I had an interesting, if uncomfortable, experience last night.
GoddessJ has been a member of a local gym for several years, and this year she got me to join — I go to help keep her motivated. A few weeks ago, while using the weight machines, I started feeling extremely nauseous and had to stop. We went home, and after an hour or so I felt fine. GoddessJ said that it had happened to her before, and that I’d just pushed myself too hard.
It happened again last night, but with a new twist. I started feeling mildly nauseous on the tenth machine (of fourteen I usually use), so I rested for a while. It didn’t go away, so I did a set on the eleventh machine and moved to the twelfth, planning to rest there a little longer before I continued. But I just kept feeling more and more nauseous, maybe a little dizzy, and found myself sweating like crazy. Then the really weird thing: everything started sounding very odd and far away, and my sight started fading until all I could see were very pale shadows on a gray background. The only reason I knew that I was still able to see anything at all was that GoddessJ walked up to me, and I could see the shadow that was her moving. It was so strange that it almost distracted me from how lousy I was feeling.
Over a few minutes my sight slowly returned, though things still sounded far away and echoey for several minutes more, as if I were hearing them through a six-foot cardboard tube. After a while longer I was able to walk out to the car, with only a several-minute stop halfway there. (We normally walk to the gym, since it’s only a few minutes away from our house, but it was raining cats and dogs last night. It’s a good thing, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to get home under my own power.) After laying down for maybe forty-five minutes, I still felt weak but the nausea had vanished and I was very hungry, with a craving for carbohydrates.
I’m pretty sure the whole episode was simply hypoglycemia, caused by using up my available blood sugar and not being able to replace it quickly enough. When that happens with no provocation, it’s often an early sign of diabetes, but I was just checked for that a few months ago and came up clean, so it had to be solely from the workout. I haven’t been able to find a description of the visual symptom that matches mine, but the rest is apparently pretty standard fare.
As interesting as the experience was, I’d rather not repeat it. From now on, when I start feeling nauseous I’m going to call it quits on the exercise, no matter how much or how little I’ve got left.