Monday, October 23, 2017

The update I didn’t want to write

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As I write, it’s now been four days since my last training session, and looks like it will be at least as long again until I am able to do any physical exercise.  This was not part of the plan.

On Monday evening, I went out for a nice steady run on the local disused railway line that runs between Marlborough and Swindon, gearing up for what was going to be an exciting run on Tuesday night with some much faster runners up in Cheltenham.  I got back feeling great, my ‘steady’ runs are definitely getting faster and I’m feeling much better about my running.

Fast forward 10 hours to 6am on Tuesday morning and I am a wreck, shivering uncontrollably and with a pain across the right-hand side of my chest.  Being a doctor, my partner recognizes the signs and immediately whips all the bedclothes off me to cool me down (not a popular move at the time!) and doses me up with paracetamol to calm the fever.  Oh bugger, I’ve gone and caught man flu, haven’t I?

But there are no cold symptoms as such, no runny nose, no sinus pains etc.  Partner suggests she thinks it is probably a ‘proper’ (her word!) dose of flue with a side order of pleurisy (infection on wall of lungs) and begins a regime of paracetamol and ibuprofen. Through the day, the chest pain is getting worse and spreading, however. And when I start coughing up blood at 9pm she instantly orders me into the car and takes me to A&E at Swindon.

Three hours, several ECGs, blood pressure tests (my resting HR was 109 and temp 38.2!) and a chest x-ray later and the consultant confirms I have pneumonia.  He hands my partner a print out of the x-ray and even she is impressed – my lungs are full of ‘white stuff’ (which apparently denotes infection).  In Spike Milligan’s words: See, I told you I was ill! The problem is, I still can't figure out 'how' I got ill. I haven't been pushing too hard in training, and definitely wasn't feeling tired, so this really has come out of the blue.

So here I am, just four days into convalescence and already fed up with it.  The double-dose antibiotics seem to be doing their job, as I am definitely feeling better, but still getting breathless after even just climbing the stairs.

Right now, running, swimming or cycling seem like far-fetched fantasies rather than realistic prospects.  The anti-biotics finish at the weekend, and I have a follow-up appointment with the GP on Tuesday evening. Hopefully they will confirm the infection has gone and I can recommence light training, or if not, stick me full of another dose of drugs.

Thank God my first ‘A’ race of 2013 is still five months away…

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Matt Fisher runs TriathletesDiary.com - so it's all his fault! He pretends to be a triathlete, but really he is a husband, father and company VP. But he has raced for the GB Age Group squad a few times and is a 2014 qualifier for the IM70.3 world champs

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