When the heart stops laughing…
As I wind up the class for the kids, I get this sudden surge of pain on the left side of my chest and a numb sensation on my left hand at about 11:55hrs. For an instant, I think it’s a heart attack. But then the logical side states that’s just not possible. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I’m much more active than anyone out here and haven’t yet touched 24! I let it pass off as an ‘out of the blue’ pain and keep moving. A quick meet with a pal who’d turned up in town and I head back home by bus. All does not look OK as I manage to find a seat in the bus. Breathing turns heavier and the pain grows and then it strikes – It must be the ‘Glide ride’. I get down at the next stop and pick a rick to head home directly. Just as I reach home, I’m ashamed for having accepted defeat this early. I stop the driver on the road, pay him the fare and walk home instead. I’m just not able to match the pace which I usually take. A quick call to a friend to see if he’s got any known cardio doc in town. As i wait for a response, I head home have a quick lunch, fix an appointment with a doc for 17:00hrs and crash on the floor.
16:30hrs. I wake up with the pain still lingering. Definitely a serious concern. I call up dad, Inquire where he is and ask him to tag along. We finally decide to head to AMS at vidyanagar. A quick ECG and a 2D echo state that everything is perfectly fine but for some hyper-activity. Apparently my body was revolting yesterday’s ride for some reason. Sounds weird to me because, I in fact felt much more energetic when I reached home!Besides, this is not the first time I’m riding this long a distance. The doc gives me a sarcastic look and asks me to be under ‘observation’ for a night. I instantly refute. We strike a deal that I’d stay at my friends place overnight and get back if at all the need arises. Abhi, Adi, Pavan and Praveen almost instantly drop by to see how the ‘patient’ is faring. Sigh!
Once I reach Abhi’s place I doze as if I’ve been drugged. Next day morning is just like any other day. Some pain still lingers but that’s pretty much ignorable. It’ll probably be a while before the muscles get released and I get to breathe deeply and laugh my heart out. And till then it’s ‘Playing safe’.
Looking back, this weekend has sort of chalked some lines. As people get to know innumerable calls ring in giving ‘gyan’ on why one shouldn’t cycle, how harmful pollution is, how uncanny these roads can be, how bad the traffic is. I just nod my head and cut the call. There’s just no point talking to people who’ve no idea what they’re preaching doing nothing about the situation in hand.
Okay. To the point. So why did the chestburn happen at all?
- I do atleast a 30kms every weekend. Last weekend was just a 10km ride. So probably the pulse was down.
- Last week’s been a real busy week at work. Those ‘supposedly’ important meeting led to me reaching home at 22:00hrs every day. Lunch for some reason was not ‘carb’ rich and back home that late I didn’t eat real well.
- Okay, I agree. I pushed myself a bit hard on the return journey. Fewer breaks [Infact just two!] and very less liquid intake. [Just one glass of lemon juice and a tender coconut] may have probably aggravated things.
- Watch your carbohydrate intake before any long ride. Be rich on liquids and drink frequently.
- Build the pulse in a slow gradient. Don’t look for a direct explosion 🙂
- Never.Never stop riding! Every sport has its negative effects. You realise things only when you experience them. People don’t make an issue of sports injury due to tennis, cricket or golf. But when it comes to cycling, it becomes a BIG issue.
For others out here,things you MUST read before you decide to point fingers:
There are many people out there who’re doing things much more intense, spreading a message and bringing a change. There’s nothing that you get sitting on your couch there doing mundane stuff. One life. LIVE it !