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Old 01-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #1
Glenn Gress
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My Rhabdo experience & recovery (sorry for the length)

Whats up everyone? This is my first day on the board. I felt the need to join the community after being sidelined with Rhabdo to gain information on going about my recovery as well as share my story with others to help prevent them from having this issue.
I played 4 years of major D1 football at West Virginia University and have been Crossfiting for about a year now. On Thursday January 3rd after getting home from 5 days Florida the night before, I did ANGIE for the first time at the box I go to. I am 6'2" about 215-220 lbs and in good shape (or at least I thought I was.) Our coach Tim warned us of potential Rhabdo if we did all of the pull ups Rx'ed, however after my football experience as well as posting some good times in WODs that seemed much harder than ANGIE did on paper, I decided to Rx it. I finished the WOD in 25:18 and was feeling pretty good.
Friday goes by and I feel normal soreness, Saturday it got even worse. By Sunday my urine was brown and my right bicep & fore arm and eventually my handle bar area on my waist filled with fluid. I knew there was something wrong and went to the ER. My CK level had risen to 113,000 and they grew concerned about kidney failure as well as blood clots and admitted me that night. I got out 6 days later on Saturday afternoon with a CK level of 4,900 and had blood work 2 days later (just this past Monday the 14th) that said I was down to 1,300. I would have to imagine by now (Friday) that I am back to a normal level of 50-150. I was given permission from my doctor to start "cardio" this upcoming Monday the 21st as well as Yoga which I always implement into my training for active recovery. He said I can begin lifting for strength in 2-3 weeks and ease into metcon stuff from there.
I am wondering if there is anybody here who has had to deal with such a severe case of Rhabdo and what he/she has done to get back on track? I am passionate about Crossfit and just training in general and hope to get back to 100% soon, I just don't really know where to start or what to expect. Any feed back would be highly appreciated.
To close on this novel I would just like to encourage anyone who thinks they may have Rhabdo to seek urgent help. I played mind games with myself as to if my urine was really a certain color or if maybe it was the light and maybe I'm just really sore. In retrospect, I was probably very dehydrated from drinking and laying on a beach for 5 days, also not very well rested due to the fact I landed at midnight the night before the WOD and had work at 7 a.m. This may have resulted in the perfect storm inside my body. I underestimated Rhabdo and it bit me in the behind, hopefully after reading this it raises awareness as well as finds me some tips on how to get back into it.

Thank you for reading my book,
Glenn
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
Joe Gomez
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Re: My Rhabdo experience & recovery (sorry for the length)

Crazy story!!! Welcome back
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:46 AM   #3
Glenn Gress
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Re: My Rhabdo experience & recovery (sorry for the length)

Thanks Joe, I should be able to start lifting weights again next week, just been working on mobility until then. Kind of nervous about where to start when I get back, don't wanna over or under do it due to being too cautious or not cautious enough.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
Todd Bradbury
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Re: My Rhabdo experience & recovery (sorry for the length)

Similar story for me. I started Crossfit about a year ago, but took a 5 month leave for military service. Once I got back I had a couple of workouts with no issues. Then comes Friday Benchmark/Hero WOD. Just like you, Angie was the WOD. I had never done Angie but had completed Murph and the pullups were not a huge concern to start with. I finished the workout in 24:26 and although I was tired and a little sore, I felt like I could have completed it faster if I would have thought a little more about how I broke down each exercise and the rest times. Saturday I could not straighten out my arms and felt very tight. I stretched, rolled, and stretched some more and it didn't help at all. Sunday was the same, with the exception that I noticed I had very dark urine and just figured I was very dehydrated. It wasn't until Monday when the body hadn't improved at all and the dark urine hadn't gone away that I realized I had to get to the ER.

At this hospital their equipment in house for measuring the CPK levels has a max reading of 40,000. I'm now on my 4th blood panel and am still over that max level. The kidney specialist guessed that I was probably at around 150,000 and based on readings with the kidney feels that I'm improving even though I haven't gone below the 40,000. I have gone though 8-9 IV bags since I went to the ER and am expecting at least another 2+ days of the same until my numbers decrease to where they should be.

