Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So what did the Doctor say

When I went to the Doctor today to check out the Planter Fasciites problem with my left foot I never knew what was waiting for me. She confirmed it, the problem is back and suggested giving me a cortisone injection after I explained to her how long it's been going on but she did warn me that it is going to hurt.
I never knew a tiny injection like the one today will give a grown man teary eyes. After she evaluated my foot carefully she gave me three injections with the one right at the bottem of my foot sole being the one that made me almost scream. She also gave me some new strecth excercises to do and instructions on how to strap it.
It was interesting to hear that the Planter Fasciitis will more likely return after you end your season as all the muscles and body parts aren't that flexible anymore and they "shrink".
Well that was the good part of the visit. As we talked I told her about my fall and asked her while I'm there if she can check me out as I suspect having a slight concussion. The bad news is I do half a slight concussion and was told to not start running for at least another two weeks.
Aparently if you start running or for that matter do anything whereby you elevate your heart rate and your brain "bounce" around it can have seriuos reprocussions during the long term. Symptons like headaches can occur when you do endurance events in future even if you are healthy and recovered from the concussion. I am allowed to cycle but only on the indoor trainer and I can swim but only after the stitches are taken out.
Up to now during the visit I was fine as the news wasn't really news to me but what she told me next shocked me a bit. I guess this is why I will rather wait a week to see her and give me really sound advice. That's the advantage if you go to a doctor that only deals with sport injuries with her practice being at the High Performance Centre of the University of Pretoria's premises. She is a cyclist herself and even completed the Cape Epic, a multi stage MTB race in South Africa. They say it is the toughest MTB race in the world.

I told her that I can't really remember how I fell. All I can remember was skating round the corner and the next minute I was helped up by this youngster. She suspects that I had a Black Out and was really worried. She qouted her Cardiologist friend who's an endurance athlete himself and explained to me why something like that happens or could happen.

Endurance athletes can develop what they call an "athletes heart" whereby your heart, as it is a muscle increase in size the more you excercise it. Some people can then develop an irythmic inbalance and your heart basically "skips" a beat occasionally or has a irregular beat which can lead to a black out. She also explained that this will more likely happen when you just finished your season and are in your off season. She qouted all these medical phrases and explained it to me but I can't remember all the names and termigolities.
She then said that this can also be helped on if you have high blood pressure. I told her that my blood pressure is fine but she insisted on taking it. Surprise, surprise my blood pressure was higher than what a person in my conditions pressure should be. She says it is probably of the fall but I need to monitor my blood pressure for the next week and if it doesn't come down I need to go back and she will do some test.

Below is an extract of what "Athlete heart" is

"Athlete's heart is a constellation of structural and functional changes that occur in the heart of people who train for > 1 h most days.
Intensive, prolonged endurance and strength training produces many physiologic adaptations. Volume and pressure loads in the left ventricle (LV) increase, which, over time, increase LV muscle mass, wall thickness, and chamber size".
Last full review/revision August 2009 by Robert S. McKelvie, MD, PhD, MSc
Content last modified August 2009

So my official training for Ironman South Africa will now start 14 December and not next Monday as planned but I will rather start a week late than having headaches and problems later in my life as I plan on doing a few more Ironmans.


  1. Enjoyed reading your account of your doctor visit. Funny, yet serious, too.

    I've started a blog about all aspects of heart health in athletes. Check it out at www.athletesheart.blogspot.com.

    Good luck with the plantar fasciitis and blood pressure....and with the training for next year's IMSA.

    Larry Creswell

  2. Larry
    Thanks for the post. Will appreciate it if you post an article on your blog about "Athletes heart". something new to me, didn't know about it.
    Thanks for the well wishes.

  3. Larry.
    Did check out your blog. It is so amazing and usefull. So much info.

    PS: for anyone who is a triathlete and wants to know more about heart and health issues check outthis blog. www.athletesheart.blogspot.com

  4. Wow, that was a real "pick me up" visit. Good thing you went. Two weeks of no running sounds like it will also help your plantars. That is just the worst and most annoying injury. Look forward to relaxing and giving your face, brain, heart, blood pressure and foot a break.

  5. B
    Thanks, frustrated but nothing I can do apart from rest. Atleast I have an extra week to enjoy some Beer drinking.

  6. Look on the brigth side, you need to go slow to go fast! better to find out now before you hurt yourself training! Open a beer and enjoy the unwamted rest! Cheers

  7. John
    That's true. just scared I get too used to the beer and loose fitness and gain lbs. A double wammy, not good

  8. Johan,

    Really take csare of yourself first...that is scary!!

    Enjoy a little bit of reading a good bike..but may be not about triathlon, try to relax to lower that HBP.

    Take care,

    "XTB" Xavi.

  9. Xavi
    Thanks for the well wishes and advice.
    Appreciate it