Well, I had some good news today, for a change.
Last year, as some of you may recall, I had a little bout of Weil's disease after unwisely imbibing rat-pee infected water during a race. It was fairly undramatic, rather like a strong flu, and cleared up immediately when I got antibiotics. I had to have follow-up chest x-rays as a matter of routine to make sure there was no lung damage, which there wasn't.
But, the x-rays did catch a patch of shadow on my heart, which prompted further investigation, scans and scans and more scans of every description. I've been swished through giant doughnut machines, had my chest shaved repeatedly for electrodes and generally been inspected, injected, detected etc as Arlo Guthrie would put it, and discovered that I have Pericarditis - a condition in which a calcified layer forms around the sac in which the heart is contained, preventing it from expanding properly (in my case just on the right side). Apparently I had had this condition most of my life, after a serious respiratory ailment i had as a very small child which caused scar tissue on my heart. Had it not been for the chance x-ray it would have stayed undetected.
So, then more tests to estblish what this was doing to my body - it can cause cirrhosis of the liver apparently, and the extent of the calcification. Which was initially rather bleak. I was told to expect surgery within 10 weeks. Which then became another 10 weeks and another as we did still more tests.
I can't say I was excited by this prospect. The operation would involves proper open heart surgery - cutting open the chestplate... which really wouldn't do much for my chest-to-bar pullups or generally throwing weights and stuff around. The dr was talking about me not being allowed to lift more than a shopping bag or even jog for 60 seconds for 6 months and a full year before doing really strenuous exercise.
Which, y'know... as much as I advocate being philosophical on the Injury Couch, that is just a bit too much philospohy for me.
So, anyway, cut an already long story shorter: I saw my cardiologist today and am no longer on the list for surgery. My "Robust good health" and the continued improved results of my various fuctions have saved me from the knife.
Op may still be needed at some point in the future but for now just six month checkups. This has been like a sword of Damocles hanging over my head for months and has been a real dampener on training, not knowing if was about to be out of it for a year. So, really pleased and really excited to be able to get back to some hard work without that worry at the back of my mind.
There was an awkward moment when he confirmed that I would be fine continuing with normal moderate exercise, and my wife, who accompanied me, i suspect, for just such an eventuality, made an old-fashioned noise and then detailed to him exactly what sort of exercise I consider moderate. He was of the same mind as her that there was very little 'normal' about doing such things, but said that as it hadn't killed me so far, i was cleared to continue.
So. Happy Happy Joy Joy.
And, again, thanks to Laura and C25k for literally saving my life, twice: had I been in the appalling physical condition I was before C25k it would have been a quite different matter, and had I not done C25k I would never have been running the OCR in which I contracted the Weils and would never have had the x-ray that discivered the condition.
Now, I'm going to go for a run and then come back and lift something stupidly heavy over my head.