I’m scared…

It’s 28 days since the Dublin Ironman 70.3 and I’ve spent 14 of them in hospital, so far.

Two weeks, not so bad in the greater scheme of things but what’s messing with my head is that I’ve been in hospital, home, back in hospital, home and then back in hospital again. I’ve been to either the Physio or my GP and each visit has resulted in an ’emergency’ return to full time care.

Given this is my 3rd blog tracking my recovery I won’t bore you with the backstory but what happened since we last met was that somewhere along the line after the disc surgery and before or during the cerebral fluid leak I picked up an infection. I started getting seriously high temperatures spiking to 40degrees, shakes, sweats lack of sleep. The infection seemed to be in my blood.

Now I’m scared…

I’m scared that just over 3 weeks ago I was achieving a PB in a half ironman. Now I can’t move my right leg, I’ve had back surgery and an infection serious enough to warrant 24hr care, 3 different types of intravenous antibiotics as well as daily blood tests to establish my health.

I’m scared that I’m a 5 time marathoner and 2 time half ironman and now I have a Physio teaching me how to walk down stairs.

imageI’m scared because what’s happening to me has put so much pressure on my family to adapt their plans and routines and I’m wondering if this was preventable, what did I do wrong?

I’m scared because I don’t know what the future holds. I know the back will recover but will I get my foot back again? I know the medics can’t say anything with certainty but their reluctance to even speculate is very frustrating.

I’m scared because I don’t know if I’ll ever run again.

I’m scared because it’s really hard to stay positive all the time. It feels false and spurious. Sometimes you just want to curl up & cry, wishing you could turn back time a few weeks. There’s been a bit of that over the last few days.

But I’m strong…

I am strong because I have a great wife and kids. They’ve dropped anything and everything to make sure things work for all of us. They’ve changed their plans, dropped others and not moaned one bit. I couldn’t be a luckier guy.

I am strong because I’ve got great friends. They text, visit, send cards, Whatsapp (is that a verb?!) and keep in contact, they’re genuinely interested in my wellbeing. Even people I really don’t know on twitter and various social media platform are keeping in contact. To all of you I am truly grateful.image

I’m strong because I’ve been here before. I’ve had a previous back injury and I recovered well. I know what to do and I just need to do it.

I am strong because I actually am strong. I can’t imagine doing this pre Operation Transformation. I’m lighter, fitter, stronger than ever before.If I can complete a half ironman with a slipped disc I can pick myself up again.

I am strong because a while ago I couldn’t have written this post, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s OK to not be Ok.

I know there are others dealing with problems that put mine in the ha’penny place, but this is my fight. I AM STRONG.


I’d better get better or this’ll be me in a couple of months!

About @killianbyrne

I'm a 40 something husband and dad who has lost lots of weight, finished a couple of marathons & triathlons and learned to enjoy life in the last few years.
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7 Responses to I’m scared…

  1. Dave Gibson says:

    Fair play Killian… you are strong and you will run again… Dublin Marathon 2017 awaits … keep the chin up but don’t be afraid to fall apart every now and again… It’s the ultimate sign of strength.. best wishes

  2. davegibson6 says:

    Fair play Killian… you are strong and you will run again… Dublin Marathon 2017 awaits … keep the chin up but don’t be afraid to fall apart every now and again… It’s the ultimate sign of strength.. best wishes

  3. Mary Louise Irwin says:

    I have just read ur latest blog & I’m over whelmed as to what has happened you. I am also taken back by your positive attitude as I’m sure you touch rock bottom at times. Keep smiling, blogging & sharing your thoughts with us …….. they are inspirational Killian.
    Will be thinking of you …….
    ML x

  4. Eimear Ring says:


    Wishing you a speedy recovery. You are strong and you will get through it. Just remember it’s ok that you feel scared too…you are human after all! I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    Eimear x

  5. Hang in there! My Mum suffered nerve damage during a hip replacement surgery and then sepsis which very nearly took her from us, complicated by having replacement heart valves which they thought had bn infected. Thankfully after 4 months of IV antibiotics she survived. She had lost 4.5stone and had no feeling in her quad muscles. She couldn’t take the immune suppressing drugs she needed for the Rheumatoid arthritis she has suffered for 30years, which was another struggle for her. But she fought back. After 18months infection free they allowed her to restart RA drugs. She has gradually recovered feeling in her leg and can walk without crutches again. And she was not fit & strong before this happened & has had to fight a crippling and very severe form of arthritis ( she has both rheumatoid & psoriatic arthritis) at the same time as recovering from the sepsis and nerve damage. So you already have a huge advantage over her. Nerve damage can take 2 yrs to recover fully, so patience is a virtue. Stay determined & listen to ur physio. Best of luck!

  6. pascaldie says:

    One day at the time Killian… keep writing it does help to heal & verbalize thoughts even though some can be dark (and thats OK) you will go thru this…. stay positive I was told I would not be able to speak without visible difficulties after flying thru a windscreen….. apparently I am talking too much now. Stay strong !!! 🙂

  7. Jennifer Kavanagh says:

    Did you hear about a girl who nearly killed herself on a cycle bike accident in glendalough in July of this year? Well Google it. I was in a comma for 12 days and Beaumont hospital for a month. This couldn’t have come at a better time…you sum up how I felt. BUT…there is light at the end of th tunnel promise. Rest is key and a good cry does help. Family and friends were amazing…you will pull through same as me. Rehab for both of us awaits. I’ll follow your progress from now…

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