Last thursday I ended up in the ER. What. The. Hell.
Remember how I've blogged nonstop about all the changes that have happened in the last three months (three months tomorrow, to be exact)? And how these changes have been both emotional and physical? And how one of said changes is that I've taken up running? Yeah. So I've been doing a lot of that. Thursday I ran for nearly one hour straight. That's big for me. Running is so new. I've worked out regularly for a couple years now, but never all this running. When I run, I sweat. Like, massive amounts. When I get off the treadmill and come upstairs, I look like I've gotten out of the shower.
There have been a handful of times I've gotten an exercise headache after I've worked out. It happened twice after zumba, twice after the treadmill. When I'd looked this up before, I learned I was probably dehydrated and or shouldn't drop my head below my heart. So I gave up certain post zumba stretches and started to drink more water. Thursday I drank a water bottle and a couple big glasses. I felt the headache coming on again. This was number four, and each time I've had one it's been worse than the last.
I was trying to ignore it, and went to run errands hoping I could will it to go away. I had so much to do. Missing that nights rehearsal, or the next days audition was just not an option. But by the time I was leaving downtown and on the freeway headed home that afternoon is when things got scary.
The headache was horrible. It felt like my brain was so swollen in my head, everything was going to pop. The pressure hurt into my face. I could feel it in my nose. My hands and feet took turns feeling tingly and slightly numb. I was a little dizzy. I started getting waves of panic where I'd get hot and short of breath. I wasn't...right. I was having a hard time staying present. I felt like I could barely get home. I have never been so not myself. I thought I was having a stroke, or something was happening in my brain that shouldn't be. At the rate things were happening, I figured I only had a few minutes before I would pass out or stop understanding english. I knew I couldn't drive. I felt claustrophobic. I couldn't get to a spot to pull over fast enough. The freeway seemed endless. When I realized I wouldn't make it home, I at least wanted to get off the freeway.
I was able to get off and park my car in a parking lot and call my mom. She called my dad, who was closer to where I'd ended up and he was there in no time. I called my sweetheart and I don't know what I said. My parents called him back once they got me, and he left his studio to meet us.
I was having a hard time and was trying to calm myself, to no avail. This was like nothing I'd ever felt. I couldn't will myself to do anything. I was totally silent. I didn't want to talk because I was afraid I might not make much sense and I knew I'd need to save my concentration for talking to the doctors. Yup. Doctors. I knew I needed to go straight to the emergency. No way could I go home and wait for this to pass. No way could I fight it off. It was worsening. I was getting worried.
We pulled up and my mom got there at the same time. They brought a wheelchair out for me and after I explained myself at the ER window, telling them it had to do with my head, I was taken back almost instantly.
Then came the IV. I've had them a few times before. This one was the worst. It hurt! A combination of not being able to find a vein that anything would come out of, and my whole predicament made me cry like a baby.
Long story short, I work out hard regularly, sweat like crazy and don't replenish my electrolytes. Turns out water made it worse because I was diluting myself of them further. He also told me I need to fuel myself. I'll need to eat something pre workout. I was low on potassium too, so I had a cup full of a potassium drink. I sucked down the IV super quick. I also had a CT scan (everything was fine) and morphine. Woah. When I have been at the doctor, or sick, or scared I start freezing and shaking and my teeth chatter like crazy. Thank goodness for warm blankets.
It was terrifying to me to experience what it feels like to not trust my body. To not know what my brain is doing. It was a wake up call to learn that the way I've treated my body for my entire life is now no longer working. Once again, everything really has changed. That if I hope to one day have a baby this stress on my body is exactly what I want to avoid. I need to fuel prior to a workout.
What I need to do, is learn. What and when to fuel. How much my body needs and wants to work out. How much gatorade I'll need now with each workout.
Good thing I love gatorade.
I thought I knew what my body wanted and when. Obviously what I'm doing is no longer working. That's hard to wrap my brain around. What didn't I know, feel, or see coming? And why?
I never, ever want to feel this shitty and have to end up in the ER like this again.
Thank goodness for my sweetheart and parents who never left my side and took great care of me.
I don't know what I'd do without my favorite three.
My dad sent me that pic in the hospital bed saying he's going to sell them to the paparazzi, ha ha. Me at my finest. Hospital light and wardrobe is clearly not flattering for an impromptu photo shoot.
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