Wednesday, March 28, 2018

That Was Then

A mere few days ago. Picked up an extra shift so my coworkers wouldn't have to work an 18 hour shift. Spent some time with the family and got some quality time on the trainer. Even got to send my doctor a recording on my 24 hour monitor. The photo is from my phone and the ZWIFT app.

The trainer ride was pretty good. Still not anywhere where I want to be so far as shape is but' like Nicoll says "Round is a shape". Pushed my heart rate up to just over 115 bpm and worked it back down then back up again.

If your a cyclist and not ding ZWIFT shame on you, My setup isn't immerse by any means but it suffices and gives me goals along the ride.

This Is Now

Its amazing how quickly things change. Especially when it comes to matters of the health of the heart. Health can be fragile no matter how well we think we are taking care of ourselves. Add a chronic condition as my own then your really in trouble.

So here is the now...... I have been in affib now for over 2 hours. Does this mean my procedure was a failure. To be frank with the 1 or 2 of you that take precious time from your day to read this sporadic blog, I don't really know. I do know this though. If I have to have a third procedure done I will be flying to Texas to have it done if the doctor will have me. I haven't given up hope though.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Trigger Warning!!!!!!!

Not really, or in the sense of this new found anomaly that has somehow found its way into our current society. So for the 1 or 2 of you that read this blog anyway or by some mishap of misfortune get linked here by some search engine that was intrigued by my tags. Have no fear I promise its safe to continue.

Anyway, as stated in my previous blog I received the LIFEWATCH monitor my doctor ordered yesterday to monitor for any anomalies that may still be lingering from my ablation in January. My next appointment is a little over a month away and this is the best way to see how the heart is doing.

So I activated and put the monitor on at around 1pm yesterday and had my first recordable event at around 6pm. So far as I know this is the first event I have had since going back on the Flecanide and Metoprolol regiment since back in mid January following my procedures. I'm not sure what the rhythm was but it did not feel like affib. 

Like I said I made a recording and sent it. The monitor supposedly does this on its own but it also has the option for me to record events I know are happening. The LIFEWATCH people did call me afterwords and make sure I was feeling OK. They also said they would be sending copies of the recordings to my doctor. 

So, is this a major setback? I don't know. I'm still within the 3 month blanking period. This is the first event I know of since January 17th. It can take six months for symptoms like this to totally disappear. I have been exercising without any issues. I guess only time will tell and I remain optimistic.

So Exciting

UPS has visited me the past 2 days. Yesterday they delivered the LIFEWATCH monitor. Today the delivered a second LIFEWATCH monitor and my order from PERFORMANCE BIKE. A trainer specific tire,chain lube and a new bike computer.

I haven't ridden with a bike computer for quite a few years now. I have been keeping track but just using my phones GPS and STRAVA. So I'm still collecting information but don't see it until the end of the ride. A couple of the guys I ride with complain because instead of keeping a certain pace I just ride how I feel at any given point of the ride. So maybe this will put an end to his complaining while giving me more information to assist in my training.

The computer I ended up getting is the  WAHOO ELEMENT BOLT. I was also considering  the GARMIN Edge 520. Both computers are very similar, and I think GARMIN actually makes both computers. I read a bunch of reviews and watched some videos and came to the conclusion that the WAHOO was the best choice. Not to say GARMIN does not make a great product its just the bolt seams to be more technologically advanced. Also if you are looking for some good in depth cycling equipment reviews you should check out these two guy's. DC Rainmaker and Steve over at In The Know Cycling.  Both of these guys cover all the bases in their reviews.

I'll keep you up to date on the BOLT as i get into using it. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

We Will Monitor Your Every Move

So I received a care package today from my Doctors office. Hooray its one of the final steps in seeing how successful my ablation was. I wore a similar type of monitor back in 2010 several months after my ablation back then.

The monitor constantly records my heart activity and sends it via cell phone to a central recording station. If I am to have an issue it will alarm to notify both myself and my doctor. On the up side I can still wear my WAHOO TiCKER HRM with it so I can monitor my rates while exercising.

I often wonder what the recordings looked like last time around as I was instructing spin classes at the time and doing a good bit of riding because the weather was so nice.

Really...... We Are Monitoring You

So FACEBOOK is in the news again for privacy infringement. I'm pretty sure the only reason this is happening is due to the current buzz about the trump campaign purchasing data from a third party source during the last election cycle. Otherwise we would probably not be hearing about it. This only further entrenches my opinion that the left will go to any extreme to undermine our current president. Even to turn on their own if necessary.

