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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-16-14, 10:52 AM   #1
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Great morning ride and then... Life happens

I have a new work schedule which is 2-10 pm Tues-Sat. I chose it so I could get rides in before work. So yesterday, I get out for a 21-mile spin, a route I do often. I felt great. Pedaled my butt off, hit 10 PRs on Strava. Got home, changed for work - and felt like a million bucks. About two hours later, I got the worst stomach cramps ever. I suddenly was overcome with nausea and after after getting sick in the office bathroom, my bosses sent me home. Thank goodness. After literally writhing in the floor vomiting for 5 hours, I decided it was time to go to the ER. Sometime after 2 a.m., they operated on me for a bowel obstruction. Go figure. Looking back, I'm trying to think if there was a sign, but except for having a couple of recent unexplained stomach aches, nothing. They said I could have gotten really, really sick, maybe even died if I didn't get help when I did. I'm still kinda blown away how fast it all happened. Now I'm stuck in hospital for two days with a big bandage over my torso. No riding for a bit I guess. :-(
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Old 03-16-14, 11:04 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear that.
Sounds excruciating.
Doctor give you a timeline on getting back out there?


S
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Old 03-16-14, 11:08 AM   #3
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You are supposed to just drink the water from the bottle, not swallow the bottle..............
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Old 03-16-14, 11:11 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear that.
Sounds excruciating.
Doctor give you a timeline on getting back out there?


S
Not yet. Operation was late Saturday morning. So I haven't seen the surgeon yet. Hoping he'll be by soon to let me out. I'll ask him then.
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Old 03-16-14, 03:28 PM   #5
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Jsut got word: no strenuous working out for 6 weeks. I think I'm going to cry.


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Sorry to hear that.
Sounds excruciating.
Doctor give you a timeline on getting back out there?


S
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Old 03-16-14, 04:10 PM   #6
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Jsut got word: no strenuous working out for 6 weeks. I think I'm going to cry.
So basically just pretend u live in canada, where, we too, will do no serious working out for another 6 weeks.

its not too bad, do t sweat it. Youll be back in no time
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Old 03-16-14, 04:58 PM   #7
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Glad that you got to the hospital in time, and welcome to my world. I've had 13 abdominal surgeries out of 16 total and 10 of those involved resections of the small intestine. You will feel much better after a few days and when they want you up and walking do it, no matter the bit if pain from the incision(s), it will get things percolating quicker and avoid throwing any blood clots from your legs in to the lungs or heart.

Listen to the doctors and nurses as to what to do and when, complications suck and 2nd surgeries after getting home and having to go back really bite. Let me know if you want to swap notes or just talk, I can pass on some tricks I learned over the 10 year period with these monsters.

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Old 03-17-14, 12:17 AM   #8
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Thanks guys. I'm mostly bummed because I was training for my first century - May 3. If I'm truly on the shelf for 6 weeks, it will be tough to get ready in time. But I'll keep an open mind and get out my trainer for when doc says I can start pedaling again. I know I'm lucky it wasn't worse so I'm gonna treat it as a win. And pretend I live in Canada. :-)
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Old 03-17-14, 04:39 AM   #9
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Get yourself healthy before worrying about the bike. I've had two bowel obstructions, both requiring emergency surgery. In neither case did I really have any warning signs before hand. In my case because of previous abdominal surgeries they suspect adhesions (basically everything just sticks together now in there). It's something I'll probably be prone to from now on.

You'll be off the bike for a couple of weeks at least, but you might be able to use the trainer pretty soon. The main issue at first will just be general weakness and lack of stamina. But I'm guessing by the time the truly great spring weather comes around you'll be ready to go.

