Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Getting Back in the Groove

Bruno writes:

In early January I had noticed that I was breathless after ascending the two flights of stairs to my office at work.  At the time I attributed this to a very bad chest cold, and I was treated with a course of antibiotics.  It certainly made snowboarding / ski-ing harder work and I struggled to keep up with Sheri and our friends on the trails!

A month or so later when my cold was gone I still felt the same, so I made a return trip to see my family doctor.  I went for a series of tests and it was discovered that I had developed a heart arrhythmia know as "atrial flutter".  My resting heart rate was about 160-bpm and the blood was not being properly pumped around my body. This explained everything!

The short term treatment was drugs - beta-blockers to slow my heart and anticoagulants to prevent bold clots and a stroke.  And for the past month our usual winter activities have been severely curtailed.  Even going for a short walk down the road left me short of breath and it was hard to imagine going for a hike in the mountains or out for a few hours on my cross-country skis.  And our purchase of new snow-shoes seemed to be very optimistic!

Today I went to the hospital for a procedure known as "cardioversion".   Essentially the heart is restarted with an electric shock and in most cases normal rhythm is restored.  In about 50% of cases this is a long term fix, and I am hopeful that I will be in that half of the population!

At the moment I am recovering from the anesthetic and hoping that we can soon get back to a normal routine.  We are expecting a new puppy to arrive in our lives in mid-May, so this would be a great outcome.  Of course nothing is guaranteed, so we are taking life one day at a time and trying to be cautiously optimistic.

ECG traces of my 'before' and 'after' heart rate

No comments: