Blood in urine and unicycling.
I’ve been meaning to start a thread in this topic for some time- reading a question about blood in urine in long-distance unicycling here-
has prompted me to get round to it.
About a year ago, I found myself feeling generally unwell and having to urinate frequently.
On this particular day, I’d walked down to the laundrette, put washing in the machine and, was visiting the toilet before going into town.
Looking down, I saw the rather horrific site of large amounts of blood filling the bowl.
It wasn’t so much that there was some blood in my urine, but rather, there was some urine in my blood
I can’t over emphasise the amount of blood there was, it was a genuine heart-stopping, shocking, ‘please let this be a bad dream’ moment.
Made worse perhaps, by the fact that my Dad had recently passed away, through cancer and, towards the end, blood in the urine was a symptom he was experiencing.
I quickly pulled myself together and, realising that I was only ten minutes from the local hospital, made my way over.
This was the start of a couple of months of appointments, tests and internet research.
I’m not a big one for hospitals or the medical system, only really using them when necessary, so when it came to some of the more invasive procedures, I declined them.
Many things can cause blood in the urine, the worst probably being cancer in various places.
Infection is another, and better, possibility: unfortunately, tests on the first day pretty much ruled out that as a possibility.
The best-case scenario, was that unicycling was somehow involved- two recent incidents made this a stronger possibility.
I’m accustomed to varying degrees of saddle issues, using a 24x3 with a home made air-seat, but, in the previous weeks, saddle soreness (not chaffing) had been a bigger problem, culminating in one ride that, pretty much as soon as it started, was very uncomfortable indeed.
Stupidly, I doggedly persisted, pushing through the pain and, though I made it a short ride, I rode the entire way.
Secondly, at the local park juggling meet, someone had brought along a giraffe- this is a type of unicycle that I never really have on with, partly cos I get scared at heights.
But, as a giraffe was available, and it was in a park with nice soft grass, I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity.
This uni had a ‘DM’ seat- a type of seat which I’ve always found to be profoundly uncomfortable even on a normal 20” uni- the front curves up in what, to me, is a quite stupid fashion, guaranteed to crush the parts you least want crushed.
Despite this, I persisted, climbing up to the seat, hanging on in a precarious fashion, riding a few turns before UPD-ing.
Until, the point came when, whilst sat on the saddle, the angle was just too wrong, and all my weight ended up putting pressure where it most hurts.
Basically, I got crushed- it hurt and, I gave up.
Could either of these two incidents have led, a couple of days later, to large amounts of blood in my urine?
Various doctors said ‘maybe, maybe not’.
Internet research indicated that, amongst bike riders, this sometimes seemed to occur- then again, internet research showed that blood in the urine was more common than I thought, even amongst non-bikers and, that some posters seemed to suffer from it intermittently for years, with no cause being found.
Then it occurred to me that I could ring Roger (of unicycle.co.uk) as he is a person who probably knows more unicyclists, of all types (long-distance, muni, freestyle etc) than anyone else.
Surely, if unicycling could cause blood-in-the-urine, Roger would have heard of several unicyclists this had happened to.
At this stage, I’d been going through several weeks of ‘not-knowing’ and, despite being good at not dwelling on things that I can’t do anything about, I have to admit that I wasn’t in the best of emotional states- having a symptom that could either be relatively minor, or alternatively, could mean a drawn out and painful death, takes its toll.
So, when Roger said that he’d not heard of a single instance of blood-in-the-urine from unicycling, it did not bode well for my hypothesis or give me cause for optimism.
However, a year has passed, the medical tests (basically an ultrasound scan cos I declined the more invasive stuff) showed nothing, there’s been no blood since.
Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t something wrong, but, if I had to say what I thought had caused it, I’d go for the unicycling- that’s just my instinct and, there’s no evidence to indicate otherwise.
It did put me off unicycling for a while- despite most of my rides being 1-1/12 hours long, I’d always had in the back of my mind, the possibility of long-distance riding in the future.
Realising that, if this blood thing happened on the first days of a long distance ride, it would be impossible to continue, kind of ruined the dream
It’s only very recently that I’ve started unicycling regularly again, sparked off by getting involved in the local unicycle hockey ream, which has led to me also going out riding regularly on my muni.
I’ve substituted a KH fusion saddle, with center cutaway and stopped using my old airseat.
It seems to work quite well, with the issues being chaffing ones, rather than pressure.
I’ve written this post for several reasons-
- So any unicyclists who’ve experienced this, can add to the thread. Silly as it may sound, I suspect that there is maybe some stigma to talking about things like this- the fact that it’s taken me a year to get round to writing this up may be a consequence of that.
So, I’m wondering if this has actually happened to other unicyclists, but, they just tend to not post about it
- For anyone who does experience something similar, I think it would be good if there is some kind of thread, cos, it is an upsetting thing when it first happens and, I think it would be useful to know that it’s happened to at least one other person.
- As I said at the start, reading captainwelch’s thread on the same thing happening after his 30-day distance ride, I wanted to write a reply and thought I may as well do a full write-up on what happened to me.
Of course, blood-in-the-urine is a potentially serious thing and, even if you do think it’s probably caused by unicycling, you should still, as a matter of urgency, get to a doctor to have it checked out.
But, be reassured, that, though it is potentially very serious, it most likely is not.