The Body

A few things have been going on this week with people that I love. These are things of the medical variety that sort of exemplify how susceptible the human body is to damage, but also how resilient the body is.

My dad recently came back to the states from Japan to get some medical tests to figure out what the heck was making him have bizarre fevers. He found out about a month or so ago that he has cancer, a T-cell lymphoma. I went to visit my parents back in Oklahoma when they were first figuring this out because we were afraid that when I went to visit at Thanksgiving he would be in pretty bad shape because of chemotherapy. Well, he got the chemo, but apparently he’s kicking cancer’s ass, because he seems to be doing really well with everything. He’s been losing his hair, but he’s not terribly sick or frail or anything. My parents are down at M. D. Anderson this week with the cancer experts formulating a plan to kick the cancer’s ass extra hard. Because who the hell needs it? There are far more interesting things to be doing.

Here at home, my husband managed to land himself in the hospital with a nasty case of rhabdomyolysis. According to the National Library of Medicine, this is “the breakdown of muscle fibers that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Myoglobin is harmful to the kidney and often causes kidney damage.” Basically, he broke his abs at crossfit, and he has to hang out in the hospital until the myoglobin in his system depletes and his kidneys are in the clear. *He would want me to stress the fact that he did it to himself; it is not crossfit’s fault.*

crossfit deep burnIt’s a really weird situation, though, because he says he wasn’t pushing himself ridiculously hard like he always figured you would have to in order to get rhabdo, he was just going a little more intensely than usual. And he doesn’t feel bad except for having sore ab muscles, which, let’s face it, I complain about if I do a dozen sit-ups. We even went hiking in the Catskills the day he realized he needed to go to the hospital, two days after the deadly workout (hint: if your pee turns a really weird reddish brown color, go to the hospital). So he’s been trapped in the hospital for three days so they can flush out and monitor his kidneys while he is otherwise perfectly functional. It’s so weird he did so much damage to himself with a normal activity and that he has to stay at the hospital even when he feels perfectly fine.

So with both my dad and Robin, something has gone terribly wrong inside the body, but the body seems to be doing just fine while it gets fixed. I really don’t understand sciency stuff, but it seems pretty incredible to me.


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