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 with AF. I was forced to miss Hardrock in 2011 due to my AF but my long term goal was to get back to a level where I could enter the lottery for 2012. 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 qual for 2015. I ran Fatdog in Canada instead. That was tough. Now back to Hardrock.

The heart problems all started back on May 25: 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