Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Count Your Blessings

Bike Stats
3:36 Total Time
66.8 Miles
18.5MPH Ave
137 HR Ave
Bike felt ok...took a hilly loop around Hagg Lake and then shut it down

Run Stats
32 Minutes
4 miles Total
2 x 2 mile chip trail

Run Stats
2:00 Total Time
15.2 Miles
7:53 pace
154 HR Z1

Now for the scary stuff.....I started feeling what I would describe as a "flutter" in my chest late Saturday night...I took my pulse and felt what seemed to be a irregular heartbeat or skipped beat...here's a link. It totally freaked me out since with so much exercise, I think you really gain a heightened sense of your body and when it is "off". No issues Sunday / Monday during my workouts but decided to make an appt. with a Cardiologist to rule out anything serious. I couldn't get an appt. until Thursday so left work early Monday (yesterday) to get checked out at a walk-in urgent care clinic. They took an EKG and the doctor was alarmed at the abnormalities** and referred me to the ER. She thought the EKG showed signs that my heart wasn't getting enough oxygen. They even considered calling me an ambulance which really stressed me out.

** Re: the abnormalities, I should note that during a routine physical 3 years ago, the same thing happened. Abnormal EKG, sent to a cardiologist and after numerous tests including a stress test EKG on the treadmill, it was ruled as an "abnormal normal" heart rhythm due to all the exercise. I should have had a copy of that EKG because it would have definitely helped at the ER.

I drove to the ER and the only concern during the drive was how it would affect Ironman Canada. This soon became the least of my worries and, in hindsight, pretty damn ridiculous. I checked into the ER and they immediately got down to business based on my EKG and description of my chest symptoms. Before I knew what was happening, I was flat on my back hooked up to oxygen, ekg, IV, and chewing on aspirin. I have never been so stressed or scared in my life. I rarely get sick and have never been admitted to a hospital or had any reason to visit an ER. Talk about facing your mortality...not a good time.

After they did blood work, EKG, Echocardiogram and monitored me for several hours I was released. The Doc on duty felt I didn't have any issues but I still have an appt. with the consulting Cardiologist on Friday. It was after 9pm at this time....I was pretty stressed. My 4 hours in the ER was definitely eye-opening. Those Docs / Nurses are amazing...talk about difficult work. It must be hard facing life & death situations on a daily basis...I had a hard time dealing with the suffering around me for the short time I was there. I couldn't see the guy next to me but my heart went out to him....he kept talking about the pain...how unbearable it was...his wife tried to comfort him the whole time....definitely puts all this silly training......all these races into proper perspective....

Hopefully, this Friday appt with the cardiologist will just be routine and I can move forward

Seriously, take a deep breath and think about all the gifts we are truly blessed with....it is so easy to get into a routine.... to take it all for granted but the rug can be pulled out at any moment. I went running today and my emotions were all over the map....I felt pretty silly out there at times blubbering like an idiot but I was acutely aware of every step and how great it felt to be out running and living.

I love life



Blogger Donald said...

Amen, brother. Every day is a blessing. You're definitely making the most of them.

I'll send good vibes for your health.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Scary indeed, Mike. Here's hoping for a clean bill of health on Friday.
Isn't there a kinder, gentler way to gain perspective? Take it easy.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Lora said...

Double Amen. How do we cope with life and death that we in the medical field see on a daily basis? Here's our trick--laugh lots and love mucho!

When all this cardio stuff is done and you get that clean bill of health (you're in my prayers), go to kinkos, minimize the report and carry it around with you!!!

2:54 AM  
Blogger IMmike said...

wow mike. I really hope things work out. That sounds very scary.

It's definitely true that we are fortunate just to be able to do the crazy stuff we do!

6:03 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

Holy *hit, Mike!
That is scary indeed.
Call me this weekend and let me know how Friday goes!

Godspeed to you, buddy.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Habeela said...

Ok. Mike? Not cool! I think I'd be totally freaked out if they did that to me. I really hope the meeting with the cardiologist on Friday goes well. Take care of yourself.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Dude, sorry to hear about your scare! Hopefully everything checks out tomorrow.

I swear that I've felt that same feeling before too. Like my heart was skipping a beat or something. It never lasted all that long though, and it only seems to happen when I'm just sitting around doing nothing. Now you're making me wonder if I should get mine checked out...

11:29 AM  
Blogger stronger said...

Hope it all checks out abnormally normal!

2:30 PM  

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