Crossroads – the way forward

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So I met with a neurologist last week.  This follow up meeting was suppose to happen in October, but I was sent around different departements with in the hospital for various test and then everyone forgot about me…
None of the test I have done since July have been able to explain why I had a stroke.

None of the test can say why my heart rate goes to max when I swim backstroke, but not when I swim the other strokes.

None of the doctors are willing to say that I can push my heart rate up closer to max, or exert myself in a low heart rate 20km run or even 5km jog.

Going into the appointment I was really hoping to get a thumbs up to start training the way I was back in 2012-2015, to being able to workout with a higher intensity and  a higher heart rate.  But I walked out with no OK to harder training or to racing.  A new issue I discovered during that I start to see double when looking to the right while facing forward. That was something I definitely was not aware of before.

Today I was called in for a working EKG. Which is a good thing because I was told it could take up to 7 weeks before I could be called in. I got hooked up to an EKG and after a few minutes of taking readings and blood pressure while laying down, I got on a bike and started the test. The test itself was fairly easy. I was to keep a cadence of 60/min and the bike would simulate a long uphill course.  The hard part was only pedaling at 60 rpm, since I prefer to keep it around 90 rpm.

I didn’t get to see the monitor, but every 45-60s they took my blood pressure and asked me to say on a scale of 6-20 how difficult it was to bike. It took a long time to go from very very easy to a slight exertion. But from slight exertion to very hard went quickly.  They had me stop when my pulse was just over 163 which I thought was low, but it also reinforces my fears that the doctors testing me see me as a fat bastard who drinks beer and watches tv on the sofa all night and over the weekends. I was really expecting to bike to failure. But I guess they got what they needed from the test.  I stayed hooked up to the EKG for about 5 minutes after I stopped, and then was allowed to leave. The doctor said everything looked ok, and if I wanted to be a firefighter, that I passed the physical requirements. But he will have to look through the data and then I suppose he will contact my neurologist and she will intern call me.

If that test does not reveal anything, then  I will get what they call a “thumb EKG”, a small machine that I will take with me to work, the pool and Box to press my thumbs on it throughout my day, during and after my workouts and maybe as I wake up and go to bed…

So basically I don’t know any more today than I did for eight months ago.  The only thing I know for certain is I am not the same athlete I was for 9 months ago, that it is most likely there will be no races for me outside of the pool in 2017 and even the ones in the pool won’t be at 100%, this past weekend in Eskilstuna is proof to that. I guess the upside of this was I didn’t have to shave my body at this year’s Swedish Nationals  😉

The downside is I have only last Open WoD to do tonight and it’s going to be 40 minutes of hell for me.

The only thing I know for certain is I am losing motivation to go to the pool, to go to the box, to bike to work.  My supportive but concerned wife, our three little girls that need their daddy and my friends that join me at the pool or in the box are the only things keeping me going.

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