Good luck and best wishes!
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Old 03-17-14, 08:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by shyonelung View Post
I have a new work schedule which is 2-10 pm Tues-Sat. I chose it so I could get rides in before work. So yesterday, I get out for a 21-mile spin, a route I do often. I felt great. Pedaled my butt off, hit 10 PRs on Strava. Got home, changed for work - and felt like a million bucks. About two hours later, I got the worst stomach cramps ever. I suddenly was overcome with nausea and after after getting sick in the office bathroom, my bosses sent me home. Thank goodness. After literally writhing in the floor vomiting for 5 hours, I decided it was time to go to the ER. Sometime after 2 a.m., they operated on me for a bowel obstruction. Go figure. Looking back, I'm trying to think if there was a sign, but except for having a couple of recent unexplained stomach aches, nothing. They said I could have gotten really, really sick, maybe even died if I didn't get help when I did. I'm still kinda blown away how fast it all happened. Now I'm stuck in hospital for two days with a big bandage over my torso. No riding for a bit I guess. :-(
Interesting. I had almost the exact same thing happen to me 3 years ago. I was traveling out of town for work, staying at a hotel that was fortunately less than a mile away from a very good hospital. I started having sharp abdominal pains one evening, and they became progressively worse through the night. By morning, I was on the verge of passing out, so I stumbled up to the hospital, and they immediately checked me in. After a quick CAT scan they diagnosed the problem as a small bowel obstruction, and I was sent to surgery; fortunately, they didn't have to cut any pipes once they opened me up, and they were able to work the obstruction through. Took a couple weeks for me to recover and get my plumbing working again, and it was agonizing. Still have an 8-inch scar on my belly.

As with you, I was shocked at how quickly it happened, and the doctors had no real explanation as to why it happened. I've never been sick in my life, and it was a humbling experience. Good news is that the problem went away, and I've never experienced any issues since. It feels like the end of the world when it happens, like you'll never be the same. But stay positive, you'll get through it and will be back in top shape in no time. After 3 months I was back on my bike and even ran a marathon 6mos later. Best of luck, and let us know how your recovery goes.
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Old 03-17-14, 11:39 PM   #11
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Thanks guys. I'm mostly bummed because I was training for my first century - May 3. If I'm truly on the shelf for 6 weeks, it will be tough to get ready in time. But I'll keep an open mind and get out my trainer for when doc says I can start pedaling again. I know I'm lucky it wasn't worse so I'm gonna treat it as a win. And pretend I live in Canada. :-)
If you can't get ready in time, there's always another century to ride. I wouldn't worry about that. See how you feel, don't push it. I had major abdominal sx about 10 years ago, I can't imagine that I would have been able to ride a century 2 months later. It takes a lot out of you, I was surprised.

You might find the least stress by putting your century off until the fall. That way you will have plenty of time to heal & train.

Hope you feel better soon!

H
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Old 03-18-14, 12:00 AM   #12
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Your story is amazingly similar. Glad you're okay. My surgeon seems to think the cause was a buildup of scar tissue from previous operations I've had. The incision was made along the same one I got when I had cancer (they cut me open to check if it had matasticized to my liver) and then later when I had my gall bladder removed. They let me out of the hospital today. I'm gonna listen to the docs and take it easy a few days. For sure. Listen to your gut people. That's the lesson I got from this.

Thankfully no no pipes were cut in my case either. Actually, the blockage resolved itself as soon as the doc opened me up. He stayed in longer to cut away some remaining scar tissue but there's always the possibility it will happen again in my case. At least I know what to look for. It's pretty humbling to be checking your PRs on Strava one minute and writhing on the floor in a fetal position the next wondering what hit you. Docs told me today I was within hours of the thing rupturing. I guess if the trade off is staying off my bike for six weeks, I can live with that. Literally.

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Interesting. I had almost the exact same thing happen to me 3 years ago. I was traveling out of town for work, staying at a hotel that was fortunately less than a mile away from a very good hospital. I started having sharp abdominal pains one evening, and they became progressively worse through the night. By morning, I was on the verge of passing out, so I stumbled up to the hospital, and they immediately checked me in. After a quick CAT scan they diagnosed the problem as a small bowel obstruction, and I was sent to surgery; fortunately, they didn't have to cut any pipes once they opened me up, and they were able to work the obstruction through. Took a couple weeks for me to recover and get my plumbing working again, and it was agonizing. Still have an 8-inch scar on my belly.

