Long and almost impossible road to UTMB

Even before Jordan, I was quite confident with my prospects at UTMB. After Jordan I was outright arrogant. So much that I agreed to go through with a simple operation that I had been delaying for spme time,

It was meant to be simple, quick and most likely an outpatient operation. I was meant to be at work the next day and back running in under a week.

Well, nothing went according to plan!

My father always says no operation with general anaesthesia, no matter how short, is simple! He has a point. First the operation itself turned out to be more difficult then planned, then it took longer and then I had to stay overnight.

The worst happened 12 hours after the operation. I had been in bed most of the day. I did not have pain (and no I was not on morphine or any other quasi-recreational drugs). I wanted to get up and go for a walk. I tried but could not lift myself out of the bed. I felt dizzy, broke into a cold sweat, started shivering uncontrollably. The doctor, who fortunately had not left, was worried. He was constantly taking my pulse and blood pressure. They all seemed under control. But I was still out of it and fading quickly. That’s when they started the blood work and discovered the problem. I had an internal bleeding. In fact, my haemoglobin, which was a stellar 16.5 when I entered the hospital that morning, had dropped to 9.5. In other words, I had lost almost 7 pints of blood.. . .

This was three and a half weeks ago. It has been a long process of recovery. This week, I have been more mobile. The days after I was discharged, I could barely walk for two hundred metres before having to stop to catch my breath. It was in fact similar to being lifted up to 5,000 metres from sea level in an instant. When you lose so much blood you no longer have enough red blood cells to carry the oxygen you need. This week, I have started walking up and down the escalators in the tube. I even managed an 8km run without much hustle. I have lost a lot of weight so my muscles and joints are struggling to cope with exercise but I am better everyday.

As for UTMB, it is even a bigger mountain to climb now then it was before. The doctor reckons that my new blood cells will be younger and stronger hence I will get back to running fitness quicker. I like to think he is right. But, even if he is wrong, I will still be there.

We have a new project now,. Ozi, would like to start joining me in some of the events. We will first pick a 5km and then we need to get him the Ferrari of wheel chairs a mountain trike. He is inspired and with a new treatment he is feeling much better therefore he would like to get out there and join me in raising awareness for MS and funds for shift.ms.

Till then, I have the UTMB to deal with and you know I love bets and challenges. My trainer has already said I should pull out. Those of you who know me well know that not many things motivate me more than proving someone wrong who tells me I should give up. The other? Your donations.

The link is the usual…  www.justgiving.com/devrimcelal



About Devrim

For the past 20 years, I have been a runner, having been a regular participant of the London marathon during the late 90s & early 2000s and others such as the Istanbul and San Diego. But when I moved to Cyprus in 2003, things took a turn for the worse. Suddenly 42 kilometres was no longer enough. I needed an activity to counter-balance work. That was when I discovered the concept of ultra-running. An ultra run is anything more than 50 kilometres. However, the need was such that I started with 250km long self-sufficient desert ultras. I have now completed 4 desert ultras in some of the most gruelling conditions, ranging from +60 to -20 Celsius, from the high planes of Atacama in Chile to the depths of the Gobi in China, from the sandy dunes of the Sahara to the ice fields of Antarctica. In 2011, I completed a desert ultra series, having run 1,000 kilometres across 4 deserts in 9 months carrying all my own equipment, water and food on my back.
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