Health Scare

I alluded to the fact that I am going through a bit of a health scare in my last post, but this topic deserves a post of its own.

On Saturday Dan and I headed up to Slide Mountain because I had finished tons of homework on Friday and I really wanted to do something outdoors to recharge my batteries. We ate some oatmeal and then drove to the mountain, which is about an hour away.

Slide mountain is rated moderate to strenuous, depending on who you ask. We started up, and was definitely steep. Dan was ahead of me and going pretty fast because he’s been running a lot and is in excellent shape. My legs started to feel tired about 20 minutes up, although I felt fine otherwise. I stopped for a second to rest my legs and was planning on telling Dan that we needed to slow down, when suddenly my lungs started burning and it was hard to get a breath. Right after that started, I felt dizzy, then a second later dizzier. The next thing I knew I was on the ground and Dan was shouting my name. Thankfully he was coming back to me when I stopped and was able to catch me and break my fall, and I was only unconscious for about 20 seconds, but it was really scary. I was completely disoriented when I woke up. After I sat down for awhile and drank some water I was able to walk down the mountain back to the car.

This was scary because I’ve never fainted before, and I guess it just never occurred to me that it could happen. I’ve hiked plenty of times on mountains equally challenging so I wasn’t sure why it happened. Also since I ate oatmeal for breakfast and had some water before we started I couldn’t I couldn’t attribute it to blood sugar/dehydration. I felt okay afterwards besides a headache, but I frequently have a headache so I didn’t feel too alarmed at first. Once I had some time to think about it, though, and doing some internet research (thanks Dr. Google!), I started feeling nervous. All of the sites said that while fainting with exercise isn’t necessarily abnormal, it could signify a heart problem and that you should get it checked out.

I am very lucky to have health insurance and access to the health center on campus, so I went in on Monday morning and saw a doctor. She examined me and everything seems normal, but since I felt a burning in my chest, have never fainted before, and have a family history of heart problems and blood disorders, she was pretty insistent that I see a specialist and not do anything strenuous until I do so (thankfully I am allowed to do normal activities like walking and can use my elliptical at a slow pace!). I will be meeting with a cardiologist on Friday and hopefully will be declared healthy!

Now that a few days have gone by and my doctor listened to my heart and said it sounded okay to her, I feel much less stressed about the whole situation, but still worried. I feel really lucky that I have health insurance, as I didn’t have any for years. Fingers crossed that my appointment will go well and I can write this whole thing off as a fluke!

Now it’s your turn:
Have you ever had a health scare? 

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