As with you, I was shocked at how quickly it happened, and the doctors had no real explanation as to why it happened. I've never been sick in my life, and it was a humbling experience. Good news is that the problem went away, and I've never experienced any issues since. It feels like the end of the world when it happens, like you'll never be the same. But stay positive, you'll get through it and will be back in top shape in no time. After 3 months I was back on my bike and even ran a marathon 6mos later. Best of luck, and let us know how your recovery goes.
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Old 03-18-14, 12:48 AM   #13
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Dude, what a story... Glad you're alive.
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Old 03-18-14, 05:50 AM   #14
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Dude, what a story... Glad you're alive.
You might want to rethink this one, just sayin'

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Old 03-18-14, 05:52 AM   #15
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Dude, what a story... Glad you're alive.
I believe you meant dudette.
OP...glad you are OK and smooth sailing/biking ahead.
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Old 03-18-14, 07:44 AM   #16
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That is pretty scary.
Good luck with healing and i know it might be hard but stay positive.
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Old 03-18-14, 03:25 PM   #17
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Similar thing happened to my wife in November. About 4 years ago she had a gastric by-pass and has had zero problems. That is, up until last year. She was scheduled for a laparoscopic hysterectomy. That went well and she was discharged from the hospital after one night. Well the following night at home she started having terrible pains. By morning she was in excruciating pain. I won't go into the gory details, but back to the hospital we go and after emergency surgery, she had 8" of bowel removed. Apparently she had a rare complication from the gastric by-pass that had been developing for a while, but was then aggravated by the hysterectomy. She spent 2 weeks in the hospital recovering. She is fine now, but it was quite an ordeal.
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Old 03-18-14, 03:28 PM   #18
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Are you going to change your name to shyonelungandseveralinchesofintestine ?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-18-14, 03:32 PM   #19
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On a serious note, glad you got checked out and they were able to help you.

I have a close friend who thought she had the flu, as did her doctor. He actually had necrotizing fasciitis and has lost all of her left pectoral and much of the muscle in her upper left arm. For the last two weeks she has been intubeated, on nutrition drip and dialysis and fighting for her life. We do not know yet the amount of damage to internal organs and extremities, but amputation of digits or limbs could be a very real possibility.

Anytime you feel sick and do not know why, seek medical attention immediately. It really could be a matter of life or death.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-18-14, 08:33 PM   #20
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Are you going to change your name to shyonelungandseveralinchesofintestine ?
Haha!
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Old 03-18-14, 08:35 PM   #21
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Damn, that's horrible. How does something like that get confused with the flu? I hope she's able to recover.

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On a serious note, glad you got checked out and they were able to help you.

I have a close friend who thought she had the flu, as did her doctor. He actually had necrotizing fasciitis and has lost all of her left pectoral and much of the muscle in her upper left arm. For the last two weeks she has been intubeated, on nutrition drip and dialysis and fighting for her life. We do not know yet the amount of damage to internal organs and extremities, but amputation of digits or limbs could be a very real possibility.

Anytime you feel sick and do not know why, seek medical attention immediately. It really could be a matter of life or death.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:28 PM   #22
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Damn, that's horrible. How does something like that get confused with the flu? I hope she's able to recover.
The early symptoms mirror the flu. Nausea, diarhea, fever, etc. Often confused sadly. NNFF Quick Fact Sheet
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-18-14, 11:19 PM   #23
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Holy smokes, OP. That's terrible. Good to hear that you made it to help. Hope you're doing alright.

That recovery period is a heartache, though, and I feel the pain. Over this past summer I separated my shoulder and got knocked out of both cycling and climbing for upwards of two months (longer on the climbing.) Unfortunately, there's not much to say in the meantime, but it passes. I wish you a speedy recovery!
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Old 03-18-14, 11:22 PM   #24
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You might want to rethink this one, just sayin'

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Old 03-18-14, 11:29 PM   #25
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oh my god!

that's a scary story. glad you didn't die.
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