Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

A Bum Bum

I haven’t spent a whole lot of time dwelling on the race last Saturday, but I have been trying to do a little bit of maintenance to ensure that things are better the next time.
First, I made an appointment with a pulmonologist. I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma as a young teenager, when I began turning purple during hard sets in the pool. I haven’t had any major problems since then, save for an acute attack during an outdoor swim clinic on a smog-filled day in Southern California when I was sixteen. If pressed, though, I would have to admit that most of the time my chest feels tighter than it probably should. I haven’t been back to a specialist in more than a decade – long before I entered into this crazy world of endurance sports – and after Saturday’s episode, I figured it was probably time for a consultation. So, I have an appointment in two weeks with someone who comes highly recommended, and in the meantime I’m on a higher dosage of my daily inhaler.
Next, I dropped my bike off for a little bit of TLC. Garrison’s Cyclery, which Brent and Chris swear by, was a little bit backed up when I made the drive down to Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday afternoon, but I should probably have the Brucemobile back, rehabbed (or new) fork and all, within a couple weeks.
Which is about the same amount of time that the doctor ordered me off my bike.
A little while back, Ali and Brent and I went out riding at Belmont Plateau, a small circuit of trails in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park that offers less in the way of elevation than Wissahickon but far more in terms of man-made obstacles and twisting single-track. I had never been there before, and probably took the trails a bit more aggressively than I normally would. The result – a number of hard falls, one which had my arm and shoulder in a tree and the rest of me on the ground, and another that saw me get wrapped in a mess of branches, pulling my body one way and my bike the other.
A few minutes after that last fall, I noticed a sharp pain in my rear. I continued to ride, but quickly realized that the discomfort was mounting, so I decided to turn around and head home. I rode the rest of the way out of my seat.
I didn’t bike much more between our Belmont adventure and last weekend’s races, and though the pain was still there, I figured it would get better on its own. I felt it while we were riding up Sugarloaf Mountain on Saturday, and I felt it more when I was bombing down the other side with my suspension-less frame. I noticed it during our nine-mile paddle, and again the next day when we took to the trails at Hibernia. But I generally didn’t think much of it, assuming I could just ride it out (pun intended).
Then today, I went to the doctor.
I’ve been feeling generally crummy for over a week now, trying to treat myself homeopathically with little success. Finally, I made an appointment with my primary care physician, and when I went to see her and described my symptoms, she diagnosed me with a systemic infection, and promptly prescribed antibiotics. I probably should have gone when I first started feeling sick; I likely would have been fine by the start of Saturday’s race, and wouldn’t have prolonged it for an additional week.
Five days of Cipro, and I should be good as new.
As she was wrapping up, she asked if there was anything else, and I mentioned the mountain biking fall. She listened to my account, gave me a quick once-over, and announced her suspicion: a cracked tailbone. “I can give you an x-ray,” she said, “if you want to see it. But given the fall, and the persistence and acuteness of the pain, I’d be willing to bet it’s a fracture.”
She said it might take a few months to really heal, but that it should start to feel better in a couple weeks – if I stop putting it through bumpy rides up and down mountains for a little while. So, no riding for me until the middle of May.
Hmm… So an infection, a broken butt, and a case of neglected asthma. I know Saturday’s race revealed several areas that still need work, but this may help to explain my performance a bit, too…
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8 responses to “A Bum Bum

  1. Staci Dombroski April 29, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Oh my goodness! I am so sorry to hear that! I have excercise induced asthma too 😦

  2. Denise April 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    oh my gosh…you do have a lot going on! i hope the appt with the specialist goes well, probably smart to get in to have a check up.

  3. I Run for Fun April 30, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Gosh! Sorry to hear about all the aches and ailments. You are so tough, going through the race with so much going on!

  4. Dan B April 30, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    URGENT! DO NOT take Cipro. It is a quinolone antibiotic, and they have been associated with a high risk of sudden achilles tendon ruptures in active athletes. Google "Cipro achilles rupture." I urge you to get off Cipro (or any other Quinolone) ASAP, and curtail your running for a few weeks. This is not only from research, but from personal experience of both my wife and myself. Two years apart, we both took Quinolone antibiotics and within a few days felt like we had been shot in the calf. We were walking on eggshells for weeks, and probably came very close to achilles rupture. Sorry to be the bearer of (potentially) bad news–but this is a serious risk.

  5. Jill May 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Argh!!!! If it's not one thing, it's something else…but looks like you're at least getting it ALL out of the way at once, so that's good! You'll be rearing to go come the end of May…yay!!!

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