Ironman Minogue sidelined by facial paralysis
JOSH Minogue's ironman career is on hold after the well-regarded Mooloolaba competitor was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy.
The 26-year-old is battling the facial nerve paralysis which has affected half of his face and left him struggling to complete physical tasks.
He tried to compete in round two of the Surf Ironman Qualifying Series at Manly on Saturday but was in obvious discomfort.
"I thought I could come down to Sydney and sneak by and get a good result but I did the heat and was pretty distressed at the end," he said.
"I wasn't in the best state and King (coach Michael King) sort of pulled the pin on my weekend."
Minogue said he will not race in the remaining four rounds of the SIQS and rated himself a "50-50" chance to be in the sixth and final round of the elite Kellogg's Nutri-Grain IronMan Series at Coolum Beach next month.
"I'll just have to play it by ear and hopefully I'll be good to go and a whole lot better by the time the Australian titles roll around in April," he said.
"I've been on medication for it but it's one of those things where I just have to wait it out and hope it gets better."
Initially, Minogue thought it was a stroke because he had a "frozen" face, pins and needles and the taste of blood in his mouth.
But late last week he was told it was likely Bell's Palsy, a condition brought about by the dysfunction of a facial nerve.
"At the moment half of my face looks as though I've had Botox," he said.
"It won't move at all... and the meds I'm on force my heart rate to go through the roof so I can't race. It's just not safe.
"I feel fine but as soon as I do any physical stuff it really hurts me."
Minogue will have further examinations this week.
He said he was eager to reclaim his spot in next summer's series and was resigned to getting there through the cut-throat trials.
"It's disappointing but I've done the trials before and I'm prepared to do the work and go around next year," he said.
"I always had the goal of going around one more year. I had kind of hoped the qualifying series would be my ticket in but you've got to take it as it comes. That's life."
Of course, the sport and re-qualifying for the series are not priorities.
"For now I'm just concentrating on getting healthy and making sure there is no permanent damage," he said.
"All this (competition) sort of falls by the wayside when it's a health issue like this."
A philosophical Minogue added: "Some times you get dealt a pretty rubbish hand but, hey, there are a whole lot of people that are worse off than me."