Sweet Tweets

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Just Lovely

Doesn't a bike ride around Stone Mountain on a beautiful summer afternoon sound lovely? Bright sunshine, gentle breezes, towering shade trees and a couple of bikes make a nice combo. What if you add a quasi-fainting episode from one sorely out-of-shape rider of one of those bikes? Yep. Not quite so fun.

A couple of years ago I went through a season of passing out at the most inopportune moments. Once completely collapsing while in conversation at Loca Luna, starting to loose consciousness when I, the new hire, met the president of a pharmaceutical company while on a balcony in Boston on a stuffy, hot day (I managed to steer myself away and make it to the doorway while losing my sight and slamming into the door frame on my way down), and narrowly missing a very embarrassing scene on several occasions while visiting doctors offices in a heavy winter coat with the heat on high.

I always seem to have a warning of sorts going on that lets me know my body is about to hit the ground. My doctor told me it's because my autonomic nervous system is doing a good job of signaling a humiliating event is about to take place. He called it Vasodepressor syncope. Basically, my blood pressure drops, the blood drains out of my heart and is working hard to get it to return and uses gravity to help in the effort. Translation: me on floor.

It has been a while since I had something like that happen. For some reason I got around to sharing this history of "spells" (as my grandmother would call them) with my riding partner a few days before the excursion. Obvious foreshadowing if my life were a novel.

Cut to me having a great time being outside, getting my bike out of its sorry unused state after a year of laziness and enjoying the heat of a June day. My fellow rider is in much better shape. He is not breathing anywhere near as hard as I am. I am wishing I was in as good a physical condition. After a short rest I stand up and the lights are getting dim. I don't want to give into it. I want to push on. I want to be tough. I don't want to faint...maybe if I ignore it and drink some more water it will pass. I can now see that my reasoning ability, along with my vision, was not working at full capacity (those of you that would say that was all the time, keep it to yourselves, ok?!?). Luckily, the poor soul with me realized I wasn't feeling so great. When I mentioned I was a little light-headed, he was nimble. Putting down his bike, he made it over to me in time for me to crumple down in a sitting position as my legs were no longer working. Thanks to his quick reaction, my bike was stopped from coming down on top of me in the process.

Cut to 10 minutes later. I have had water, a tangerine goo, and rest in the shade. I feel better than when I started. Well, maybe physically. My pride had gone out the window the moment I had to call out to signal impending disaster. And I was determined to make it to the end on top of my bike, not walking and certainly not in the kindly offered car ride. Eventually we finished the outing with me on top of my bike, making vow after vow internally that I would get back in cardiovascular shape.

Anyone up for riding with me now?

Yep, thought not.

1 Remarks:

Shannon said...

Oh nooooo! Not the fainting again! I had forgotten all about that! Dang, that's no fun, Meliss!