First of all, let me start by saying I’m not going to die anytme soon. Honest. Okay, now that we settled that…
Over the past year I have been having a series of episodes, most of which I have kept hidden publicly from friends and family as not to cause any kind of alarm. I initially thought it was all just a fluke. Something that would go away. It didn’t. Instead, it was becoming progressively worse and ultimately led to totalling my car out back on December 14th, 2012. The attacks happen within seconds. I have no early warning signs when they occur. They take over my body too fast even for me to realize what is occurring. Frightening? Absolutely. The fear of death overtakes my brain almost instantly.
Though I’m not going to die. Really. I promise. You’re all so blessed enough to keep on putting up with me. After a visit with the cardiolgist this past Monday, I found out why I am having these attacks and was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope. Yeah, that’s a word. Just think of basil bagels. The sound of it makes me hungry.
Syncope is a common thing. It happens from standing up too quickly or perhaps an overheated shower. Syncope will cause you to pass out. Vasovagal syncope, however, is much more uncommon and unfortunately is only found in a few individuals, particularly young athletes. What it is is this; there is a broken link between my heart and the central nervous system. This broken link is causing my body not to generate enough electricity in order for my body to stay functioning correctly, hense the sudden blackouts. I know, sounds like wild stuff. Just think of my body as a computer not hooked up correctly.
So, how do we cure this? Well, we don’t. Unfortunately, there is no modern medicine available to cure this kind of syncope. With the attacks happening so fast, and often all taking place within 15 seconds, there is just no way to pinpoint and treat appropriately. Not exactly the answer I was looking for. I was hoping there would be some kind of pill. Some kind of something to just make the nautious, dizziness, cold sweats, and eventually blackouts go away. Nope. Nada.
Fortunately, there is Gatorade. Oh, what a catch 22 here! I have been told for years by both my doctor and personal trainers to stay away from the stuff due to its sugar content. Well, turns out, I need it! Lots of it. Heck, with what my cardiologist is suggesting, I might want to look into being on an IV of it. Gatorade is a popular drink used by athletes to replace electrolytes that may have been lost during physical activity. Electrolytes are exactly what my body is screaming for. Yes, I am a highly energetic athlete myself, but even so my body simply can’t produce this stuff naturally. A diet high in sodium will also be helping to save my life. Again, I’m not going to die. What can I die from with this? Well,it won’t be the disease itself, rather, what will happen when I blackout again such as a collapse and then trauma to the head. Sounds like I’m a walking circus act, right? Maybe I should have been a clown after all.
So, here I sit. Wondering what the next chapter is here. It’s not a big deal, and certainly not all that life threatening. Heck, I don’t have cancer, and I can still live a very long healthy life just like anyone else. Only with a lot more gatorade than the average human.
Over the next month, I will be hooked up to a heart monitor to measure the activity. No one said any of this was going to be fun. I am still out of work and on a driving probation until further notice until I get the all clear from the doctors. Yes, it is indeed a long, very, very long recovery I am going through but I am glad that I have a fantastic team of doctors and an outstanding physical therapist who are working to get me better as quickly as possible.