Thursday, 20 October 2011

Performance-Enhancing Drugs

I'm proud to announce that, as of last Friday, I am no longer on steroids. Not because I don't care about maintaining a terrifyingly muscular physique a la Jodie Marsh*, but because my endocrinologist has, after stealing a lot of my blood, confirmed that six months after my surgery, my pituitary gland is successfully producing adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) on demand. Or, in layman's terms: The Surgeon Did Not Fuck Up.

This is good news, because ACTH is needed for the body to produce cortisol, which is needed for the body to not collapse, flail around, and then die. Consequently, it's generally thought that the safest thing to do is to give replacement cortisol treatment to everyone who's had pituitary surgery until you can be 100% sure they don't need it any more. As well as coming off the steroids, my monthly prescription bill will be further reduced over the next week or so as I wean myself off the beta blockers I currently take (to slow down my overenthusiastic heart).

Obviously I was delighted to hear that I would once again be eligible to compete in high-level international sporting events and resolved to do so at the earliest opportunity.** However, just days after I resolved to dig out my skipping rope and get cracking with some sort of training montage, I was surprised to find out that as long as I'm still on beta-blockers I'm excluded from taking part in some sporting events.

Having always associated beta-blockers with elderly folk post-heart-attack, I was surprised to find out that their effects, i.e. slowing heartrate and reducing tremor, are highly desired in, and consequently banned from, Olympic sports including gymnastics, shooting, wrestling, ski jumping (?) and curling.***

So I'll have to wait a few more days before starting my career as a wrestler. Damn.

*Against whose high standards I judge all my life decisions.

**Just as soon as the Global Egg and Spoon Race Championships get going

***The fat kid of international sporting endeavour.

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