Today was supposed to be an uneventful Sunday.
I was supposed to go to the gym, do laundry and a bit of cleaning around the house, and prepare myself for the work week.
What happened was a little different though.
I woke up and had breakfast… and I felt fine.
I went to the gym and did my normal 8 miles in 32 minutes on the elliptical.
It was humid in the gym (like usual) so I was hot when I was done, but that's nothing new.
I continued on with my strength training… and I felt fine until towards the end of my workout when I started to feel a bit dizzy.
I noticed that my heart rate monitor said my heart rate was in the 140s, then it would drop down into the 70s, then jump up to the 130s, then back into the 70s. It did that for a couple of minutes and then it started to take longer for it to get back into the 130/140s… and at that point I started to feel like I was going to pass out.
I told my boyfriend I didn’t feel so good and went to sit in a chair.
The next thing I remember is someone holding my wrist and asking me if I was ok.
I passed out and did a bit of convulsing with my eyes wide open, which totally freaked out my boyfriend.
A couple of EMTs walked into the gym to workout just as this happened.
Talk about good timing, huh?
They hooked me up to a machine to monitor my heart rate, which was still bouncing around all over the place and they checked my blood pressure, which was a little low for me.
The last time this happened to me was 7 years ago.
In 2002 and 2004 I had the same thing happened, but I was on an airplane at the time.
When I was a teenager I had episodes like this fairly regularly… sometimes a couple of times a month, sometimes I’d go a few months without an episode. Most of the episodes occurred when I was in the shower and most involved convulsing of some sort.
The doctors did a ton of tests… sugar tests, EKGs, ECGs, EEGs, and CAT scans… with no clue as to why I was passing out.
In 2004, after passing out on an airplane for the second time, I saw a new doctor that sent me for a tilt table test… and I left that test with a diagnosis. I have neurocardiogenic syncope.
Neurocardiogenic syncope is a temporary loss of consciousness associated with a drop in arterial blood pressure, quickly followed by a slowed heart rate. Basically, my heart rate and blood pressure drop suddenly causing me to pass out.
The EMTs said they could transport me by ambulance, I could take myself to the ER or I could just go home.
I seriously considered just going home, but since this hasn’t happened in 7 years (and because I freaked out my boyfriend) I let them take me to the hospital.
My first ever ambulance ride… and it was for passing out at the gym. I consider that to be a good thing though because it could have been for something way more serious.
In the ambulance they did an EKG, put in a line for an IV and took some blood. My blood sugar was 105 so that wasn’t the issue. By the time they started the EKG my heart rate had stabilized and my blood pressure was closer to normal.
At the hospital they asked me a million questions, did another EKG, gave me ½ a bag of fluids (the scale will love that tomorrow), took more blood, did a chest x-ray… and sent me on my way when the test results all came back normal.
Now I get to follow up with my primary care doctor.
I have a horrible bruise from the IV line, but otherwise I feel like normal now.
So how’s that for an uneventful Sunday?