were free of stones and my body of stents, a wonderful feeling.

Next week comes the follow-up visit on the blood infection with the infectious disease nurse practitioner Caroline Waller. I’m also waiting on a lab report from Dr. Brinkley about the current status of my blood clot issues. I was told by a nurse after being readmitted last week that blood clots can complicate things in the hospital when so little activity is usually done.

I went for a 2-mile run/walk as soon as I got home on Friday morning. A lot of improvement is needed before I head to Nevada and California in early June to run from Reno to Lake Tahoe and back on a relay team competition of 178 miles. Then likely on to a bike ride along the Mississippi River. I will keep at it and certainly appreciate all the kind words, prayers and encouragement during the past week.

The next race up is the Stomp Out Sexual Assault 5K on April 23 at Knox Middle School and on the greenway. Look for this and more events at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org. 

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