Did my physical. The odds according to my family medical history is not so good….


On the treadmill during my ECG test…

Well folks. I had my complete medical check today. I went to Prince Court Medical Centre at 730 AM an checked in.

My family medical history is not so good. Some of the more worrying facts are:

1. Maternal grandfather had lung cancer
2. Maternal uncles suffers from severe heart conditions
3. Mother had brain tumour
3. Father had diabetes, hypertension severe heart conditions
4. Sibling has gout and hypertension

The list goes on and on. As I was telling the doctor my family medical history I started to panic as I thought the odds were against me on both sides of the family. Even my personal medical history was colourful. Doctors suspected that I suffered a heart attach nearly 6 years ago and had an angiogram done. That turned out to be a false positive but it was till worrying. Doctors also diagnosed me with mild hypertension with my systolic bp hovering in the high 140s.

On top of that there is a history of obesity on both sides of my family and I was severely obese being 35kg overweight.

Not so good news eh?

Checking my bone density..

The whole experience was surreal. Going from one test to another. I was surprise how calm I when the nurses took 3 vials of blood. I use to scream and shout whenever needles were involved. I guess I had other things on my mind.

All in all it took about 3 hours to complete. y favourite part was the ECG stress test as I get to run on the treadmill. I was tempted to ask the nurse to just let me run so that I can get my exercise done today.

My attending physician is a very nice lady by the name of Dr Sharifah Eliza whom I even managed to regale with tales of triathlon training and the importance of technique. I put it down to nerves. I even had time to explain to another doctor the merits of refining technique in swimming and how we should shape the vessel and not build the engine when it comes to swimming.

The funniest moment of the day was when some one asked me if I had drunk any water. I wasn’t sure what the ‘preferred’ response was and I honestly thought he was going to deck me. I sheepishly said no. So he told me to drink 4 cups of water and explained to me that my bladder needed to be full for the kidney ultrasound. So I drank. I swear at least 5 people asked me if my bladder was full and whether I needed to pee. I said no so they told me to drink some more. So I drank. I don’t think I have ever had as many people be so concerned about my bladder. And I drank. Finally I felt as if I was about to burst and they did the ultrasound. When they finished with me it was time to go for another test but not before I went to the loo….

When Dr Eliza called my in to explain the results I felt as if my world was yanked from underneath me. My heart beat racing and I felt sick. I haven’t been this nervous for a long time.

She looked at me in a very pensive mood and started reading the first page of the report:

1. Your blood group is B positive
2. Your body mass index needs to be reduced form 31 to 23
3. Hepatitis A Hepatitis B immunisations highly recommended

I was thinking this is not good right?

She gave me a wicked smile and continued:

4. The chest X-ray findings are normal
5. Ultrasound abdomen and pelvis is within normal limits
6. Resting ECG within normal limits
7. Exercise stress test is within normal limits
8. Bone mineral density is within normal limits
9. No detected coronary calcium. The calcium score is ZERO. This place the subject in a low risk category for occlusive coronary arterial disease
10. Recommended to do a yearly check up

Nothing she said sunk in as I was hung up on the phrase ‘normal limits’. What does that mean?

I mumbled for clarification,

‘this normal limits thing. Normal isn’t good is it? Is that good or bad’?

She gave me a wicked smile and said,

‘It means that all the training you’ve done has paid off. You are extremely fit and in excellent physical condition’.

It still didn’t sink in. I mumbled further,

‘My earlier diagnosis of hypertension. Are you telling me that I no longer suffer from high blood pressure’?

Her response echoed in my ear,

‘Yes. You are no longer suffering from hypertension and no longer need to be medicated for it’.


She then took me through the details of the report,

‘Renal profile in normal range’ – translated to no indication of diabetes
‘Uric acid in normal range’- translated to no indication of gout
‘Cholesterol in the upper high normal range’ translated to just keep an eye on your cholesterol level

The only thing I have to worry about is the cholesterol figure which though in normal range, it’ll be good for me to bring it down further.

She finally said that I should go on with my triathlon training. There is no medical reason for me to stop or reduce the intensity. In fact, I asked her if I can now begin to push the intensity of my training and she said by all means to do so.

This is such a vindication of my efforts. I’ve been going crazy with my exercise and training and maybe a little scary.Some people think I’m crazy and extreme. But who cares? The point is I’ve gone from an unfit couch potato to a fit swimming, cycling and running athlete.

And the best things is a little note deep within the report’,

‘There is only a low risk of a cardiac event in the next 2 to 5 years’.

Wow. What a rush when I read that.

I’m going for a run now and I’m going to run like I’ve never ran before and I’m going to enjoy it.

I use to hold myself back a little just to be sure and to be safe.

From this moment on, there’s no holding back.

I’m not going to just finish the triathlon but I’m gonna go for the best time I possibly can.

Maybe I won’t win any medals or set any records.

Maybe nobody will know my story and even if they did, maybe they won’t care.

Maybe I will never be a world class athlete but you know what? I’m going to train like one.

I’m going to be the best that I can be.

I may not be a world class athlete but I’m
going to train like one..

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