Sunday, June 19, 2016

Running to the side for a while

I have decided to take some time away from running. My last race was at the beginning of May, the 10hr Ultra Marathon where I had trouble near the heart after several hours of effort. If you remember, I went ahead and finished the race, walking in the heat.

I felt like I had recovered just fine from the race, other than a few lost toenails, but then I went out running twice; once with Eric and once with Malcolm. They were both very difficult efforts for me even though we kept the pace down considerably.
I then started to have strange feelings in my chest, from cramping in my ribs near the heart to all the way around the back of my ribs near where the kidneys would be located. This pain or cramping was not during physical activity, but at rest.

I was also complaining about a strong heartbeat, not necessarily elevated pulse, but I could just feel my heart beating and feel the blood pulsing through my veins most of the day. I also felt blood rushing down my arms every now and then. I felt like I had to take a deep breath every now and then just to try to re-center my "being", not that I'm into meditation or anything.

I was falling asleep so easily at home and even getting really sleepy at school. Going up the stairs to my classrooms was also an effort for me for over a week.

I let everything flutter around in my chest for a few weeks before one day in school I had to tell the kids to call the doctor if I happened to turn blue or fall on the ground during their class. I was serious but they thought I was joking. I convinced them that I was not joking and then I took it easy the rest of the day as far as work goes.

I was fine in the end, but that moment told me that I couldn't keep just "hoping it would go away" by itself. I decided to go to the hospital the next Tuesday when my class load was light and when Pae had a day off from flying. We went.
The doctors and nurses eventually took all of my vitals and ran some tests, took blood, etc. and came back telling me that I suffered from brachycardia (bradycardia) or slow heartbeat. I told them that I was an endurance athlete so it might be common and not related to an actual harmful condition. My scan also showed that I had no p-wave detected, and an abnormal rhythm in my heart...
The doctor decided to have me admitted for a night or two to take further readings and perform other tests. Great!!! It was my birthday and Pae and I had plans to use the rest of my sick day at school to go have a nice dinner and see a movie and dessert OF COURSE!! Bummer! Now we'd have to spend that time in hospital clothes, with a saline drip running into my hand, eating 7-11 food, hahaha.
I can't say that I'm proud of taking so many shameless selfies in the past few months, hahahaha
All turned out okay, I was woken up every two hours on average that night with nurses taking my blood pressure and blood oxygen readings...all fine. Only my pulse was still low...pretty much the first three readings they took were 49, 44 and 39 beats/minute or something similar to that...I think the 39bpm threw the doctor off ;) and the absence of the p-wave...possible heart disease indicator I think.

Best birthday meal ever, as long as she's there
The doc said my heart was fine and my blood tests came back negative for indicators of a heart attack or kidney dysfunction. As far as me feeling my heart beating so hard in my chest, he supposes that since my heart is stronger and has to pump less often to supply my body with oxygen, that each pump of the muscle is actually really strong to get lots of blood...so I feel it...not so sure how confident I am in that diagnosis, but he was gonna let me go home so I wasn't gonna argue ;) haha, just kidding.

I guess mom's side of the family has had some heart related health problems, historically, so it could be in the DNA...

I'll take it easy, I'll try to sleep more. I'll try to stress less with the new job and Apartment. I'll try to drink less caffeine. I'll try to chill. I'll try not to work my part time job too often. I'll be fine.

I'm glad that Pae had the day off and that she took care of me, especially after the shock of having to be admitted so suddenly. I think that the doctor wanted to be safe and also he wanted to take care of my insurance, which only covers me if I'm admitted...Not admitted 30,000 baht of tests, I pay all. Admitted I ended up paying barely 1/10th of that final cost. Whatever his motivation, I feel better now knowing that I actually went and the heart looks fine.

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