I know my heart and lungs are in great shape. Besides all the cycling, the myriad tests last year confirmed my excellent health. However, I worry about the unknown assassins lurking in wait of the unwary. I'll tell you up-front, all is well now, but this past Saturday we received quite a scare.
Marilane was out running errands and I try not to cycle on Saturdays, other exercises being the agenda. In this case, push-ups. I'm following the six-week program and just started week six, in the middle column. I'd completed sets of 40, 50, and 25 and was resting for the next set when suddenly I got weak and woozy (this term because I didn't lose consciousness but certainly wasn't thinking clearly).
Anyhow, I monitored myself while supine and there was no pain, no nausea, just really, really weak. Both my blood pressure and heart rate had dropped precipitously. I waited for this to pass, but ten minutes went by and I was still afraid to move from my now half-sitting position.
Marilane came home and I apprised her of the situation. First call the bookstore and advise I would not show up for my book-signing. Then we decided 911 would be appropriate. The fire department came, they were very nice, checked my blood and blood pressure. The ambulance came, they were very nice. Gave me an EKG and a ride to Seton Williamson County. They were very nice, gave me a bag of saline, another EKG, another blood sample. In two hours I was on my way home.
Here is what I learned: my efforts apparently triggered a Vagus nerve incident. In simple terms, the Vagus nerve regulates lots of stuff, and whatever I did, it thought my heart might explode, thus shut it down (not completely, just to protect me from myself). This resulted in the drop in blood pressure and heart-rate. The doctor advised that should it happen again, lay still with my feet elevated until I felt better.
I took Sunday off, but was back cycling on Monday (in the kitchen on my trainer, closely watching my HRM). No problems. Tuesday (today), the wind and smoke kept me off the bike, but I went to Body Flow at the gym, and just now completed Day 3 of Week 5 push-ups (dropping back to give me a few days to rebuild). For those not wishing to link over, that consists of sets of 20,20,24,24,20,20,22,50. Ah, but this time utilizing a different approach. For one thing, I was warmed up. No more dropping to the floor and starting cold. For another, between each set, rather than sit and recover, I stood and walked around a bit and drank some water. And, because it is possible I had been holding my breath and straining, I now am extremely conscious of regular breathing.