I would love to hear how your recovery has been going and to see if you have any feedback/suggestions on what can be done to get back as fast and safe as possible.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:48 PM   #5
Christopher Morris
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Re: My Rhabdo experience & recovery (sorry for the length)

Glenn - I hope your recovery is going well.

Todd - Best wishes, and take it slow when you start working out again.

You both fit the typical rhabdo profile: male, previously fit, and getting back into workouts after a break. Rhabdo happens when you're overdoing it, maybe trying to perform at a level you used to be at before the break.

To avoid rhabdo you want to workout outside your comfort zone (to achieve gains), but don't go too extreme. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Then hydrate some more.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
Chris Heuwetter
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Re: My Rhabdo experience & recovery (sorry for the length)

Thanks for sharing your story. Made me want to go chug some water after yesterday's 150 RX wall balls...
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:18 PM   #7
Stanley Walter
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Re: My Rhabdo experience & recovery (sorry for the length)

Oh wow.

I must be lucky.

Few years ago I did 72x325# deadlifts in 10 min. Bit of a crazy idea I know, but it seemed fun at the time. Was hard as expected, but I never felt a thing except a sore back the next day.

The week after, some other guy on a different forum who had very similar DL numbers to me, said he did the same workout as me and ended up in the hospital for rhabdo.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
Glenn Gress
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Re: My Rhabdo experience & recovery (sorry for the length)

Whats up guys? I haven't checked this thread out in a while so sorry for the late response. But I had a minor bump in the road about a month ago in my recovery. I sprained my bicep tendon where it connects to my shoulder doing burpees. I did 11 Hot Bikram Yoga practices in 14 days when the doctor finally released me to begin activity. After getting some of my mobility back I had the sprain on my second WOD back. I then realized I needed to take it much slower coming back. Took a week off completely and then did another week of 5 straight Hot Yogas Monday- Friday to get my mobility in my shoulder and bicep back. When I returned the following week I began a Tues/Thurs Hot Yoga with a M/W/F lift that represented a cross between a Globo lift and strength WODs. I have to admit it was weird doing curls again but its what the doctor ordered. I have been working a lot of legs since they are far less out of shape than my upper body. I haven't done any kipping still since January, I really just want to build my strength back doing strict pull ups and not risk reinjury by doing any eccentric movements. I have been doing lots of shoulder dislocates and band work to strengthen the tendons as my warm up. I usually follow this up with 4 sets of 10 band strict pull ups and 4 sets of 10 bench at 135 with a 5th set of burn outs on ring push ups and ring rows. After that I throw some shrugs in and a couple sets of bi/tri light weight & high rep burn outs. Usually after that I'll do some Squats or Deads with double unders, box jumps, hill running, or flat distance running to get a little cardio in. My garage gym set up has the essentials and we have a hill in the yard, so its been great to come home to that from work every day. I also have been playing a lot of basketball. Just continuously trying to think of ways to stay in shape outside the box has been hell. I finally returned last Monday March 25th to my box and have been doing the same 3 WODs 2 Yogas since.
To Todd, my best advice I can offer up is for guys like us it may be hard to put our egos aside having been in such great shape at a certain point of our lives, but if you hop back into RXing everything and eccentric movements too quickly it will further delay your recovery. Take rests, get strong, and work on your flexibility so that when you return to full on WODs it'll just be your lungs holding you back instead of your muscle. I feel its easier to get my lungs back than my muscles.
Stanley that's a serious leg workout, you must have the legs of a Thoroughbred! Appreciate the kind words Chris & Chris, I feel like I've drank enough water to fill a small pool since January!
Last but not least, some future posters or even you guys may agree or disagree with the way I am recovering, I understand I have no real program or plan and it may come off as pretty stupid. But it has been working quite well for me and aside from my back and biceps, I am back to about 80-90% strength already elsewhere. So my best advice whether you're recovering or not is just leave your ego at the door and listen to your body. This has been a humbling experience and has really made me respect the sport that is crossfit so much more. For any example workouts or anything specific feel free to DM me whenever, I'm not certified but after 4 years of college football that included a pec tear & recovery that sidelined me my Jr season, 2 personal training internships while in college, and now this Rhabdo experience, I love to just shoot the ****, throw around ideas, and hear different things that have worked for different people.
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