Don't drink rat wee

those of you who remember me from my C25k battle and subsequent bits of running here and there may recall that it was a little health scare that started me on my path to running redemption last year.

Yesterday was in fact the anniversary of that incident, or cererbro-vascular accident or transient ishemic attack as they call it, or mini-stroke to the rest of us.

It sounds rather more draatic than it actually was. It was not the precursor to a larger stroke in the few days that followed and did not have any lasting physical or mental effects, but it did have a seismic effect on my outlook on life and led me to examine how I was living my life and how I wanted to change that in great detail. And, I am pleased to say, I largely succeeded in doing that, although it is still very much a work in progress and there is a long way to go.

I changed my diet, I vastly reduced my alcohol intake - I now drink less in a month than I used to in the morning -, I took up exercise and I started running for the first time in thirty years or more.

I had been rather smugly looking forward to posting my anniversary missive, and had rehearsed the wording in my head (while out running) since about New Year.

Pride, however, comes before a fall.

I have been on the sick bench for the last couple of weeks after a catastrophic 10k at Longleat where I struggled not to DNF after stomach and leg cramps the whole way round. I thought I had a combination of overtraining and manflu, but after blood tests, I discovered yesterday, a year to the day from my original incident, that I have contracted leptospirosis. I spent my anniversary back in the same hospital I was in last year being brain scanned, only being lung scanned and having tests for kidney damage. And just to rub the irony in, it seems I may have picked it up from ingesting rat wee from immersing myself in dirty water filled ditches doing OCR training.

I had to miss the last race of my winter cross conutry season last weekend and my race calndar is scrubbed for the next few weeks, which is a real blow, not just in lost entry fees - I am going to miss some races I was really looking forwad to and training quite hard for, but, before it sounds like I am just feeling totally sorry for myself (well perhaps a little) and whinging (perhaps quite a lot), I can see the humour in the whole thing, and if the last year has shown me anything it is that setbacks are just there to overcome. A few weeks recovery and a few more to regain my fitness and I will be back on track. It's still 6 weeks till my C25k anniversary and I am determined to be fully back on my feet by then. At which point I shall raise a glass. Which shall not have any rat wee in it.


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23 Replies

  • Oh my god! That puts my little foot lump into poor really have had a bad run of luck haven't you? You're entitled to feel sorry for yourself, and whinge too...and good on yer for seeing the humour in it...we'll plump up a cushion on the injury couch (couches) for you, I'm raising a glass to you right now ( pure Gaillac red, not a drop or rat piss in sight - I hope)

  • Rat wee, of all the things! I'm glad you can find some humour in the situation. I know it's not how you wanted to spend your mini-stroke anniversary, but you should still feel proud of what you've done in the last year.

    You've made a gutsy and determined effort to transform your health after what I can only imagine was a very traumatic health scare, so a hearty 'well done' to you. I've cut my alcohol intake to almost vapor so I have raised a mug of tea in celebration :-)

    Here's hoping you'll be back on your feet running soon.

  • Rignold, I missed your story last year as I had been in the medical 'wars' at about the same time as you by the sounds of it. Firstly, take huge pride in what you have acheived and the way you've turned everything around. Secondly.....well, the cause of your recent hospital trips is really very bad luck. However, I'm relieved for you that they've been able to pinpoint the leptospirosis. Nasty little blighters, rats! How are the lungs and kidneys? I do hope that the Drs are happy with them. Sorry that you'll lose the entrance fees and be unable to race. Concentrate on getting yourself better and listen to caution before you push yourself back into getting back running again. Good luck and get well soon.

  • Oh that's nasty. Hopefully all will be well. Seems a bit unfair after all you have done to improve your health - life I suppose. I hope you are back to the running soon. Have you tried to get refunds if you are out for very justifiable health reasons. Good luck and congratulations on all you have achieved.

  • Crikey Rignold, you don't do things by half do you!! Leptospirosis! Blimey! Really hope you're back to full fitness soon and there's no lasting damage to your lungs and kidneys. In the meantime there's always room on the Injury Couch for one more and KittyKat bought us a bucket of sweeties. :)

  • I think you're perfectly entitled to a bit of a whinge and to feel sorry for yourself after that lot! I'm so glad you can see the funny side and love your positive attitude. I wish you a really speedy recovery. Take good care of yourself and here's hoping you'll be up and running again soon.

