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False Alarm - An Excerpt

Three weeks before Boston, I ran a 20-miler with a couple of friends. I was really proud of my time: 3 hours and 12 minutes (9:37 per minute mile). After the run, I went with them to have coffee, lots of water, and a couple of eggs and bacon. Bacon is from God. A few hours later, when I was at home, my heart began racing. I felt dizzy and nauseated - like I did the day I had congestive heart failure.

Fighting back panic that I could feel rising, I turned to my wife and said, “My pulse is racing. It’s 90 beats per minute (bpm).”

“How the hell do you know that?” she fired back, not believing me.

“I’m a runner. There’s an app for that,” I replied. “I need to get to the ER.”

She drove me to the ER at Milford Hospital. If you’ve ever complained about how long it takes to see a doctor in the ER, tell them you’re experiencing chest pain after finishing a long run. I was checked in right away, which only increased my anxiety because then I knew that it was serious.

The triage nurse paged the doctor and personally escorted me to a bed for closer examination by another ER nurse. My pulse was closer to 100bpm by that time. They asked me about my earlier run and about what I had eaten. The nurse checked my troponin heart enzymes, which thankfully were normal. That meant it had to be something else.

The nurse inserted an IV and I was directed to X-ray for a look at my chest. It turns out that I was dehydrated. After receiving a half gallon of fluids, my heart rate receded back to 55bpm.

I went home and felt fine.

I felt a little silly for having caused so much drama, but it was another reminder how important it is to take care of my body, which includes hydrating a lot - before, during and after a run. Especially a 20-mile long distance run.

More from my new book.

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1 comment:

farmboyphotography wrote 3 weeks ago:
Sounds like we need to drink more water. I am glad you are doing okay.

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