Al Frankin was the first victim of this particular strategy now Mark Zckerberg.  What is really telling about the situation with Zuckerberg is the fact that it was the Democratic Party, The O'Bama Campaign in particular, that perfected this strategy.  So I feel it is safe to assume that during the same election cycle the Democrats were using the same strategy but have somehow not found their way into the news for doing it. I'm not saying this isn't news worthy. I'm saying if your going to cover a story cover the whole story not just the parts that you agree with or think will further a particular agenda or narrative.

Of course if you didn't already know that FACEBOOK, GOOGLE and any other Internet savvy company isn't collecting and selling data on you your a fool. This is why I like many others don't use their full names or use and alias for FACEBOOK Identity. Not this this really stops it but it will curb it and at the very least keep the average Joe or potential employer form immediately identifying you on social media. 

Not that we all have anything to hide, However, in industries I have been involved in I had to work with people and companies that I know for a fact that I was diametrically opposed with both politically and in some cases morally, and didn't care to be judged on that basis as I know many of these institutions and companies would.

Facebook Isn't All Bad

It really isn't. It has allowed me to reconnect with old friends and to stay in contact with old. I'll admit I'm not a FACEBOOK hero having thousands of followers and friends. I'm a big believer in quality not quantity and live by the mantra "Be the best friend you can be, someone may be counting on it." In other words, don't pick your friends based on their financial stature or popularity because those criteria will surely let you down.

To that point back in January when I was sitting in the hospital waiting to see if I was going to be able to have my surgery I get a cryptic messenger text from a friend. "Do you still hate me?" the text read. "How could I ever hate you", I responded. Which lead to a great conversation which included the uncertainties and fears people have with situations like the one I had currently found myself in and how we personally dealt with them. Which I topped of following my surgery with, "I'm still alive so we will continue to be friends". She found this particular statement amusing.

Back story.......

This particular friend was a girl I dated back in high school and Quite frankly I cant really remember how long we dated or why we stopped,  but I really did like her and we had allot of fun together and that is the part I do remember. She was spunky and outspoken and I really liked those traits in a person and still do to this day.

I'm not completely sure where her question stemmed from, but I wont over think it or inquire as to the particulars beyond the conversation we had that day. I'm content in the fact that we remain friends today.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Well I got responses form both FUJI and NOTUBES today. It goes without saying that neither company feels as though they could do better. This is how we do it the part number you need is  blah blah blah.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

As the title says to you and yours. Was a pretty uneventful day. My wife and  I worked night shift last night so my son spent the night at my moms. I picked him up on the out of the way home. On the way I decided it might be nice for us to meet my wife for breakfast at Perkin's before lumbering off to bed so that's what we did. So needless to say I did not get much done  today. Staying up that extra 2 hours really kicks you in the rump. I did however get a little time Zwifting today.

The Sky

The sky was remarkable this morning and I couldn't help but pull over to take some photos of the morning sky. Living in PA we don't get a whole lot of clear mornings so I tend to take advantage of what we get when I am able too. Speaking of which 6 years ago today the temperature was in high the 60's and when the header photo was taken. I spent that day riding 45 miles with the dentist. 

Hes and interesting fellow and good company on a ride. Especially on a flat riding behind him is like riding behind a brick wall.

 New Toy

Picked up our new bikes the other day and hope to get out for a spin tomorrow. I'm pretty pleased with the purchase but as always the bike industry always comes up a little short. In this particular case I'm not sure if its the bike campy, FUJI, or the components manufacturer NOTUBES.

After much deliberation I decided to move to the next model in the lineup. This is  secondary bike for me but I've learned you can never go wrong upgrading. In this particular case the upgrades included 105 11 speed, hydraulic brakes and stans wheels. Now the issue is with the wheels. 

Part of the appeal to the upgrade was indeed the tubeless wheel-set. Lighter weight and no tubes means quicker spin-up and less flats. So I as I am getting ready to leave the store I asked Russel if the tubeless valve stems were in a bag somewhere. This is when he broke the news to me that the wheels did not include the valve stems. So I now have a set of tubeless wheels that I cant at this point run tubeless. That is until I come up with valve stems.

