I Don’t Trust Doctors But Then My Crank Fell Off


“If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.”

From: Tao te Ching by Lao-tzu, translated by Stephen Mitchell

Hi folks! Thanks for stopping by!

Image of barber bleeding a 'patient' from The Rogue Medic site

The majority of Doctors are great, hard working, dedicated and knowledgeable, but they aren’t all-knowing gods or Gods! They’re people, and they learn new stuff every day.

A critical aspect of endurance training, or any program of safe exercise for better health, for that matter, is the ability to go with the flow. Any small inconvenience or interruption can destroy your mojo, and before you know it the workout is postponed, and you’re off to the ice-cream store or worse. You get to the pool for a planned swim, and all the lanes are full with people going too slow or too fast, or worse, all mixed up. It’s a maelstrom. Stay and struggle through the crowds, which by the way is great Ironman training for those not used to choppy water? Wait for the pool to clear? Come back later? Modify your workout plan? Generally, the latter is best. It’s like a workout routine at the gym – even with a set routine, have a plan to deal with machines being too full, and you’ll still have a great time. For me, the latest challenge involved my beloved PowerCranks.

Photo of FitOldDog's PowerCranks crank that fell off of his trainer bike whilst training.

FitOldDog’s PowerCrank crank fell off!

I had planned a two-hour PowerCrank spin followed by a two-hour run; remember, I have an Ironman race scheduled in a few weeks, so such a workout is just par for the course. Thirty-five minutes into the ride, one of the cranks fell off due to inattention on my part. This happened before, and it was easy to replace the crank, but not this time. It just would not go back on, even with the assistance of my great bike guy, Victor. So! What did I do! First I became a little frustrated, but I let that go through a long history of meditative practice – which really works – and I put on my running gear, went to the front door, and guess what? It’s pouring with freezing cold rain and the air temperature is 40°F. What’s to do?

Run, that’s what’s to do – which I did, with Willbe running along with me for about 10 miles, sloshing through mud and ankle-deep water, and we had a great time. Scooter took one look at the weather and said, in his doggy way, no way Jose!

Full cream yoghurtSo! Why don’t I trust doctors, and what has that got to do with PowerCranks? It’s pretty simple, specialists specialize, and they sometimes don’t listen, especially cardiologists. Doctors have offered me valium I didn’t need, statins (muscle toxins) I don’t want, excessive blood-pressure medicine that caused me trouble whilst racing, and I am sure that doctors play a role in America’s unhealthy and crazy, but lucrative, low-fat diet business; try finding full-cream yoghurt [yummy!] in your local supermarket, for instance. I do trust doctors to be well meaning and dedicated professionals. Like all humans, doctors have limited understanding of the biological machine.

A number of doctors have saved my life (sincere thanks), by cutting away skin tumors induced by sun exposure as a kid, giving me my life-saving abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft, and scanning my body regularly for colon and other cancers. I don’t trust doctors to be gods, however. The doctor sees your body for five minutes, you live with it 24/7, so be body aware. They can only work with the information I give them, so my ability to listen to my body is as critical as the doctor listening to me. Never hesitate to get a second opinion, btw.

Photo of Angus cow with uterine prolapse.

Bovine uterine prolapse. If you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll never get it back in. If you succeed without inducing damage, all will be well. Make one small hole in the process, and animal risks dying of peritonitis, and it is a very very delicate thing.

As a young veterinarian visiting my first, and very scary, case of bovine (in cattle), uterine (calf bed) prolapse (turned inside out after having a calf due hormonal, issues, I remembered what they told me to do about this in college; put it back (how?), stitch it in (surely you’re joking!), and give a drug to shrink the uterus (fine). Before leaving for this farm visit, I was fortunately advised by an older vet to ignore the advice I received in vet school (those who do, do, those who can’t, teach?), apart from the drug part, and take along a tea tray, a two-pound bag of sugar, a large bath towel, and a wine bottle. Worked like a charm, but that’s another story.

When visiting your doctor remember that, like my PowerCranks (or the people that made them), he is a tool (and a friend, hopefully – see the book Love, Medicine and Miracles) to work with in order find the solution to your issues. You have to collaborate with your doctor as an equal, and weave your life around any health challenges to find the best solution you can, even if it involves running in cold rain.

Learn to understand the tools you use in your training, seek expert advice as needed (see the book, Your Medical Mind), trust the good bits, and work with your issues by educating yourself.

OK! Got to go phone the PowerCrank people, and humbly seek their advice!

-k @FitOldDog

Oh! Yes! If you visit a doctor for foot pain, and he recommends the use of Yoga Toes, let me know his contact information:

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.