Monday, August 18, 2008

Shock waves of the heart

Post Race WTF?
I was sick as usual post race and had a hard time sleeping last night. I went to bed at 10pm and tossed and turned for the next 2 hours until I eventually fell asleep, only to wake up every 60-90 minutes. Every time I moved, my hips, hamstrings and glutes ached....and then there was the chest pain. I couldn't sleep on my back or tummy because I felt like I had a dead weight sitting on my chest. This was the only way for me to lay since my lower body hurt so bad. By 5:30 I grew tired of being restless and tired, got up and headed to work early. Work was a struggle. My energy was low and every time I got up my lower body hurt. I didn't stretch and roll out my legs like I should have post race. Lesson learned the hard way. Thankfully my co-worker was eavesdropping on the msg I left my mom. I called her asking for advice on my chest pain. I figured I was experiencing my normal heartburn/acid reflux post race and was wondering if she knew of some kind of tea or herb that might help. Well I also mentioned the pressure I was experiencing. My co-worker urged me to go see my doctor, said the sensation of weight on my chest was not right. I agreed with him but at the same time just figured it was post race tightness. I really hate seeing the doctor, they usually waste my time and money...but oddly enough I listened to him and went in this afternoon. And like always they took their sweet ass time. Really, why set an appointment if you're always 30-45 minutes late? Anywho, the doctor did the usual vital stats and then took an EKG. Turns out I had abnormal results. Again, I figure this is just due to racing. I mean right now my resting HR is 12-13 bpm higher then normal, this happens post racing. But he says the hearts electrical current is different, the palpitations may change but the electrical current should not. WTF? Are you kidding me? So he's going to consult a cardiologist and try to get me in tomorrow. Until then I have the emergency on call doctors # and am supposed to call 911 if I get any kind of numbness. Why am I allowing this to stress me the f#%$% out?


Lindsay said...

I hope everything is well! Let me know if you need anything. Heart stuff is scary...

Kylie said...

Stressing about it ok since it means you will take it seriously and listen to the feedback. You are ok now since you have the number and they are checking into things. But good to get it figured out! Hope things go for the best! *hug*

Jason said...

First congrats on a fantastic race. Awesome effort.

Second, take this stuff about your heart seriously. This is not only my work (paramedic, exercise physiology) but is also one of my main interests.

If that EKG is yours, then it isn't normal. It as Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC's, the extra big waveforms that look different). While these are relatively common in endurance athletes, if they are combined with symptoms you have described then they require further investigation.

Also a race like a Half Ironman does cause measurable damage to the heart muscle, that shows up in blood tests usually for 24-72hours but can be for 2 weeks. This happens to all of us competing. If you have an underlying condition, then it could make that worse.

Take it easy, see the cardiologist, have the blood tests, get an exercise stress test. It is most likely that everything will be fine, but why risk it?