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I realize these statements were from different people, but you might want to clarify with the doctor:
whatever we are doing is good for our hearts
Hope you find resolution.
I personally think events like you had are the key to understanding why others died .... they obviously can't tell us what exactly happened to them and their autopsy may not be conclusive either.
Hopefully Slowman is keeping these survived episodes for his data base about swim deaths.
I have heard that some factors in adult onset asthma are where you grew up as a kid. Smoggy areas and household smokers were the two big ones, and i had both of those in spades. LA in my younger days used to close down due to smog, and you could barley breath outside and it hurt. Both my parents smoked until i was 8 too, so double whammy for me..
I suggest you get a rescue medication and carry it with you at all times during races. Slowman's ex wife was a top pro that won iron mans, and more than once she was pulled from swims just like you were. She then attached the medication to her wrist in the water just in case. Once you lungs start to close down, it can get ugly very quickly, especially like in your situation where you don't know it is an asthma attack. Now you know, make some changes. Don't assume this was a one off.
Did he know about that condition? I hate to monday morning quarterback the thing, but you can see in the post from klauthp in a separate thread that she was with the pulmonary specialists at Johns Hopkins and they didn't put it together either.
I'm a heart surgeon at UMC, I have an interest in the broad issue of triathlon race-related safety, and I've been involved with USAT recently in its effort to understand the causes of swimmer distress during races. I'd love to learn more about what happened to you.
I'd buy lunch if we could get together to talk about it. Send me a private message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Christ's sake you two, surely the subject matter is more important than your pedantic whining.
I'm the biggest grammar Nazi around, but sometimes you just have to let it go.
Went to the doc and they were concerned about Heart. But, I figured Asthma (I've had some experience with the disease before). So, got an inhaler which I now use before wetsuit swimming and at start of all Tris.
I now also warm up for 5 minutes or so with a gentle jog ro "wake up" my Heart and body before the Tri starts.
I'm not sure what my trigger points are for the attack at this time though.
Pain is temporary, not giving it your all lasts all Winter.
The question arises, how commom is this and will it happen again?
You'd better do a bit of research about this before your next race
I have been diagnosed with exercise induced asthma also.
At first, my doc gave me a Ventolin inhaler to use when exercising. A couple of weeks ago, I went back to report that Ventolin was primo and could I get more, as I'd run out. She was aghast! She said, only use it when you're exercising. I explained that I'm a trigeek and I cycle commute to work, so was taking it 3-4 times a day! She immediately reached for her prescription pad and prescribed a preventer and told me only to use the ventolin sparingly.
I use Seretide twice a day, and ventolin sparingly (ie hardly ever), and I can now breathe when I excercise, and focus on the suffering, not the all encompassing need to get just one more breath before I die! :-)
"Happiness is a myth. All you can hope for is to get laid once in a while, drunk once in a while and to eat chocolate every day"
Possibly a little bit of both. Or, that I just didn't have the patience to plunder line by line of the post. I read most every post on ST involving swimming and tri-deaths (for some reason, I'm interested). I couldn't get through this one. I admit that many people are better than me, yourself including. However, I suspect that had the OP done some better formatting, there would be a higher level of interest in people in terms of both reading and responding to the issue.
Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
I wasn't overly excited at start but was going to do a medium to hard effort to start. I was about 4 min into swim when I felt WOW I don't feel very good. I slowed down to kinda get my composure. I was breathing really hard but heart rate wasn't sky high. I looked at my watch to see if i had gone out too hard and I was where I wanted to be at turn around. I was still near a training partner. At this point I was gasping pretty hard. I thought about quitting because i really wasn't feeling very good but thought I'll get out of the water and figure out what the heck is going on. Right after turn to head to shore kayaker hears me wheezing and ask if I'm ok. I say "NO".
I thought to my self "just finish the swim". BAD call. I started to breast stoke to be able to breath more air. I would guess with about 100 yard to go I was thrashing pretty hard. Enough that friends on shore were worried. I was cramping and lost my legs. It took a huge effort just to get to shore. I had people meeting me in the water. My head was blue and I couldn't stand without help. The race director and i swam together at the early morning Memphis State(Dick Fagen) swims so he knew I swim. Wyndell Robertson came up to me and was trying to talk to me. I couldn't talk much but was telling him I couldn't breathe and was cramping. I was really blue at this point. Wyndell later told me he thought I was having a heart attack. I was being held by my arm but things were getting really fuzzy. I was now by my bike. But that's all I remmember. I went lights out. Fell on ground.
I woke up a couple of minutes later with a Emt over me with a mask on me. I was gasping still. I could not breathe. I had really good EMT's according to all the doctors I've talked to. I'm pretty fuzzy but what ever they did had me breathing better within the hour. I was sitting up. I refused the trip to the hospital. Wyndell was worried and made me promise(as a friend) I was going to see a doctor. I had friends calling that afternoon asking what the heck that was about.
Monday morning my doctor(Dr David Wheat) sees me early just to make sure it wasn't a heart issue. I'm asking him about SIPE and he rules it out almost before I can say it. He after checking me out is pretty sure I had a exercise induced asthma attack. I have no history of anything like this. Dr Wheat tells me not to do anything till I get a stress test done. I go to Jackson Heart Clinic and Dr Flecher test me and tells me I'm in really good shape. He is happy both cholestorols are good. I have a had people in the medical community telling me that US old guys(I'm 52) are pushing our bodies past our limits. I ask him point blank if he feels that is what happened and did my heart show any damage. He told me after looking at test results that whatever we are doing is good for our hearts. He is thinking Dr Wheat is right about what happened. I'm asking everyone i can get my hands on what the heck caused this. I have talked to people at Miss Dept of Air Quality and they said that day was a good day except for some Pecan pollen(not a good one I understand).
I'm not sure if any of the recent deaths are Asthma related but the more medical people I speak to the more they have stories of well trained athletes having asthma attacks. There seems to be some connection to swimming but no one has tied these together yet. If any Asthmatics have any known trigger points(ie pecan pollen) it might help me understand what happened. I don't want to do that again. I was probably pretty close to drowning. If i had passed out in the water I might have been a triathlon death with no known reason.
I threw in some random paragraphs to appease the clowns who can't read without them. OP, thanks for posting this. It is an interesting insight and I'm glad you are still around to post it.
This has never happened to me in a swim nor on the bike seems to be run related and I wonder if it is also pollen or pollutants that contribute too. I'll probably never know but reading this has inspired me to get back to the doc for the preventer before the ows season starts here in Melbourne
The only other thing I could think of is perhaps something heat related (heat exhaustion)? Even if the swim was under 78 degrees, a warm and muggy morning can make swimming hard with a swim cap very difficult.