Saturday, June 29, 2019

Nothing New

Noting new to report lately. I did have a short run of eptopics a day last week that I thought were surely going to lead to an event. Fortunately they were short lived and did not progress.

Tickets and reservations are made for my July trip back to Austin for my 4th and hopefully last ablation. I'm excited and ready to put this chapter of my life behind me. Hopefully forever.

I'm also excited as I will be able to see and have my ablation done @ TCAI's new Electrophysiology Center.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Outpacing Myself

Had another break through the other day. Came home from work and was helping with dinner when it happened. this one was the worst thus far. My heart rate reached 204 bpm which is by no means a record for me but its been a while since I have seen numbers that high. Ended up taking 200 mg of Flecanide and 7mg of Metoprolol and converted about 3 hours later.

This event really sapped it out of me. I was completely wiped out through the following day into the evening. So much so I took the elevator at work and did nothing when I got home from work. This is the issue with afib. It almost always gets worse instead of better. You may plateau but it will eventually take a stronger hold.

The Date Is Set

I took some recordings with my KARDIA and sent the best one to DR. Natale's nurse. She got back to me right away and we discussed when I was coming back for a touch-up ablation. I told her I was just waiting to hear back from his scheduler to set a date since I had passed on the last date that was offered to me. Things at that time did not seem that bad but after the other night I feel its time. His scheduler got in touch with me yesterday and I scheduled an appointment for July 18. That's 2 months away but that time will go quickly. It will also give me time to continue to regain some fitness before hand.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Afib Break Throughts

I have had a total of 3 Break Through events this year.Feb 15, April 1 and April 14. Two of them happened wile relaxed and the other at the gym. Non of these happened under any conditions I am used to. My events were always just after or during sustained cardio exercise whereas 2 of these happened in relaxed states. The latest being after being called out to work and not getting any rest.
The event happened @ the 18 hour mark of being awake and lasted for an hour. I took a Flecanide since I had so little sleep and didn't want to chance not converting on my own. This event lasted 1 hour as the other 2 about 1/2 hour.

I was able to have the April 1 event captured on a 12 lead EKG. I was at the gym when I went out of rhythm so I Gathered up my son and headed to the local ambulance service. They have 2 centers in town and I just happened on the one that only schedules transportation. After spending a few minutes trying to tell them that I didn't need an ER just a 12 lead EKG they said I should try their other office.

So back to the truck and across town the their other facility. I walk in and they are having a paramedic class. One of the instructors came out into the hall and I again start explaining my needs. Their first response was to ask if I wanted to go to the hospital. After a few minutes of explaining that all I needed was a 12 lead EKG before I convert back to NSR. That I did not need a hospital that was going to charge me $1000, maybe or maybe not get to me before I converted, then try to admit me the finally got the comfort level that I was aware of what I was doing.

They took me over to the Paramedic side of the building and they briefly explained my situation and what I needed and the manager grabbed their Portable EKG and lead me to their lounge. They hooked me up and got a recording. I thanked them and made my way back to the truck and converted back to NSR without meds, so I was out of rhythm for about 30 minutes same as last time There was allot of other conversation and banter in between, mostly them trying to tell me I should go to ER. They were also confused why the doctor would not want me to go to the ER. I tried to explain the situation but they didn't seam to understand. I did appreciate their concern though.

I am currently waiting to hear back from Dr. Natale's scheduler to set a date for a touch-up ablation. I was offered a May date but decided to wait for something a little later. Hopefully June or July at the latest. She is waiting for him to release his dates for those months.My family wants to come along so I think we will make it a road trip. My son and wife can both drive so I can relax coming home. This ablation should be a walk in the park as the main focus will be on the LAA and the completion of its isolation. I have never felt to bad following any of my ablations so all should be good. We will just meander home from Texas and pass through Nashville and Memphis. Probably catch the Blue Ridge Parkway as well.

