Dogs and Cats and POTS, oh my!

My four days of solitude passed much faster than I would have liked. On the first day, my biggest accomplishment was to trigger some sort of POTS episode that almost made me pass out (more on this in a bit) and by the second day, I felt guilty for sitting around and embarked upon one of the larger outstanding items on my ‘to-do’ list: painting the upstairs hall bath.

It wasn’t fun, but at least it’s done and it looks really nice, The walls weren’t too bad, but I also tried to do the ceiling, got really dizzy, and then had to stop that part. Maybe at some point we can afford to pay someone to finish the ceiling with a sprayer.

The POTS episode I mentioned above was really weird and I don’t know what triggered it; I suppose there’s a chance I missed a dose on my beta blocker again, but I’ve been really careful loading the pill organizer, and double checking when I take each dose, so I’m fairly certain that’s not the case. More likely, I didn’t drink enough water before getting on the recumbent bike for my daily workout?

Because of the beta blocker, I have a really hard time getting my heart rate up into the cardio zone for my workouts, so I guess the fact that I managed to get up into the 140s should have been a warning sign that something was up, but instead I was so encouraged by this that I pushed myself to do a full thirty minutes, then another five minutes or so to taper down slowly. It felt like a good, invigorating workout (I’d even managed to get past the initial achy leg fatigue that makes using the bike kind of miserable) but then I stood up – and all hell broke loose. 😦

My heart rate immediately shot back up, going from about 110 to 145 almost instantly. Alarmed, I sat back down and let it drop to under 100 before standing up again.

This time, it zoomed up to 154; I felt really wierd and things started to gray out around me, so I quickly lay down on the floor and it plummeted back down to about 77-78. I also quickly accumulated a swarm of animals, who were either worried about me, or (more likely) delighted that I was down at their level. At least half of our six cats piled onto my prone body, and I had to fend off all three dogs, who were trying to lick my face.

I scrambled back to my feet to get away from them all, only to have my heart rate zoom up again so back down I went, to again be mobbed by cats and dogs. This comedic scenario (it would have been funnier, if I wasn’t worried about fainting all alone in the house) repeated a few more times, but I was a bit less tachy each time and finally managed to make it upstairs to guzzle about a quart of electrolyte solution.

Below is a screenshot from this fiasco: the gradually climb then taper back down was the actual workout, and the scribbly looking stuff at the end was the POTS episode. I’ve been on the bike another three or four times in the days since then, and have not had this issue happen again, thankfully.

POTS episode captured by my Polar H10 chest strap at the end of a recumbent bike workout.
POTS episode captured by my Polar H10 chest strap at the end of a recumbent bike workout.

Featured Image: Duisberg, Germany’s Tiger and Turtle ‘walkable rollercoaster’ silhouetted against a blue sky at either sunrise or sunset. Photo courtesy of WordPress’ free photo library. I had never heard of this sculpture before this; I chose the picture because I was looking for a picture of a roller coaster with lots of twists. When I found out what it actually was, I thought it was even more appropriate than an actual roller coaster for this post. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Dogs and Cats and POTS, oh my!

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  1. Did you check your blood pressure? That looks like episodes I have where my blood pressure and heart rate shoot up then suddenly crash. Those are definitely when I faint. I find my blood pressure to be more dangerous than my heart rate all the time, and the heat is playing havoc with both of mine. I barely made it through the warm up at my last PT without triggering a crash.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, I didn’t think about it until much later… I was so focused on trying to get upstairs to get my electrolyte drink that I didn’t even think of just getting to my bedroom on the same floor where my blood pressure cuff was – as well as my bed, which would have been a much more suitable place to lay down than the floor, lol.

      The feeling of everything graying out was like what happens when my BP gets low, now that you mention it.

      Liked by 1 person

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