Well this post is long over due as it was actually scheduled for mid last week. However, due to an unexpected event last week, every time I sat down to write this post recently, I couldn’t seem to follow through. I kept being brought back to the scary place that was my reality. Therefore, instead of focusing on the many versatile ways you can wear a shirt dress (my original post for this look)…I’ll just bring you up to speed!
Before I explain last weeks events, I must make a full disclosure that my husband has consented to me writing this post and sharing his story with you all. I would never ever write a medical history on my blog besides my own, but my husband kindly volunteered to share his story for the purpose of bringing awareness to take care of oneself. Thank you Paul.
Like many of us, Paul has recently has his head down and has been grinding out the work. He has been working full time in Toronto as an Infectious Disease fellow as well as working periodically in Halifax as an internist. He became tired, he was likely run down, perhaps he picked up a virus on the unit, he was dehydrated and he was out of shape. Long story short, I thought (yes, I will take the blame for this part) that the first night he was back in Toronto (from working three weeks in Halifax) it would be great to spend some quality time together at a cycling class. I was ready to go, full of energy and my poor husband was exhausted, straight off a flight and likely didn’t know his left from his right. Following the class, I noticed he was very weak and mentioned to me that we must leave as he was going to collapse. I immediately thought…oh, he has the ‘first day back to exercise‘ feeling and that it will pass. Well this wasn’t the case! Fast forward the next few days, Paul was up all night with extreme pain, he started to feel very weak and even started having difficulty walking. That being said, we were continuing on with our days. In retrospect, we both knew that his body’s response wasn’t ordinary but we put it down to him getting back into exercise. A few days later of pain and immobility, I was at a meeting for my blog when I noticed a text come through at the corner of my eye. I looked down and read ‘when you come home, please bring Tylenol (not Advil) and as many Gatorade/Powerades as you can possibly carry.‘ At this moment, although I stayed calm, I knew exactly what was going on.
As I walked home with a few bags of Gatorade and Powerade in hand (I truly think they should sponsor me after last week, I have never spent so much money on a drink in my life), I knew I had to take charge. You know you are a physician and married to a physician when the first thing you ask once entering the front door was “Paul, what color is your urine?” His response to me was “it’s still ok!” I followed this conversation by “Paul, if it’s dark you need to tell me” to his response being “let’s go to the hospital.” I knew at this exact moment, we were in for a long haul.
Ok so I won’t give you the play by play, but as Paul and I expected, he developed quite serve Rhabdomyolosis. In summary, this serious syndrome occurs when your skeletal muscles breakdown and release a protein called Myoglobin (which stores oxygen in your muscles) into your bloodstream. What can really go wrong (besides pain, weakness, nausea) is the possibility of acute kidney failure (hence why I asked him immediately what color his pee was….and FYI, it was the color of black tea for the following days). Thankfully, Paul was treated promptly and he didn’t endure kidney damage. However, in order to treat the pain and monitor his blood levels (which were out of whack), he was admitted to the hospital for a few long days and nights and I became a caregiver. I used to think I would have been a good nurse, but Paul kept referring me a Nurse Ratched as I am supposably ‘tough.’ Whatever, I loved the Jack Nicholson movie reference so I accepted this name graciously.
Thankfully, Paul is discharged from the hospital now, he is (as of yesterday) pain free and he is feeling like himself again. I could easily have kept this event private and simply said (or said nothing at all) that I took a Instagram break because I was ‘busy’…but that wouldn’t be authentic. With still working in psychiatry as this was going on, being a new ‘nurse’ (ok, I won’t flatter myself, I would be a terrible nurse….new respect!) and not having family and friends from home to lean on for support (we have recently re-located to Toronto for 6 months)…I realized how damn strong I actually am (and I am proud)! I didn’t cry, I didn’t feel sorry for myself and nor did I beat myself up for letting the blog take a back seat. I instead put my big girl shoes on and saw a full schedule of patients daily, ran to Paul in between (I literally ran so much that my feet started to bleed) and then back to my new nursing duties in the evening. However, besides re-discovering my strength, I realized how important looking after our health (physical and mental) truly is! We can accomplish so much and be so productive, but if we aren’t taking care of ourselves, none of it matters. The importance of staying hydrated, sleeping, not overworking and keeping active is the message that Paul and I hope to convey with our recent story. Paul is amazing at what he does (well that’s what my girlfriends in internal medicine tell me…just kidding I know it to be true!) but none of it matters if he doesn’t take care of himself first. Unfortunately, for Paul, it took a health scare for him to realize it.
So no, the photos below do not correspond with this post. However, this was the post that kept getting pushed back because a health scare turned into a life lesson. Let’s give ourselves a break, learn to say no, re-charge and rejuvenate and take time to relax!
Shop this look below, including my favorite Gucci belt
Blare June xx