For whatever reason I have not ridden much this year. Every morning I have been going to the gym for cardo and some weight lifting. I was in overall good shape but I was overweight.
About two weeks ago I had a real urge to get back on my bike. I tried to arrange a ride with my nephew who was in town but it did not work out. Later that day I got an email from the local bike club of an afternoon ride. I deceived to leave work early and go riding. Since I have not rode in about a month I wanted to take it easy.
I got to the park a little early. It felt great just getting ready to ride. Put air in tires, check the lube on my chain, and talk to old friends as they were arriving. My heart rate mentor would not work, throw it back in the car must be the batteries.
A couple of friends ask me if I wanted to go for a short warm up ride before everyone got there. We did and everything felt great. My bike was performing well and I felt good. Maybe it was not going to be so bad getting back in bike shape after all.
We got back with the group and started the ride. I was riding next to an old friend and we were talking and catching up. Everything felt great. I was really glad to be back on a bike.
We warmed up for about 20 minutes riding between 13 and 15 mph. On a long straight away we kicked it up a little bit to about 18 mps no big deal. I found myself getting dropped and not able to keep up. I tried to kick up and catch up with the group and my chest started hurting. At first I thought that I was having some kind of cramps maybe my handlebars are too small causing me to cramp.
Maybe I should turn around and go back to my car. No that would not be fair to the group if I just disappeared. Okay they will be regrouping at another park make it there and tell then you are turning back. I have never felt pain like this before, what the hell is going on. Am I coming down with the flu? My left elbow is beginning to hurt...That is not good. Turn around go back to your car. I don't think I can make it back. This is just a muscle cramp it will go away. Being in the gym dose not compared to being on a bike. Only a half a mile to that park. Why can't I go faster than 10 mph?
You might be having a heart attack. No way. My blood pressure good 120 over 70. Yea what about last week when you took your blood pressure and it was 170 over 90. A lot of stress that day.
You need to tell someone. I don't want to ruin the ride for everyone else. Tell Lou he's a doctor. Yea a pediatrician and retired. But he will know what to do. I hope he does not freak out and call 911. I'll tell him and I will ride back to my car and go to the emergency room. Yea good plan.
I made it to the park.
Good everyone is here. Hey I am not even last. Maybe you were just pushing it too hard. Why not join with the slower riders and take it easy. My chest it really hurts. Where is Lou.
"Lou something is wrong"
"What is the matter?"
"My chest hurts and my left elbow"
"Okay let just sit here and see if the pain goes away"
"No I'll go back to my car don't want to mess up your ride"
"No let's just sit here and see what happens, how do you feel are you sweating?"
"Lou I been riding my bike yes I am sweating"
"Are you nausea?"
"Buddy why don't you quit stretching and sit down"
"I think it just mussels cramps. Lou I think I am going to throw up."
"Buddy do you know what going on?"
"I think so"
"We need to call 911"
Within seconds a fire truck was there giving me oxygen and an ambulance was with me within minutes.
I made it to the emergence room. EMS had sent my EKG to the hospital. My wife was waiting for me.
I was told that my original EKG that EMS did showed that I had a heart attack but now my EKG was normal. A doctor came in and told me that I needed a heart catheterization and that I probably had a blockage and that I was going to need either a heart bypass or a stent. Within an hour of getting to the hospital they were doing the cath to me. I was in a half drugged state and I was told and shown that I had a blockage and I needed a stent.
I had a 95% blockage in my LAD.
By the time I was in the recovery room I was feeling great asking the doctor when can I ride my bike again? “Six month minimum.”
I stayed 2 nights in the hospital and last Monday I had my first appointment with my cardiologist. Good news is my EKG was perfect, and my tread mill was good. The first words out of my cardiologist months was, “I want to get you back on your bike it is important that you start exercising. Do you have a heart rate mentor?” Yes “You can start riding but keep your heart rate under 130 bpm”.
Tuesday one week after my cardo event I went on the same ride and did about 10 miles felt great, Thursday I did about 12 miles and Saturday I rode 25 miles.
The doctor told me that getting to the hospital as fast as I did minimized the amount of damage to my heart. He also told me that being on my bike and being with Lou probably saved my life.
It is hard for me to believe that I had a heart attack but I do feel that because I was in good shape it was not as bad as it could have been. I have become very serious about my diet. Sugar is out, saturated fat is out, salt is out and simple carbs are out. Veggies and lean meat are in.