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Old 06-27-2022, 06:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 199
My heart is stressing me just now.

I was diagnosed with paroxymal Atrial Fibrillation back in 2015. First episode was in 2015, and they local medics here didn't want to cardio convert me here and put me on meds. After 13 days, I finally converted in my sleep on my birthday. Since then I didn't have any real issues for a few years, another episode in 2017 and maybe one in 2018. In that time, I trained and hit a lot of my goals for cycling and triathlon. I won a national title cycling on the track, competed at worlds, trained for an completed a number of shorter triathlons, two half ironmans and a full ironman. (3.8 KM swim, 180 km bike and then run a marathon) Really fortunate to be able to do these things that I love and that keep me fit and healthy.

During Covid and lockdowns, I had more frequent episodes, culminating in one where it felt really bad. Essentially your heart rate is off and not regular, and because of blood pooling there is a risk of stroke. Fed up with my local hospital, I drove to one about 45 minutes away at 3am, where I was cardio converted via a defibrillator. Since then I have been on meds that if I go into afib and stay there for six hours, I take four pills and I am good after that.

This year in Feb/March, every time I went for a training run, (I swim four times a week, bike three and run three times in the winter), I would go into Afib after coming home. I would have to take the pills, and rest for a day. So I called the cardio clinic and was put on the pills every day.

Now from the start of 2019, I was on the list to get an ablation, which helps this condition. What they do is image the heart while in afib, see where the mis-fires are coming from and zap those heart cells at that location, via a wire put in thru your femoral artery. Then new "pathways" take over and the bad pathways that get out of sync, no longer can trigger the AFIB. Because of covid, the "about a year" wait has turned into three years.

With this past Feb/March, attacks I have been on pills every day, which has two purposes, it keeps my heart rate low and I am thirsty all the time. The being thirsty is actually good because I drink a lot more water and I am better for it.

The low heart rate is a different story, if I get up too fast sometimes I get dizzy, when I train it takes about 30 - 40 minutes for me to warm up, so this adds time and I can't train as I like.

Now before you say how privleged this is, I am well aware of how lucky I am to still even do these things. However, this is my heart and when I have these issues it is disconcerting and I am hyper aware of it. Any itch in my chest or pain in my left arm, it gives me concern etc. Any flutter feeling lying in bed at night is the same.

Along with this, my youngest son didn't get along with his Mom anymore, (my ex-wife) and came to live with me and he is struggling with some things, Both my two elder sons lost their jobs at the start of Covid, and it was a struggle to help them stay afloat, and since stress is a trigger for the Afib episodes, well this has not been fun
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