Some Good News

Well, I had some good news today, for a change.

Last year, as some of you may recall, I had a little bout of Weil's disease after unwisely imbibing rat-pee infected water during a race. It was fairly undramatic, rather like a strong flu, and cleared up immediately when I got antibiotics. I had to have follow-up chest x-rays as a matter of routine to make sure there was no lung damage, which there wasn't.

But, the x-rays did catch a patch of shadow on my heart, which prompted further investigation, scans and scans and more scans of every description. I've been swished through giant doughnut machines, had my chest shaved repeatedly for electrodes and generally been inspected, injected, detected etc as Arlo Guthrie would put it, and discovered that I have Pericarditis - a condition in which a calcified layer forms around the sac in which the heart is contained, preventing it from expanding properly (in my case just on the right side). Apparently I had had this condition most of my life, after a serious respiratory ailment i had as a very small child which caused scar tissue on my heart. Had it not been for the chance x-ray it would have stayed undetected.

So, then more tests to estblish what this was doing to my body - it can cause cirrhosis of the liver apparently, and the extent of the calcification. Which was initially rather bleak. I was told to expect surgery within 10 weeks. Which then became another 10 weeks and another as we did still more tests.

I can't say I was excited by this prospect. The operation would involves proper open heart surgery - cutting open the chestplate... which really wouldn't do much for my chest-to-bar pullups or generally throwing weights and stuff around. The dr was talking about me not being allowed to lift more than a shopping bag or even jog for 60 seconds for 6 months and a full year before doing really strenuous exercise.

Which, y'know... as much as I advocate being philosophical on the Injury Couch, that is just a bit too much philospohy for me.

So, anyway, cut an already long story shorter: I saw my cardiologist today and am no longer on the list for surgery. My "Robust good health" and the continued improved results of my various fuctions have saved me from the knife.

Op may still be needed at some point in the future but for now just six month checkups. This has been like a sword of Damocles hanging over my head for months and has been a real dampener on training, not knowing if was about to be out of it for a year. So, really pleased and really excited to be able to get back to some hard work without that worry at the back of my mind.

There was an awkward moment when he confirmed that I would be fine continuing with normal moderate exercise, and my wife, who accompanied me, i suspect, for just such an eventuality, made an old-fashioned noise and then detailed to him exactly what sort of exercise I consider moderate. He was of the same mind as her that there was very  little 'normal' about doing such things, but said that as it hadn't killed me so far, i was cleared to continue.

So. Happy Happy Joy Joy.

And, again, thanks to Laura and C25k for literally saving my life, twice: had I been in the appalling physical condition I was before C25k it would have been a quite different matter, and had I not done C25k I would never have been running the OCR in which I contracted the Weils and would never have had the x-ray that discivered the condition.

Now, I'm going to go for a run and then come back and lift something stupidly heavy over my head.


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45 Replies

  • Fantastic! So pleased for you. 

    One of my main incentives to starting C25K was seeing a patient recover from something that was life threatening, but due to her general health being good she made a complete recovery. I am not ill, but want to give my body a fighting chance if something should happen to me. 

    Onwards and upwards Rignold x

  • Great news Rig, well done you, now we understand your craziness! Oh, and I'm partial to a bit of Arlo Guthrie, hobo's lullaby and all that....😄

    Best wishes


  • Wow! What excellent news! am really glad for you, The 2nd piece of good news on here today, makes a nice change from all the gloom & doom in the world! Good luck!

  • Wow.

    You are never done inspiring us are you?

  • That's excellent news mate.

  • That's right - you just continue with your moderate exercise and continue to keep us entertained. No really, brilliant news. I hope you can stave off an operation for many decades to come. 

  • Really pleased for you.

  • Wow it seems that C25K can really be a life saver.  Great news though, must have been tough waiting to see if surgery was needed.

  • Great news!! Really pleased for you.. :-)

    Looking forward to reading your Rule #5 exploits !!!! 

    Googled the rules... so true.. so true..

  • yeah, no excuses now.  Need to buckle down to some proper work. Alarm is set.

  • Good news indeed Rignold 😊enjoybthatbrun and lifting that heavy weight☺

  • Such fabulous & relieving news Rig! Such a great result & all down to your hardwork & determination.

    Now go lift something heavy..... but carefully please!

  • Ahh Rig that is such great news you must be thrilled.. and shows just how much good health matters.. .. I'm sure you will enjoy your fitness all the more x

  • Fantastic news Rig, what a relief for you and your family.

    So pleased for you xxx

  • Such wonderful news. So delighted for you and your family.  Just love reading your posts and feel really inspired by you, so thank you.

  • Very pleased for you - so good to hear positive news.  You must be feeling great!

  • Phew.  You must be very relieved!  Well done that man. x

  • Really pleased for you, sounds really stressful so glad things are under control. x

  • Kid, you were there a long time going through all kinds of mean, nasty ugly things!

    Long may you continue your moderate exercise! 

    (Exits, singing 'You can get anything you want...')

  • Rignold, that is brilliant. You have great strength, and I don't mean physically.

    A wonderful result.

    Now, enough sentimentality... get out there and lift a few weights, do some skipping, several burpees.. or whatever they are called... and when you have done it all again..because now,you know you can.

    You are an inspiration. thank you x

  • Excellent, excellent news. What a huge amount of worry you've had, this is a great result and long may it continue.

    But do try to stay off the rat's p1ss...

  • All just amazing - ever more good reasons for us all to keep on keeping on - whatever has been going on with your heart it looks like you are on the right track. So great to avoid horrible surgical procedures. Long may it last. 

  • That's such good news Rig. I'm so pleased for you. My dad had Pericarditis and spookily he also had that rats thingy too and neither impacted his life. I hope you enjoyed lifting something stupidly heavy.

  • Really good news. It must have been awful having all that hanging over you. And look at all those tags - like a medical dictionary!

  • Oh Rig! You kept all that to yourself for all that time, while continuing to post here, encourage newbies, entertain us with your race reports, and make us all laugh? What a strong man you must be. Mega congratulations on getting the all clear, big hug xxxx

  • Blimey what a tale! Really glad you've missed the knife it's a long haul back from having your chest ripped open. So. What's the definition of a healthy individual, eh?? I reckon you put 80% of the population to shame with your resolve to keep going and probably 95% of the population in the actual practice of a healthy lifestyle. 

    Put it to the back of your mind now, you didn't know you had it before, so it won't hold you back now will it?

  • Fantastic news, Rig - what a relief that must be for you and for your family.  I'm so pleased you don't have major surgery in your future.  Back to the moderate exercise for you then!

    Just for the record, I do not have tag envy.

  • That's (mostly) fantastic - from the little I know of you, I expect 6 months inactivity would drive you crazy.

    Keep going, you don't know how inspiring you are to us all. Posts like this also puts our own self-imposed challenges in a new, challenging perspective.

    Rignold - in both senses of the term - you rock! 

  • Been away from the forum for a long while and had no idea you've been going through all of this, so I'm really pleased for you Rignold and that you've managed to come out the other side - the Arlo Guthrie stuff can't have been pleasant and the worry these things create can actually be worse than the problem, so I am glad the sword of Damocles has been lifted and that you met Laura and are still totally bonkers in the nicest possible way :)!

  • I have missed you and wondered where you were... hoping you are still running???

  • Hey Juicy - Having gone without illness or injury for a year after first graduating everything (like buses) all came at once. Unable to run for a while I started going to the gym where I could do just about everything but run - then I started to get back into it but got stopped by viruses, flu, and evil  germs - so I thought that to really get back into it I would have to (between you and me - don't tell a soul) start the c25k programme again and I have re-graduated this week) - Have to say I've really enjoyed going through it all again and now onwards and upwards... and forwards of course :)

  • Sounds like you've been through the mill Runon and I'm so glad you are back, well done you ⚡️

  • such good news, so pleased.  You are such an encourager, thank you

  • That's one heavy weight not even you would want to lug about. Fantastic news - what a relief for you and your family. 

  • Great News Mr Rignold  :)  congratulations :)

    It's strange how things you have probably lived with since childhood are suddenly discovered in later life.  The tumour which was the reason for half my left lung being removed in Jan 2016 may well have been there since childhood, no-one knows. It was only discovered because my current employer does thorough medical checks on employees every two years.  I imagine if I was still living in england then it would never have been found. It was only very slowly getting larger, and may only have caused breathing problems in much later life, or on the other hand may have caused bleeding into the lung, who knows. Either way, I'm glad it is removed.

    It sounds like your excellent fitness has saved you a lot of inconvenience and discomfort.  Well done, a great advertisment for staying in good shape.  :)

    By the way, "Happy Happy Joy Joy" rings a bell, I think it was Stimpy the blue cat, of Ren and Stimpy fame that I heard say that :)  Is that where you got it from?

    Congrats again.  Happy Running :) 

  • oops an 2014.  Im not very good with dates !

  • It is indeed a Ren & Stimpy reference. 10 bonus points for you.

  • Ouch, and there you go.... C25K strikes again. We are all doing the right thing

  • Whoa.  That's quite a cloud that's been hanging over your head.  Great news :-) xx

  • Just seen this... blimey you have really been through the mill and i am so pleased you are Ok and also that this condition was picked up so you can be monitored etc... Yes this C25k is pretty amazing, we have a lot in our lives to thank it for. 

  • That's brilliant news!

  • C25K was definitely an important factor, but it needed to be combined with your down-to-earth, take-no-shit mentality for everything to work. I bet Mrs R is relieved too - can't imagine what it would have been like for her with YOU on the IC for so long :) 

  • Excellent, excellent news. Enjoy your "normal" exercise regime. 

  • What a superb testament to your fit lifestyle - BRILLIANT news Rignold

  • That is seriously good news (in a bizarre sort of way!) delighted to find another Alice's Restaurant Rignold  btw. Didn't think you were of that era!

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