On Friday morning I was chatting with a co-worker and took a drink out of my water bottle. As I swallowed I felt a tightness in my chest and it really hurt as it was going down. "Wow," I told Shannon, "that hurt!" I immediately (within 3 seconds) started to feel lightheaded and dizzy and realized I was going to faint. I started to sit down and may or may not have made it to the ground before I passed out. I did hit the right side of my head on the floor hard enough to leave a mark, but not hard enough to hurt. I came too within about 10-15 seconds. I sat up and tried to regain my bearings, but within 30 seconds I was down again. By this time my co-workers were able to get a couple of our surgery nurses over to look out for me. My doctor came out of the laser room and when she found out what happened said right away that it was a Vasovagal syncope. Basically it means I fainted.
I laid still for about 15 minutes before attempting to get up. I was sat up and immediately the world started swimming again. Because a good amount of time had passed and I was still feeling poorly, the decision was made to call the paramedics and have me checked out. I was taken via ambulance to Fairview Southdale where I was given an EKG (normal) and IV fluids.
(Now, I TOLD the paramedic in the ambulance that my normal resting heart rate is in the low-mid 40's, but he obviously didn't listen because my heart rate "fell" from the mid-50's during the exodus from my workplace to the low-40's relaxing during the ambulance ride he decided he'd better give me an IV. He also said that he was concerned about dehydration although I had told him that I had already drank going on 50 oz. of water by the time this happened at 9:30a. When I arrived to the hospital 3 minutes after he started the IV, the nurse said, "well, may as well finish up the IV since they've already charged you for it.")
I've fainted 4 times in my life now: First time was at Bemidji University giving blood in 1996. I gave the blood, felt fine, was standing around the table snacking because I was not allowed to leave for 5 minutes, when all of a sudden, BOOM. Second time was at Northwest Airlines Bldg. C in 1998 (where I worked at the time). Again I had given blood, felt fine, standing at the table, when BOOM. Third time was in Washington DC in 2004 when I was constructing an IKEA bookshelf. I was hammering in the LAST nail (really) when my hammer hit my finger by mistake. It didn't even really hurt, but started bleeding and I calmly started rinsing it under water at the sink. I felt myself getting light headed and laid down on the kitchen floor, halfways aborting the fainting. I was still passed out in a quasi dream state, but at least I didn't hit the floor. And now number 4, fainting after drinking water.
Should I stop drinking water?
Lessons from Year 40 of Running
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