Still Riding

I've still been doing some riding to try to find the fitness I lost somewhere along the way. My rides have been averaging a minimum of 30 miles and I have had both the Pinarello and the Jari out. I took the Jari the other day out of necessity.I broke a spoke on the last outing on the Pinarello and am waiting on MAVIC to send me the spokes to repair it. I ordered them a week ago and after speaking to them yesterday it looks like they may ship out tomorrow.

I really enjoy the Jari but it is a different animal from the Pinarello. Allot more relaxed and in by no measure a speed machine. At least it isn't with the tires it has on it now anyway. It does allow for me to get off of the beaten path which I did again the other day. I had hoped for a 40 mile day but time wasn't going to allow for that on the Jari so I opted for something a little shorter. I still ended up with 34 miles but was able to finish up on one of the local Rail To Trails in the area. It was nice as I was able to ride a portion of the trail I had never ridden before. Here is a link to the ride. I didn't set the world on fire so far as speed goes. And I didn't get the mileage I was looking for. But I did get close to 3 hours in the saddle and that is what I am looking for more than anything right now. Time in the saddle will translate to fitness soon enough.

Such a Disappointment

The shop where I bought my last bike sold out to another. I really liked Glens shop. Lots of eye candy and great customer service. Glen understood what it was to be a cyclist and also what it took to connect with the customer. I judge all bike shops on how I ran mine in another life time. Not to toot my own horn but I was good at it. Not only the mechanical side of things but also the sales side. The connecting with people and helping them find what they needed to make cycling enjoyable and hopefully become a passion for them as it is for me.

I never prejudged anyone that came though my doors. Not even the guy that came in to my store to purchase a bike to ride across the country that had only ridden some rails to trails up until that very day. That's a story in and of itself. Weather they wanted me to fix their Walmart special, purchase a comfort bike or something super high end for those that already had the passion. It didn't matter to me. I love cycling and love to share that with others and get excited to see someone interested. I got to know so many interesting people on my cycling journey and continue to to this very day.

So my wife and I ventured to the shop that had bought out Glens place. I've been three before as they sponsor a cycling team that I used to sponsor. I have never been real impressed and this time was no different. Not only did they not have the parts I needed which has happened before their customer service also sucks. 

My wife was window shopping as her interest in cycling has returned. She was unfamiliar with the store and happened in a part where they sell electric bikes which she has zero interest in. A sales person approached her and started to try to sell her on the electric bike. Her response was why would I ever want something to help me i would rather exercise. Instead of helping her he just walked away. She would have never been neglected like that at Glens place or mine for that matter. this is a woman that cycled almost 3000 miles, completing several centuries the summer leading up to the birth of our son. She actually cycled up until she was into her eighth month of pregnancy.

As we were leaving, both disgusted, she eyed a Pinarello with pink graphics hanging on the wall. She inquired about it and the salesman blurted out a price and walked away. We left even more disgusted after that. She was really interested and would have like to take a look at it but after that decided to look elsewhere.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Lots Going On

Not much new on the heart front. Only a few eptopics hear and there but nothing sustained. I've been getting to the gym, Zwifting, riding my bike and working on the falcon.

I got out on the bike 3 days last week. First day was cool, the second day in the 70's and the third day back to the 50's with wind gusts in the 30's. That third day wasn't a whole lot of fun. I ended up with almost 80 miles over the three days. I hit the road the first 2 days and took my gravel bike on the third. Ended up in whites woods for the tail end of Fridays ride.

Tanoma Road
Five Points

Coal is alive and well in Pennsylvania. They have been talking about putting this coal loading facility in for a long time now. They finally got it up and running last year. Since I was unable to ride last year this is the first time I have been past it. They bring coal out of the mine on the right side of the road the convey it across the road to load trains.

Coal loading facility
Coal pile waiting to be loaded

Third days ride ended up in whites woods. Was supposed to be a recovery ride but the high winds put a quick end to that. The woods weren't much better since the trails are still soft from the spring thaw.

