Thursday, April 14, 2016

Post swim affects on body

My latest Aqua-adventure/challenge: Ka’iwi Channel

Hawaiian Channel: Molokai’ to O’ahu
Success: April 9-10, 2016 17 hours, 27 minutes, 20 seconds (but who’s counting seconds) Tandem/partner swim with Elizabeth A. Fry

This is one of the most un-predictable swims I have ever done; the shortest distance between the 2 Hawaiian Islands is 26 miles but because of the open water of the Pacific Ocean, creating such intense surf, the beaches are mostly un-sheltered on both sides; the starting and finishing points are not predictable until the day of the swim (safe entry and exit is a key component). Our swim, started at Kapuhi Beach, Molokai’ (9 pm) and we finished at Sandy Beach O’ahu, approximately a 34-mile course. This explains why, there is such a variety of crossing times, and really time matters naught, the goal is to get across.  

My true description of the swim "FUN, HORRIBLE, BEAUTIFUL, SCARY, LONG- so glad it's over "

Day 4

Left hip is improving, but the back of both knees are blistering now. Don'y gross out, it's only fluid from one blister. Good thing we are on slow Molokai time, relaxing not doing much about anything. The

Hawaiian waters at a quiet beach felt so good on my legs. Can't walk very fast and the feet and legs are still holding fluid, my dermatologist is not going to be pleased with me. I still can't bend my knees past 45 degrees, so stairs are real slow, up and down. Sleeping is improving, my back doesn't feel so hot any more.

72 hours and less.

I usually don't harbor on my post-swim "injuries or affects" to ,y body, but this past swim has been interesting, maybe it's because I am getting older, 52 and feeling some different effects...
or maybe it is 180 degree turn in the conditions that is affecting me.

Truly I think it's a little of both,      

Everyone was wondering how I would react to the warm water, well 75 degrees is a very comfortable temperature. So during the swim, especially at night I could float on my back and look at the beautiful sky of more stars than I have even seen and not rush a feed, or waiting to continue didn't even bother me because I was comfy.

Then a past injury popped up, Left side shoulder area, NOT the rotator cuff. I was able to readjust my stroke with switching back to my youthful one-side, left side breathing pattern and with some Ibuprofen (my favorite NSAID) I was able keep both sides/arms going. I really didn't want to get out because Liz and I had made pact, if that would happen, the other swimmer would continue, and I really did not want sit on a boat for at least another 6 hours, let alone 9 which it ended up being,
So, when the sun shone its smiling face, I started to swim on the right side of the kayak and it was pretty good, painful but I could continue at a decent pace..

Next came the heat lamp, the SUN... we had some clouds but as most people know, those ultra-violet rays coming through the clouds are the damaging rays. Now it is impossible to put on any sunscreen when you are in the water, and I LOVE my sunscreen, but if we had put it on at 8 pm the previous night, it wouldn't have any affect, so here we are, swimming along in the beautiful cobalt blue water. Every time I took a breath and turned my face back into the water, that color was mesmerizing, I can understand why stranded sailors would see things in the water, it's hypnotizing,

As we closed into O'ahu, I tried not to look at the island too much, I knew we had much more swimming to do than the GPS was telling us, and with every 45 minute interval (feeding time interval), I knew we were getting closer but I gradually started to feeling the sun biting at my skin.

Forget about the No-see'em jellies and the strands of the Portuguese Man of War Jellies, the burning sun was cooking us, and I and still feeling the effects 72 hours later.

If there is a sunscreen pill out there, then maybe I will consider another tropical/near equator LONG swim, but if there isn't and I can't protect this back and legs, no more 10+ hour in the unprotected sunshine for me.

The 2nd issue I'm dealing with: I have a different perspective today, and insight into my patients, family and friends who have had or are battling lower extremity edema. After the swim, my legs were fine, but as the hours progressed, and I'm positive it was a combination of taking in small amounts of salt water with every breath (every swimmer does, the English Channel is the worse because it's cold water), being in a prone position for over 17 hours (no scientists have even studied these effects), complete exhaust from swimming approximately 34 miles, and being in the unprotected sun for about 8 hours.

I will tell you, I was hydrated, taking in over 800 ml of liquid, 1/2 usually being water every 45 minutes.

So this is what I am battling, severe sunburn, actually sun poisoning. 72 hours later I have many tender areas, especially on my left side, seemed to had gotten the worse beating. Blistering and nerve pain, which I know will gradually decrease,

The lower extremity edema was the most surprising 'condition'. at 48 hours post swim, I couldn't see the dorsal veins and tendons on my feet, I've never seem my ankles and knees swollen this much and with the combo of the burn I was a miserable, uncomfortable mess. I now know how my legs will look, especially the scar on my right leg, will look if I ever have Congestive Heart Failure.

Elevation, rest, lots of water is helping, gradually the burn is deceasing, but sometimes an acute nerve flare-up will occur and a cool shower is the prescription.

More tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment

2015 ... Swimming for Homes for the Brave

After spending the past 20 years paddling from Dover to France, it is time to venture into new waters, while helping some special people.
Soon, I will be traveling with my A-team to Scotland to swim the length of the famous Loch Ness.
As always, I try to help a Foundation raise funds and awareness and I thank you for interest and support.
I am deeply troubled with the thought of homeless individuals, especially in our US Veteran population.

That is why I am teaming up with our Connecticut-based “Homes for the Brave”. Can you imagine not having a place to call home?

Here is more information about Homes for the Brave! -Facebook pages –

- Annual Appeal with more information about our financials and programs-

-Check donations can be mailed to the following address:
Homes for the Brave
655 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604

- Donations can be made online as well:

Please write “Loch Ness Swim/Marcy” to track your donation.

I will always be dedicating my swimming to all those battling cancer and in the memory of 4 special people in my life. Cancer first hit my family when I was young. My grand-aunt Eleanor Kersavage, passed away with uterine cancer and my Auntie Bea Halchak battled with brain cancer.

On January 1, 2002, our LEHY family lost Nikki Giampolo to bone cancer, just turning 16 years old. Her spirit still lives on in our East Hartford swim team.

In July of 2009, my brother-in-law, Gregory Allen Urban, who passed away, after a valient battle with lung cancer. I can see him now, talking about cars and projects around the house, music and his family.

I know Aunties, Eleanor and Bea, Nikki, Greg and all the angels will help me CUT through all this water this summer.

The St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, based in Bridgeport, CT provides financial support for the needs that Health insurance companies don't cover, in addition to providing affordable cancer screening, wigs, medication and other things to make life easier for those suffering with cancer and their families.

Please make a donation, and thank you.

Online donations can be made at:

or you can send a check through the post to:

Swim Across the Sound
St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation
2800 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06606

Thank you so very much, peace and good health to all.