Ultrarunner fighting Atrial Fibrilation (AF)

This blog has pretty much always been about running ultras, mostly Hardrock. It still is but now it is also about running after AFib. I was forced to miss Hardrock in 2011 due to the onset of AF but my long term goal was to get back to running milers. And hopefully help any other runners with AF who stumble upon this site. I never made it into Hardrock in 2012, or 2013, or 2014. I didn't have a qualifier for 2015. I ran Fatdog in Canada instead. That was tough. I finished my 4th Hardrock in 2016 and now I'm back to try for the magical number 5.

If you want the history of my AF the heart problems all started back on May 25 2011: http://howmanysleeps.blogspot.com/2011/05/out-of-hardrock.html

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another cardiology consult

I ran alone again last night. The weather was atrocious. The dogs didn't even move away from the heater when I headed for the door. I was wearing 3 layers on top plus a light running jacket, polypro beanie, buff around my neck, full length heavy tights, and polypro gloves. A cap kept the rain out of my eyes. The biggest problem was walking/shuffling so slow meant I couldn't warm up. My hands were freezing even in the gloves. Ordinarily I would probably just skip my run in these conditions. Not anymore. If I haven't run and I am scheduled for one I am out there. I will never take running for granted again.

I have a new rating system to describe my runs. On the heart medication it feels like I am dragging a tyre behind me when I try to run. Sometimes it feels like I am dragging 2 tyres at once. Sometimes I am dragging a tractor tyre. I don't like to talk about those ones. Last night was a 'one tyre' night. I ran again this morning, unusual to run 2 days in a row but opportunity knocked. This was a 'two tyre' run. I had just had my morning medication and clearly the effects were strong. We bumped into a runner I know and he turned and ran with us a short way but soon realised I wasn't going to talk. It was more that I couldn't talk. It was taking everything I had just to keep moving.

I revisited my cardiologist today. I updated him and he said that it looks like I need to see the ablation specialist (who I had preemptively booked in to). That is not for another 3 weeks. So I am to remain on this relatively low dose of beta-blockers until then. No solution to the side effects. Except more time off work. I pretty much expected all of that but left rather disappointed nonetheless. I haven't had an episode of AF for 2 weeks. But I am still suffering regular arrhythmia and I can feel my heart 'jumping' to try and flip into AF but the medication is suppressing it. A very unpleasant feeling like my heart is actually rotating inside my chest. I have had more anecdotal stories of successful ablations (thanks Darcy) so I am really pinning my hopes on that now.

1 comment:

tamyka said...

Dude, this is really scary, I had no idea you were going through all this. My thoughts are with you. If you need anything, let me know --Tanky