I would like to share a very important situation which happened to me at Germany. This might be useful to you or everyone you might share with.
This occurred a week ago at the gym (kraftraum) at SAP AG, Germany. That fine morning, I started as usual from my home at 5.45AM to the gym inside the office itself. My colleague who stays in the same hotel I stay, joined me. While starting from my home, I drank just half glass of water, enough to clear out the morning dryness in my throat.
I did my workout for around 1 hours. My last one was for the abdomen and while I was doing my crunches, I felt some dryness in my throat. I experienced a bit of fatigue too. But managed to complete the whole session. Then I proceeded towards the dressing room where I felt a bit of dizzyness while walking inside. With nobody in sight (it was the early hours and it was obvious), went to the last bench and just sat down. While I was sitting, my body started reacting differently. Like a race car doing a drift, I felt my body swirling sideways.
I felt my body losing its capacity to be stable and thoughts came flashing in my mind, telling that I will faint soon. But I didn’t want that to happen. I am not that weak. Few minutes before, I was capable to run 30 mins do heavy weights for 40 minutes straight. If I have that much stamina, I will be able to withstand this dizziness.
So, first thing to do, free of myself with body hugging gym clothes. I removed my t-shirt, loosened my pant a bit. Still nobody arrived in the dressing room. Anyways, its upto me to recover. Come what may, I stood up trying to gain hold of me. The swirling increased. Hobbling my way across the dressing room, I came across the wash basin. I splashed some water on my face and drank ample quantity of it. I felt like the pin in a fuel indicator, when I took off my face from the wash basin.
The fatigue persisted .. What could be the reason ? Perhaps, I should breathe in to let more oxygen come inside and refresh me. I went back to the same bench and started to breathe. Pumping heavily, I started to breathe harder to quickly rejuvenate. Still nobody in the dressing room . I feared what would happen if I collapsed over here ? What if this was something more serious ? This is the first time I am experiencing this much of dizziness. Then the actual breakdown started. Suddenly, my fatigue vanished, my dizzyness disappeared. But, my legs started to contract, numbness started filling my body starting from my head. Within few seconds, I felt my whole body stalled. My fingers started to take a claw shape and I was not able to move it back to the previous position. My body began to get fixed in the same position as I was sitting with my mind completely ignoring all my physical requests.
Fear started filling in. I had thoughts of people having paralysis and an obvious thought started to surface and fed me that I am also going through the same. I ignored that. I kept on trying with my fingers and legs and never stopped breathing. With whatever positive strength prevailing in me, I used it. Then, I heard footsteps. A German colleague came. And thankfully to the last bench beside me. Relief at last. But, he never looked at me while he was unpacking his bag. I thought that he thought I was meditating.
I started signaling him. When I tried to say “Hello”, nothing came from my mouth, because I was not able to move it. Oh My God! What is happening ? He came beside me, still not knowing what I am going through. He asked me what I wanted. Unable to still talk, I concentrated more on my mouth muscles rather than the rest because I need to tell this gentleman who showed up at the right time. “Aaaaaiiiii yaaimmm nauggghhttt .. “, thats it, nothing else started. “What sir ?”, he asked me. “Aaai yaaaimm naugghhttt haaaiibuullll taauu moooovvve”, was my reply, which I thought, would have never reached him. “Oh, wait a min” .. and he understood me! He caught hold of my hand and fingers and started to stretch a bit and at the same time, asked me to breathe slowly. He then asked me to sit down and started to smile to make me calm. He started asking me few questions about which building I was sitting and stuff. I was very confused and tensed. But, his words and actions made me comfortable. He told his name was Anderson and was working in the same building where the gym was. I started feeling a bit better.
Slowly, I felt the stretches untie, I felt my body regaining back to form. A huge relief came on me. It was the happiest time I have ever been. Very slowly, I started moving my legs and hands and could move it freely. My fingers were back to normal once again. I was back!
Thanking him a lot, I went for shower and after dressing up, I went straight to meet the doctor at SAP. The Doctor, after hearing the whole situation that happened at the gym, smiled and patted on my shoulder. “Nothing to worry, you just had a Panic Attack”. And the explanation goes like this.
After so much sweat at the gym, and the added fact that I didn’t have sufficient amount of water, made me almost dehydrated. So, I was feeling the dizziness. But, the Doctor could not explain how the Panic Attack started because of that. But she speculated that the combination of dizzyness and the feeling that I was alone with nobody to help at that point of time, might be the reason (Not sure even!). And now comes the interesting part.
When my brain sensed that my body was experiencing lack of water and my brain sensing fear (with heavy breathing setting in), it had sent signals to the nervous system to shut down it seems (Not literally complete shut down, but to the safe level). This had made my legs and hands immovable and even my mouth, speechless. At this stage, the ideal option is to breathe normally and to calm down. But, since I was still breathing heavily and the adrenaline still was active, the shut down was still in place. When the colleague came and helped me, his calm words and soothing actions revoked the Shut Down process and my brain heaved a sigh of relief from which my body started to resume its normal state.
Such experiences are rare it seems and to a healthy body, the effects are close to nil. But, she also said that if the same situation would have occurred to a person with High Blood Pressure or to a Diabetic, the effect would have been profound.
Even though the situation was minor and didn’t affect me much, it might not be the case with another fellow human being who might experience it later. We are not made up of same composition right ? So, effects vary. Please be cautious of such situations and try not to follow the same I did :-P .. Be calm and poise :-)
Do read about Panic Attack.
Be Healthy. Stay Strong. :-)