Explorer Mikael Strandberg



(Spoiler alert! It happened months ago…and I am in a better place than ever.)

Ok, this is how I explained it for the doctors at the emergency in Malmö. And I am sharing all this with you guys. Because shit happens and you deal with it. And it can help others understand and deal with their lives.

Now then. Back in the Pyrenees with Hannah end of March. I went up early, drove up the Pyrenees and did a half marathon. Straight up, straight down. Drove like mad back to Hannah and her kids, 5 and 9 years old who I met for the first time. We hadn´t met for some time and the need to be together was extraordinary. In all this, don´t laugh, my Facebook pages were hijacked, my credit cards compromised, so this stressed me up quite a lot and then we had planned a date night with maximum love and romance at the local in. I was exhausted after the run. And thirsty. So first thing we got a big beer and I downed it in a nanosecond.

Suddenly it felt like all life left me. I couldn´t move my fingers, I slurred, Hannah was both concerned and upset that I allowed this to happen at our date night.

“Should we call for an ambulance?” she said.

No, I replied. Too tiresome, it would ruin our time together and I already felt better. Half an hour later I felt fine. But sure, I thought I probably have had a stroke. Being a hypochondriac gave me a sleepless night, but a day later, again I did a good run and felt nothing of the issue. SO I thought, stress. But I did realize this was yet another sign I didn´t control my life as I should. Something was not right.

I wrote a funny piece about this, https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/2023/04/07/worldschooling/, at the airport in Tolouse and before I entered the plane I had received a bunch of messages all saying the same. You have been struck by a TIA or a small stroke, when you land, go to the emergency.

And I took a taxi there immediately. It was a tough 24 hours waiting for the test results. The doctor came in the morning and said they found nothing. My test results were like a 24-year-old. But for security, let us do a big brain scan and check your heart. And people complain about the Swedish health system! It is brilliant!

The big brain scan did reveal a small tiny stroke. I was already on meds, but my doctor wanted to do a genetic test to see where the stroke came from. This showed nothing, so we talked for a long time and came to the conclusion I did immediately it happened. I was trying to cram too much things into the day and forgot to take the very important rest. Especially after a brutal workout. I read up on strokes and this is no uncommon thing for older athletes, getting a small (or big) stroke after a workout and not resting.

So I have changed a few things. I already eat well (no meat), exercise well and I have added mindfulness, meaning meditation, breathing exercises and I have turned myself even into a bit more of a lazy bum. I like the mindfulness thing, taking many pauses in life to basically stay positive. Love it. So highly recommended.

The doctors have given me a 100% clear to continue what I do to its fullest, but rest more, take those meds. My doctor even said, don´t become too extreme, enjoy life too!

The positive with this happening is that it was the needed wakeup call. And I am sure me eating, sleeping, exercising helped me not get a much bigger one. And will keep me away from getting another.

Ah, time for a needed pause to appreciate things in life!

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