Soft ground

Me and a tree in Whites Woods

Steady As She Goes

Not a whole lot of new news to report. I did get the results of my Zio Patch and there wasn't allot to report from that. There were 17 or so recordable events, the longest lasting 17 beats. Other than that there was not much to tell. The events didn't last long enough and the Zio patch is limited in the amount of information that can be gleaned from it. In order to get any real information I will need to capture an event on a  lead EKG. and for that to happen the events are going to have to last a whole lot longer than that.

I did have a half hour long event that I converted using Flecanide. This was after I had sent the Zio back and had not yet heard from my doctor. I did get a recording of it on my Kardia but again it is indeterminable what exactly what the rhythm was. I'n not in the lease worried though as the worst case scenario is  I go back to Austin and have Dr. Natale sort it out. We discussed this possibility following my procedure and as anyone that has dealt with this knows this is not uncommon. I also talked to Shannon shortly after all of this came about and we had a nice conversation.

All of this of course has pushed back my visit to Austin to have another TEE done to ascertain the function of my LAA and see if I will be able to come off of the Elequis. So until then it will be life normal and being able to capture any oddities along the way.

Back On The Bike

I started back on the trainer a couple weeks ago and I have been back to the gym now for a couple of months. I have been pretty faithful at getting to the gym but wasn't real regular on the bike at first but I am getting to be more frequent. I always thought it was amazing how fast you lost fitness over just a few months but over a year off of the bike has really left it's mark. But I'm thankful that I can do either considering where I was this time last year.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Monitoring My Every Move

My heart rate monitor arrived last week and its unlike any I have ever had in the past. Its called the ZIO Patch. It is the smallest monitor I have ever been prescribed by a doctor. It's pretty simple in design and has no wires. The only issue I have encountered is the adhesive does not tolerate showers and exercise real well. So I had to come up with and alternative to help hold it in place that has worked out real well. I have been using Kinesio Tape in addition to the manufactures adhesive and it is working out real well. The other issue with the patch is there is no way of knowing if it is actually working. It will flash orange if it come unattached, which it did when I removed it. I should have taken a photo of that as well as it is very noticeable when this occurs.

I have thought of some other design changes I would make as well that are geared to those wearing it who are more active. These ideas would also benefit those with skin sensitivity as it would allow for re-positioning of the device every couple days. I may send them a suggestion or two as this is what I used to do for a living at one point in my life. I also verified that my addition of the Kinesio tape was successful as when I removed the tape it basically fell off and started blinking orange. The Kinesio tape was also less irritating to my skin.

The time frame for me to wear it ended Wednesday. I will then send it back and the results will be sent to Dr. Natale for review. If all is well I will come off of the metoprolol and be scheduled for a return trip to Austin for a TEE (Trans-Esophageal Electrocardiography) to check the function of my left atrial appendage. If that is ok then I will be able to come off of the Elequis.

Cycling In Place

I finally got the trainer set up the other day. I also purchased a Smart TV and a Lightning HDMI adapter for my I-pad so I can mirror the screen to the TV. It makes Zwifting allot more entertaining. I'm not a huge Apple fan but I got the I-pad for free last year so I'll use it for now.

I' been sick now for the past several days so really haven't had much chance to use the new setup but I'm feeling better and should get back to it this week. I also start my seven day break this coming Wednesday so I'll have lots of time to focus on this as well as some other outstanding projects I have been neglecting lately. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Monitor On Its Way

Heard from Dr. Natale's office the other day. They are sending a 7 day monitor for me to wear. This is the next step leading up to another trip to Texas Cardiac and Arrhythmia for a TEE. This test will let them know if the function of my LAA is good enough to come off of the Elequis. I'm hoping as well that I will also be coming off of the beta blockers as well.

The past year of life has had allot of ups and downs but in the end it has all seemed to work out. I haven't noticed any arrhythmia's and my back, though it still hurts some times, is no where near where it was.I have yet to start using the indoor trainer but I have been doing allot of walking and climbing the stairs at work. I think I may try to get on either the trainer tomorrow or the spin bike. I have been getting to the gym regularly though and that feels good.