  • They say you're not a horse-rider rill you've fallen off three times, so maybe the same applies to us runners! You have to be different to the rest of though. No bursitis or sprained ankles for you. Full blown leptospirosis.Wow. Poor you. If it makes you feel any better (I doubt it) my farmer son in law contracted lepto two years ago after getting splashed (no doubt with rat wee) when throwing some animal innards into a horrendous Kiwi invention called an offal pit. He was out of action for a while but is back doing ridiculous cross-country runs now. It's great you've been diagnosed. I think the treatment is very effective so you'll be off the couch before you know it. Good luck.

  • Holy crap Rig !!! Well gotta hand it to you you have trumped us all on the injury couch !

    That is serious fierce hardcore and no wonder you felt so bad !

    Wishing you all the very best and a full return to fitness and the best of health.

    Take it easy, Rig xxx

  • Oh no Rignold - rat wee?? It begs the question why you have been throwing yourself into ditches but, I dare say, that's a whole other story!

    At least you recognise it for the temporary setback it is. You have probably coped far better because of your new found fitness.

    Get well very soon

  • Heavens above ! I do hope you recover from that soon. What a horrible thing to pick up randomly. Best wishes for a speedy and effective recoveryxxxxx

  • Like every one else - OMG!!! What a story for the couch! Take it easy during recuperation - maybe take up yoga to keep up the stretches and continue work in those core muscles. Keep up the posts so we can follow your recovery. All the best, you will be back running with the pack soon.

  • Hmmm, did think the other day why don't I just drink out of puddles like my dog. This is why! Are you a lovely shade of yellow?

    I hope you recover very quickly - and being fit must surely make that more likely than if you'd contracted it a year ago.

  • Wow... that's a terrible story... hope you get sorted soon and back out there. :-)

  • Oh flippin eck Rig! What a crock of rat pee that is! I love Pop's "holy crap" exclamation. That right made me laugh. I know I shouldn't as this is very serious

    No good ever came of wallowing around in mud! It always ends in tears. Dear oh dear oh dear. You young uns ................

    Seriously though Rig. Look after yourself and take your medicine. You'll soon be back out there. My BIL had lepto last year. He ended up in hospital but he was soon quite ok again and no lasting probs. He got his while doing building work. Rats get everywhere so it's no surprise I don't suppose. Not very pleasant though and you have my sympathy.

    Get well soon Rig x

  • Yuk, I do always wonder wtf I'm ingesting on the muddy races! Best not show my boyfriend your post, he is signed up for his first muddy race in May and is the biggest hypochondriac going!

    Contact all the races you have entered asap and enquire about delaying your entry until the next time, explain that you have a doctors note that can prove you are too ill to take part. Some will allow it, some won't but worth asking the question.

    Hope you get better soon.

  • Cazzz... and do not even attempt to translate this:) - sorry to hear about that Rig, but at least it was diagnosed quickly - I wish you'll be back running in no time - and now I better go and set up rodent traps (at least one has taken up residency in my attic I am afraid...)

    Get well soon!!

  • Aw Rig what a bummer! And you are still so upbeat. Here's to a quick and full recovery and I really hope you get back to running soon. All the best x :-)

  • A horrible setback, but you have shown that you have the strength of character to overcome adversities like this. Your story is an inspiration to anyone who knows that they need to turn their life around.

    My sincere best wishes to you for a rapid recovery so you can continue the running that you have come to enjoy so much.

  • What a saga! Someone should make a film of your trials Rignold as they are quite "out there". I mean there's nothing "run of the mill" about them, is there? Rat's pee? Who'd have thought?

    My father, in his youth, ate a sandwich which a rat had peed on ( obviously he didn't know the sandwich had rat pee dressing) and this week he's had his 84th birthday so you'll be fine.

    Still I do admire your resilience and gung ho attitude. A real man! Sigh.

  • So Sorry to hear about your difficult time! Onwards and upwards though, hoping the next few days bring great recovery and the best outcome for you!

  • Gosh, I've just read this - what a history. All I can add is, amazing you, good luck and a big hug.

  • Oh well, I will have find a substitute for the banana and rat pee smoothies now!

    All the best.

  • Hope you are on the way to recovery and the c25k graduation anniversary will see you in full health. You should tell the guys who run the course where you might have ingested the rat pee, as if they send a message out to the others who ran that day, it could help anyone else who has undiagnosed symptoms. I think they wouldn't be worried about losing face, this sort of thing comes with the territory and their customers would be impressed and reassured that health issues like this are taken seriously. A friend of mine had Weil's disease when he was 18. He was in hospital for the summer holidays, but made a full recovery. They think he got it through a graze from falling off his bike. He was similarly unlucky (to have grazed his knee in the same spot where a rat had gone to the loo!), but also lucky to have it diagnosed and cured. I remember he almost couldn't believe it had happened! Best of luck for full and speedy recovery :)

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