August 7, 2008

Do They Really Use As Much Blood As They Take?

Well, I guess it's official once again this year - my body hates me. It doesn't exactly come as a surprise though, it's hated me for a long time now, since April of 2006 to be exact. I don't know what I did at Sea Otter that year, maybe it was something in the mud at the short track, whatever it was, I haven't been the same since. This spring I was getting by ok, training was going decent and I had my fingers crossed I could make it through the summer without my body giving up on me like the last two years, I was taking it pretty easy and not pushing it too hard, but in the end my body still said no way after a couple weekends of racing and it finally quit again at the WORS race in Eau Claire last month and hasn't shown up for work since. Since it's happened the last two years before I am starting to get good at knowing what's about to happen, but once the wagon starts rolling down the hill there's nothing I can do about it. Even with significant time off the bike, 1 hour rides are tough and if I even think I feel good one day and do a few small efforts I pay for it dearly for the next week with achy legs and joints. I have some very strange symptoms of hypoglycemia, where it feels like my blood sugar drops and I can barely function and get very lethargic and light headed, especially after eating. I've been working with an endocrinologist for almost a year now with no answers on that one.

Usually after about 6-8 weeks of very light training I've been able to come back and race cross in the fall with some success, but usually not feeling that well and very sporadic results. I still battle the symptoms and really am not able to train at the level I want because I am limited to the amount and intensity of training I can do without my body shutting back down again. The strange symptoms I have drive me crazy and are a real distraction discouragement since they remind me every day something is not right.

It's very difficult to sit at home and watch the seasons go by from the sidelines. It's hard to find motivation when my body does not respond at all to training and with no good sensations while training. I've taken out all the stops recently on discovering what is going on and have contacted two doctors at the top of the sport that have shown some interest in helping me resolve the issues. I'm really hoping some time spent with one of these guys might bring some sort of answer as to what could be causing my body to shut down like it does. It's slow going though, waiting for returned calls, sitting in the lab at the clinic giving blood, waiting a week for results, waiting for returned phone calls, waiting for analysis on reports, it gets very drawn out. Next thing you know it's September and you even wonder if it's worth trying it again.

So, that's where things are at here. I usually don't blog about what is going on because it's not very interesting and I can't imagine very uplifting for the reader. But, if your reading Tristan Schouten.blogspot it's because your wondering what I'm up to - and now you know.
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Ben said...

That is no good man. I hope you are on the mend sooner than later. I was looking forward to a season of cross with you. The best of luck with the new doctors!

Anonymous said...

Tristan, Did they do all 4 thyroid checks? TSH; T4 T3 free T4 I think they are.
Some of the standards they handle are on the high (low) side.
Could clarify some of the symptoms.

Tristan Schouten said...

Oh yeah, I've pretty much tested out of endocrinology. TSH, T4, T3, insulin, cpeptid, glucose, glucose tolerance, glucose fasting tolerance, growth hormone, testosterone and the list goes on.

Chris Milliman said...

Tristan, I've been reading the updates and sorry to hear about the health issues. Thought I might be able to help. Here's the name of the doctor who helped Lea Davison two years ago when she had pretty much the same symptoms you describe. Non-traditional medicine. If you're at your wit's end with traditional medicine, and it sounds like you are, this guy can help. I know so many athletes who've gone through what you are and this guy has been able to change their bodies with common sense solutions and get them back to where they were, and even better. Call me if you have any questions. 603-340-1580. David G. Olarsch, N.D., RH (AHG)
Institute for Naturopathic Health
572 Tenney Mountain Highway
Plymouth, New Hampshire 03264-3145
fax: 603-536-8191


Anonymous said...

to answer your they dont use all the blood they always take more than they need..get well!

SquidBuzz said...

At the hospital that I work at, they only take as much as they need.

Elizabeth said...

Hey, I randomly came across yr blog, but...

Have you checked out gluten intolerance? I had the exact same thing - I was constantly sick and run down, I couldn't train more than a week or two before getting run down and sick and was ridiculously frusterated. I went to a doctor and was told to not eat gluten any more and I seriously haven't been sick since then. Amazing. Hard work keeping up the diet but worth it because I feel so much better.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I hope you can get it figured out soon, it sounds really frustrating!

You Said: "I have some very strange symptoms of hypoglycemia, where it feels like my blood sugar drops and I can barely function and get very lethargic and light headed, especially after eating."

I have that same problem sometimes. I can hardly stay awake after some meals, it's a pain.

Elizabeth's suggestion is a good one, about avoiding gluten (wheat, etc.). How about keeping a food diary and skipping certain foods for a couple of weeks then reintroducing them and seeing if they make you feel worse? Food allergies could be making you feel bad, and it's hard to pinpoint which food unless you quit each one for a while. Look at eggs, dairy, wheat, rice, oats, nuts, etc. See which foods give you that "sleepy" feeling, or a headache or stomachache.

Keep posting about this stuff, it's interesting and could help others too.

Good Luck with this, and hope the collarbone heals fast too!