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Rhabdomyolysis: The Truth Confirmed

I learned a lot this weekend. Mainly that my deepest fear was confirmed. Exercise is dangerous and working out can kill you.

Literally.

Treatment for rhabdomyolysis is fluids.

Chuck and I just spent a long (and unexpected) weekend in Ellensburg, WA. It all started with a couple of texts from Enoch Saturday morning, telling me he was at a medical clinic due to some concerning symptoms and he might have rhabdomyolysis.

Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. A quick google search told me all I needed to know. 1) it was rare (our family only does rare) 2) it can cause organ failure 3) and death.

Enoch’s cause of rhabdomyolysis? Apparently an overzealous workout earlier in the week.

Within a couple of hours, the doctor confirmed that he did indeed have rhabdo and would need to be hospitalized for treatment. Treatment for rhabdo is pretty much tons of IV fluids to flush out protiens and tissue that have been leaked into the bloodstream, and close monitoring of kidney and liver function, several blood draws a day, and monitoring urine.

On the bright side, he did not have the complication of compartment syndrome and would not be needing surgery.

Whew.

In the hospital with rhabdomyolysis symptoms

So, Chuck and I loaded up and headed to Ellensburg to see how he was doing. Because, as much as we encourage independence with our kids, being in the hospital with rhabdo is kind of a big deal.

Motel 8 in Ellensburg, WA

Chuck and I pretty much had a second honeymoon in the Motel 8. You know, after spending the day in the hospital and trying to find cheap food ot eat.

IV fluids are standard treatment for rhabdomyolysis

Enoch felt perfectly fine other than sore muscles and extreme muscle stiffness. That confirms it, I’m never exercising again. It just isn’t worth the risk.

But, Enoch is also the guy who, at the age of 13, ran a 5k one week after have surgery for a ruptured appendix. So, basically, you can’t trust his pain scale. He’s apparently Iron Man.

After spending Saturday and Sunday night in cheap hotels in Ellensburg and still having no idea when Enoch would be released, we made the decision for Chuck to head home to be with the other kids and go to work (someone’s got to pay those bills). The only problem? We arrived together. In one vehicle. As it turns out, the cheapest option was for Chuck to rent a car. He headed home Monday evening and was back at work on Tuesday.

After billion blood draws, IV bags of fluid, and three days and nights in the hospital, the doctor released Enoch the next day, on the condition that he go and see a rheumatologist. Enoch’s brother Judah, AKA Good Cop, offered to drive up and take him to his appointment since the nearest rheumatologist was apparently in Wenatchee.

Remember, my friends, exercise is dangerous. Keep safe and curl up with a good book instead.

7 Comments

  1. Melpub

    I’m so glad he’s okay!
    But I don’t think exercise is dangerous. I think: “Moderation in all things!”
    Moderate exercise is good!
    Sounds like Iron Man should melt into more moderate means of moving his muscles. (How’s that for alliteration?)

  2. Tanya Redfield

    Wow your kids don’t do anything the simple way, do they? So I was reading about this…I had never heard of it. Here is the important part…it can also be caused by not moving and by dehydration, so in addition to not exercising, be sure to drink lots of tea…stay hydrated and move your arms and lips. 😀

  3. Tracy Davis

    Oh, my! I’m so sorry this happened but glad you can tell about it with humor. I personally know two people who have gotten Rhabdo; both had worked out at CrossFit.

  4. Becca

    I know folks who have had rhabdo! It’s less uncommon in military and CrossFit circles. Still terrifying. Glad he’s recovering well!

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