Needless to say this is very frustrating. I went to the NOTUBES website and they list the valve stems as being part of the wheel kit. Then later state that the valve stems are not included. Which to me makes zero sense. Why in Gods green earth would I specifically purchase a set of tubeless wheels from the best tubeless wheel manufacturer and not run them tubeless? Which takes me back to FUJI and their inability to place tubeless ready tires on the bike. You can bet your last  dollar I have already sent off emails to both companies looking for an explanation on both fronts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Al ls Well

Nothing earth shattering on the heart front. Still taking the Flecanide,metoprolal, and magnesium. Heart hasn't missed a noticeable beat in a while now. Should be getting the event monitor in the next couple weeks. I'm hoping it will allow for me to still where my HRM when exercising.


As you may or may not know I am a control room operator at a power plant and to say that the last 7 days were the worst would be an understatement. Both units were off for repairs and we ended up putting them both back on line over the past several days. One of them twice.

The physical stress in the control room is marginal at best but the mental strain creates a different type of tired for sure. And you don't even realize it until you get home and hits you like a ton of bricks.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Part of my recovery this time will be making an effort to both keep a good training regiment while keeping my heart rate in check. So Ill be using Zwift on days I cant get outside and a WAHOO Ticker HRM.

I did my first ZWIFT ride this afternoon and I think its going to work out just fine. I definitely is better than just siting there spinning the wheels.

Still Feeling Good

So I suppose that the first part of this post confirms the second. I do feel good these days even with the meds. Don't get me wrong I'm more than ready to toss them to the side and put this stage behind me, but I can wait.

The Doc got back to me the other day following up on my little setback last week. He didn't seem concerned and we talked for quite a while. Ill have some more questions for him in May at my next followup appointment. He will also be sending me a HRM recording device to wear here in the next couple weeks. He wants me do make sure I get some riding in during this time to see if there is anything there to catch.

Ill also have some questions for him myself. As he did do Cryoablation this time around I will be asking him if there were any other trigger points he might have not been able to address this time around and Cryoablation does limit the ability to hit some trouble points that I may or may not have. This second part is one I am not 100% sure on as the technology and techniques are always changing.

My other sticking point is my insurance. I now have BC/BS and my doctor is UPMC. And as you may or may not know these to entities do not play well together.

Anyway here is a link to a great article on Ablation and what you should look for when seeking out an EP to do it and increase your odds of complete success.

And here is another link to another great resource to those new and continuing to live with the beast.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

That Didn't Work Out So Well

So I had mentioned in one of my last posts that my EP wanted me to start tapering off of the meds.  I was apprehensive and excited the same. So I started tapering. 1 3/4 dose,  1 1/2 dose, 1 dose . Each step separated by 4 days or so.  the single dose is as far as I got before I started having trouble.

The weather turned at about the same time and I had started riding my bike. Not hard by any means but riding. Watching my heart rate as best I cold without a HR monitor. This was probably a big mistake. I was doing fine until my second day of cutting y dosage in half.

This had been my third day in a row on the bike. I had been doing about 30 miles each time and again taking it easy. The third ride went really well but I was pretty tired. Riding on the meds I'm on seams to really take its toll. I finished the ride a little faster than i had planed so I know that I pushed my HR higher than I had wanted to. About an hour after my ride my heart was out of rhythm. Needless to say I was bummed but understand that this can happen early on.

So the first thing to do at this point is get my heart back in rhythm so I went back to my normal dose times 2 to try to get my heart to convert to NSR, This is also what I did back in January  and ended up passing out. I didn't pass out this time but my heart did not convert either. The next day I was still out of rhythm and whet back to my normal dose. I was wiped out and disgusted as I hardly slept the night before.That evening when I got home I took a double dose again and about another hour later I converted. I must say this whole thing is enough to make a Guy nuts but I have faith it will get better. I had similar issues last time around then went almost 9 years without any real issues.

So I am back to my normal dose 2 times a day for a whole now. The doctor will be sending an event monitor in the next couple weeks and I am very anxious to get back to normal life.


Working night shift is always a drag. I adapt to it very well and I never have issues getting things done between work and sleep. Ill even get out on the bike after I wake which is usually before noon.The guys on my shift seem to be able to cope pretty good as well which helps.

The real issue is the work place and if it weren't for the people running the show it would be great. Like the saying goes, its the best job I have ever had at the worst place I've ever worked. It amazes me how they put people in control that have zero idea how to to any of the jobs that those direct do.

Many of the guys I work with come from similar backgrounds or industries that I do. So we make for a pretty cohesive group and any one of them could do a better job than those we work for. Maybe not the complete operations segment but for sure would be better leaders.