Thursday, November 13, 2014


I had to go to the dentist for a crown today.

I've been developing some anxiety about the dentist. I don't freak out in the chair or anything, but I definitely feel strongly uncomfortable. I've mentioned that before, I think.

I may have also mentioned that I very hard to focus on my breathing when I'm in situations like this (the dentist, MRI, etc.). What I didn't realize until today was the extent to which I can control my breathing.

I've always had a low pulse rate and low respiration rate. But I realized during the procedure today that I was breathing so slowly that it was worth measuring. So when I got out of the chair and into my car, I stopped for five minutes and timed how many breaths I took when I was focusing on controlling it.


That's total, not per minute.

When I swim, I do several things to increase my heart rate without otherwise increasing the physical stress. So when I do breaststroke, I'll try to swim half the lap underwater. Or when I swim freestyle, I'll try to swim every fourth or fifth stroke instead of second or third. Plus I can still swim an entire length underwater (which is not hugely unusual, but it's quite a while to go without breathing).

That all must be having some kind of effect, I guess.

Oh, and it's not Bradypnea, which is an "abnormally low breathing rate" along with all kinds of undesirable symptoms. I don't have any of those symptoms at all, and I feel fine. And I don't breathe that slowly when I'm not specifically focusing on it, although I think my respiration rate is probably in the low normal range.

Anyway, there's a physical oddity for you.

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