Thursday, April 12, 2018

"I'm Derek Lindstrom, and I can do anything!"

First, thanks for taking a few minutes to stop by my blog. I have had this blog for the past 8+ years, using it only occasionally as I was training for the 'next big race'...a race that never seemed to happen.
I've run/raced a lot...110 marathons, Ironman, probably nearly 700+ races in total, but over the past 5+ years, I truly have found myself searching for a race, a meaning.
I honestly thought that Leadman 2018 was going to be IT. I was excited, motivated...threw down my $855 to enter. Was training at a D+/C- level for most of the fall/winter, having limited energy to get out. Motivation, none. Always tired with an excuse. What a lazy piece of shit, I would call myself.
Fast forward to Saturday March 3rd, 2018, in Stillwater picking up Torun from swim practice, standing in the lobby of Stillwater Jr. when all of a sudden I felt odd, really light headed, to the point where I needed to lean against a wall so I didn't fall over. No arm movement and couldn't speak, though I was coherent, enough so that I could see and hear Torun, but I had no movement...I'm sure all the swim-moms I was with thought I was drunk. Lasted maybe a minute or so but gradually got feeling and such back, but what the hell was that? "You ok, papa?"  Still not feeling the best a couple of hours later, I drove myself to the ER, just to make sure I was OK to drive.
Park Nicollet in Burnsville, nope, they send me across the parking lot to Fairview where they run me through a hula hoop looking MRI...nothing. "Let's try one more test...", I hate when they say that. Well this MRI shows a dissection(?) in the back of my neck, a tear that could have been pooling blood, or where a clot had formed and let loose, possibly causing a minor stroke, but we need more tests. So, off by ambulance I go, to Fairview Southdale, for the night.
The next morning I'm treated to numerous texts...another MRI, much blood drawn, good god. Ready for this? "Let's try one more test..." Ugh.
This test, a TEE, gets me put out for just a minute, placed on my side and they shove some tube down my esophagus to take a peak at my heart...I came to not knowing they had done anything. My kind of test :)
Now I'm not sure when I got results, whether it was Sunday or Monday, but at least I got news. Severe scaring in the heart, a severely dilated left ventricle, a 6x8 thrombus (clot) in the LV...and an ejection fraction of 23%...wait, what?
I think basically what he was saying is that "You're screwed!"...wait, what?

So here I sit, Thursday April 12th, 2018, with no other news. I've seen 3 cardiologists and a neurologist, with 4 different conclusions. I found a cardiologist at the Heart Institute in Minneapolis that I really like, so I will listen to her...and her advice is to first get an ICD implanted, more to keep me alive in case the ticker stops. The ICD will jump start it, as I understand it. 
After the ICD, it's time for a biopsy to take a tiny chunk of the heart to see what the scaring looks like. After which they will do what they can to get my IF number up, (I'd take a 35 at this point) and if not, well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

So, I could use a quick prayer from time to time. I want to grow old to see the kids graduate from high school, to get married...maybe get back to the point where I can jog with them, though those days may be done :(

Yea, no running, limited riding, and easy riding. I'm on blood thinners to help with the clotting, and I think they're afraid I may fall down, get a cut and bleed out...? Don't they know who I am? I'm Derek Lindstrom...I don't fall :)

That attitude, which has worked well for me for years..."I'm Derek Lindstrom, and I can do anything!" attitude needed to race well, to push through another hard workout. I remember riding with the Gear West Tri Team June of 2016, a ride that I will always remember, as will Jordan Roby. I show up ready to rumble, pushing the pace from the start, a KOM on Game Farm Road, and I pushed hard for 40+ miles...pushing, pushing, pushing, and I remember telling myself a couple of times on that ride, when I was going to be dropped, that "I'm Derek Lindstrom, and I can do this...I can pound these guys into the ground!"
Worked well THAT day, and on too many runs to count over the years...well, that attitude may have sucked the life out of me. So many times over the past few years I would suck up a workout, push through, pound, push, whether I had the energy to pound or not...turns out I did not, and that I was struggling because I was sick. But how was I to know? I assumed I was just getting older and losing motivation...turns out I was tired and struggling because my IF was half of that of other runners/riders. ...suppose that should make me feel better, but it doesn't.

Gotta run now, but I hope you take time to pop in and read from time to's going to be a battle, both physically AND emotionally. Reading that almost 40% of patients with heart issues such as mine run into depression, well I'm not going to let that happen...I'm Derek Lindstrom, for crying out loud!

1 comment:

  1. Here to share your journey with you Derek! Thank you for sharing in this challenge. The biggest challenge of your life! Please keep us posted!!!!


"I'm Derek Lindstrom, and I can do anything!"

#WhoKnew First, thanks for taking a few minutes to stop by my blog. I have had this blog for the past 8+ years, using it only occasionally ...