Sunday, 9 August 2015

The 3 Peaks - 5th July 2015 (my 3 peakus horribilus)

Annnnd.... it was the 3 Peaks yet again, this time for my July round, and 7th of the year, there to be ticked off. It was me, Hester, Sharon again from last week, and whole bunch of Hester's old running buddies from when she lived in Masham and ran with Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers. The weather wasn't too bad, well not too bad anyway until we hit Ingleborough with just 5.5 miles to go when some heavy rain swooped in, but we did have some other difficulties along the way. One of the runners Fran was feeling really dodgy at the bottom of Whernside (sick, woozy and light headed) and she decided to call it a day with Hester then going with Fran along the valley bottom to Chapel-le-Dale to hopefully meet up with us again for the final peak Ingleborough. It was a good decision for Fran to drop out too as she was quite badly sick (quoting Hester 'spewing all over the place') and, luckily enough, also managed to grab a lift with a couple at Chapel-le-Dale back to Horton (on the basis that she agreed not to be sick in their car).

I too had a problem. When I reached the top of Whernside I had a really weird aching feeling in my throat and chest, coupled with a still aching back and dodgy tummy that I'd been carrying with me since Scotland a week and a half before. Weird is the best word to describe it in that it didn't particularly hurt but equally didn't match up with any ache I'd ever had in my chest before. Anyway I bashed on and we all managed to finish, with Hester rejoining the pack at Chapel-le-Dale and with me, like the week before's 3 Peak run, feeling very tired and weary over the last half dozen miles.

Everyone came back to our house for tea and cake and all agreed it was a great outing. I though now felt sick and shivery and couldn't eat a thing.....

21.7 miles and 4,726 feet - route on Strava

Post Script

Playing on my mind just a little bit for the last 7 or 8 miles of the run was a super fit fell runner I knew who died of a cardiac arrest whilst in a fell race. And here's me with an aching chest and back and doing a 22 miler over three peaks! Obviously I got home okay but, after everyone had left and while Hester was at the shop, I checked NHS Choices and filled in a really simple questionnaire for chest and back pain. It quickly came back with the answer "call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance". So, once Hester got home, I did...

The ambulance guys from Settle were soon on the scene and carried out a few checks and a few ECG's. The ECG results looked a bit odd and my pulse was high so they decided that what I had could be some sort of 'cardiac event' and decided to get me to Leeds General Infirmary who are their hospital of choice in such circumstances. They even tried to get the air ambulance in to take me there but, just my luck, (never having been on a helicopter before) they weren't available. Settle ambulance were brilliant though and I was speedily ambulance to LGI. Poor Hester was left behind to follow in her car and imagine all sorts of worst case scenarios.

When I got to LGI, an hour or so later, they were just amazing. A crack team was already waiting for my arrival and, before I knew it, I was all set for an angiogram and angioplasty if needed. They used some sort of amazing (CT?) scanner whilst inserting a thin wire up through a vein in my arm and all the way into my heart, all visible on screen. If I'd had a heart attack they could've inserted stents needed to widen any bunged up arteries there and then. Thankfully they didn't find any arteries narrow or bunged up enough to require stenting (and they even complimented me on the size of my heart) so it appeared that I hadn't had a heart attack. Phew!

Never-the-less I still had some sort of problem, I had a temperature and my chest and back still ached.  So I was trollied up to the cardiac ward, wired up to an ECG monitor and rigged up to an automatic blood pressure taking contraption. I also had some other tubes and wires attached but quite what they were I'm not sure. I had a blood sample taken (which eventually came back as fine), chest x-rays and, in the early hours of now Monday morning, a chap came round and gave my heart the full ultra sound treatment (an ECHO test) - great news again in that he gave my heart a big tick and confirmed that it was working perfectly. Hester, who having driven all the way to Leeds, waited patiently until about one in the morning to see me briefly and had then gone home was probably now asleep. I guess I almost certainly woke her up at about 4:30 am then with a text giving the good news.

Anyway, cutting a long story short, they diagnosed me with pericarditis which is a swelling of the sack that surrounds the heart and is often caused by a virus (such as a tummy bug or flu). Having arrived at the hospital late evening on Sunday, I was 'let free' at 6pm on Monday, after a stay of less than 24 hours. Apparently 5% of all A&E arrivals with suspected heart attacks actually have pericarditis. But blimey there were some very ill patients also on that cardiac ward...

All I had to do was take it easy for a few days, take anti-inflamatories and not do any strenuous exercise for a week and job's a good 'un. And I'd also had a complete heart health check up in the process.

So all was good, or so I thought....

The team on reaching the top of peak one, Pen y Ghent

Ribblehead Viaduct

The standard 'heading for Whernside but looking at Ingleborough' photo

At this point only Sharon could live with my 'pace'

The last haul up Whernside is a belter

Nicky crawling over the top

Lorraine and Sarah 'hurtling' up the side of Whernside

The survivors of the team at the top of peak 2, Whernside

Nearly at the top of Ingleborough

The top of Ingleborough just before the rain hit

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