I Like To Ride My Bike

What would a blog be without a silly video?

Now that we have that over with…. back to the matter at hand.

Yes, fellow readers, most of you know that I do ride my bike, and I enjoy being outdoors on it as well. It is nice to take the time to ride through he town and enjoy all the things that are going on while moving at a slower pace than in the car. While it is something that I really need to do more of, at least I do a little riding and each ride brings a lot of enjoyment out to my heart and soul. It is really amazing how much you hear, smell and see when moving along at a leisurely pace instead of racing through town in a vehicle (although I don’t go at breakneck speed) but it is just so much more enjoyable and it brings back a person closer to their childhood, or at least it does for me.

However, a person needs to think a bit before taking on a challenge of riding their bicycle. Be aware of the heat, for where I live in Oklahoma, the heat becomes a factor, and it can take it’s toll on the body. Sunscreen also is one of those things that a person has to think about, or you can end up with bad sunburn, for the intense energy of the sun bearing down on your exposed skin can make the time afterwards quite unenjoyable. Be sure to wear the appropriate safety gear as well, like maybe a helmet. I will not go into the needs of wearing helmet, and anyone who knows me knows that I generally do not wear my bicycling helmet. I have my reasons, but I also have several helmets, and if I am going to be riding out in traffic, I do put one on. On the Catrike I ride, my head is right at the same level as the bumper on a car or truck, and although I am very stubborn and hard-headed, my head is no opponent to the bumper of a car or truck. However, if I will be riding mostly on a street that has no traffic, so to speak, or sidewalks in town, I generally do not bother with a helmet, and yes, I know that I could still end up with a terrible concussion or worse, but it is still a choice one makes.

The Oklahoma Sun Can Be Vicious
The Oklahoma Sun Can Be Vicious

Yesterday, I went out for a short ride, thinking that I would see about building myself up, get the old legs tuned back up, and get back into the saddle of bicycle riding once again. I had a heart attack about four years ago, while riding my trike back and forth to work, in the August Summer heat that was in the three digits, and so I haven’t been riding near as much, in fact, pretty much haven’t been riding at all. I read a blog post from a bicycling enthusiast promoting getting back to riding, saying if you will just ride about 2 miles a day, then it becomes easier and easier, and you will soon be back to your old self, riding many miles, and enjoying the riding once again.

I pulled out my Hybrid Bicycle from the garage, and took off, going to a place that does manicures, which is about a mile, maybe just a little more from my house, and felt good riding along the sidewalk of the busiest street here in Ponca City. The ride felt good, to be back out in the open air, and while we have small hills here, none of the climbing was bad at all, I just downshifted (something I never used to do) and was at ease riding to the place. I had to wait for about 45 minutes before one of the manicurists were free, and felt good, reading my email on the smart phone, then sat and the manicurist had clipped my nails, and was beginning to work on my cuticles.

I began feeling funny, with a tingling in my scalp and began to sweat, and felt an issue coming on inside of myself that I have felt from time to time for years and years, coming on to myself, and really did just felt the need to lie down, but with me being hard headed, and having a person clipping my nails, I hoped that the episode that was overtaking me would just end. Well, it didn’t, and I blacked out (fainted) while in the chair. When the manicurist was able to get me to come back around, a concerned female patron also visiting the place had called 911 and the ambulance was on its way. I was sweating profusely,and was a bit ‘wasted’ and was a bit unresponsive for a while, but was feeling better. Like I said, I have had these episodes before, and knew I would be just fine.

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Oldsmobile Ambulance

So when the medics showed up at the place, they kept asking me a lot of questions, and were going to take me to the hospital. The medics, they thought I was having a heart attack, but I knew that I wasn’t, for I have had heart attacks, and I knew that was not the case. I told them I really didn’t want to go to the hospital, and that if they would just let me be, let me rest for about an hour, I would be over the episode and could no doubt just ride my bike back home. But they wouldn’t have any part of that, and insisted that I needed to go to the hospital. They asked if I had ‘next of kin’, and I called my wife with my phone, and the medic took my phone away from me, and told my wife I was having a heart attack. Of course, I kept arguing, and the medics were not listening to me, and my wife was scared to death. Needless to say, they did take me to the hospital, and the nurses there were still trying to tell me that I was having a heart attack, with me telling them that I knew I wasn’t, but they all thought I was just confused.

At the hospital, they took blood and ran tests on me, then wanted to do a ‘Cat Scan’ (probably bringing in a yellow tiger striped one to sniff me out), and I refused, which made the doctor and nurses angry. Then, when the doctor and nurses did decide that I wasn’t having a heart attack, they still wanted me to stay overnight, which I once again refused. Ended up having to sign a whole bunch of paperwork stating that I refused numerous tests and medical help, but I finally got out of the place and was able to get back home where I now feel just fine. I will probably now have to fight with the insurance company, but hey, that is how all of this works out.

But the trip to the hospital did help my wife and me understand why I was having the episodes, and the doctor and nurses would also know what I experienced if they would have just listened to what symptoms they stated that they observed. Turns out, you have a ‘Vasal Nerve’ in your stomach area that can set off something which makes the veins dilate in your legs, making blood pool in your feet, and that lowers down your blood pressure and you don’t get enough blood to your brain, thus, you end up fainting. Well, I have splotches on my feet where blood has pooled for years, which the iron in your blood will make rust colored splotches on your feet. My cardiologist and the doctors at the hospital have stated this before, and I can see it too. But I have all the symptoms of “Vasovagal Syncope”, which makes me faint or black out. The doctor and nurses both spoke about that vassal nerve in the stomach, and reading about it, it is hard to diagnose, for I have some other issues so I didn’t bring up a couple more items that would have helped them diagnose the episode that I had experienced. I have had this issue for years, and really never knew what was causing it, but it is set off by dehydration, and yes, I know I have never drank enough water, but now, I am going to have to work hard at drinking plenty of water so I don’t go through these episodes again.

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But anyway, a lot of the people I work with and know have prayed and were concerned about me, and while I am not used to being worried about, I do appreciate that they actually were concerned about me. My sisters were deeply concerned, and I am sorry they were worried, but trust me, I am okay, just didn’t think about being dehydrated, and didn’t ever know what set off my passing out. Believe me though, if you have the Vasovagal Syncope condition, when the episode begins, you have a couple of minutes before you really feel like you are going to not make it, and if you aren’t able to lie down to elevate your legs and get the blood out of your feet, then you will collapse onto the floor or in the aisle at the grocery store, and the medics will haul you out to the flashy red buggy and rush you to the hospital.

But that was my day yesterday, and while I started writing this blog yesterday, was going to put photos about the ride on the blog, well, as it seems, I just didn’t get to finish the ride yesterday, but will be out riding again, “WITH PLENTY OF WATER” on me and in me, and will have a good blog to write then!

Take care and have a great day everyone!

Gazmuth

Author: Paul Reeves

Bicycler, general flunky, jack of all trades, yet master of none.

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