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Adventures of the Heart

I turned 63 last week and celebrated by going in for a catheter ablation the next day. This has become a fairly common procedure where a pair of catheters, or tubes containing instruments, are stuck into the femoral arteries in your groin, one on each side, and then threaded up into your heart. Once there the doctor performing the procedure will target some specific spots in the heart to either freeze or burn, creating some scar tissue that will hopefully stop the patient’s atrial fibrillation. This generally works well in about 80% of patients and I was hopeful it would resolve mine.

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Heart Update

I have been living with Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) for the past three years now. It seemed to be nothing more than a nuisance until late may or early June this past year when I noticed my pulse rate starting to spike again when out running. Slowing down helped for a while, but eventually even a light jog became too much. Finally, in August, I contacted my cardiologist to setup an appointment to discuss this.

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Final Word on My Heart – For Now

In the last three months I have seen my doctor, a cardiologist and a physiologist; been wired up to a heart event monitor for two weeks, had my thyroid checked, had an echocardiogram and a treadmill stress test; told not to run; told I could run; started taking metoprolol to lower my pulse rate; and spent a lot of time online researching heart arrhythmias.  It has been interesting, as well as a bit unsettling, but all of the visits and tests are done for now. I have an irregular heartbeat.  This is nothing new, fairly common and nothing to worry about.  When it gets bad, …

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Cholesterol Control

I went in a couple of weeks ago for my annual physical.  I did this primarily to have my PSA level checked, making sure that the prostate cancer is still gone.  That value was undetectable this year, which is good.  What was not so good is that my cholesterol levels had spiked up into an unacceptable range.  My total cholesterol jumped from 205 to 240 and the LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) jumped from 127 to 162. So late last week my doctor called to have a chat with me about taking care of this problem.  The options given to …

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Atrial Fibrillation

Heart Update: Atrial Fibrillation

Yet another trip to the cardiologist indicates potential Atrial Fibrillation. Treatments include drugs or a Catheter Ablation, burning out the faulty tissue

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Atrial Fibrillation

Over the past 20 years, or so, I have had periodic episodes where my heart decides to start periodically skipping beats.  I made it in to see a doctor a couple of times when it got particularly bad.  They would run a test or two and ultimately tell me that it was normal and not to worry.  So, last spring when the latest, and worst, episode started I just ignored it.  That is until early November when my pulse would occasionally jump to over 200 bpm when out running (I wear a monitor for training purposes).  Initially suspecting an equipment malfunction, I …

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Aging Gracefully – Not Gonna Do It!

Not too sure just when it happened, but I think I have finally started to get old.  And I don’t like it very much.  Granted, the age related discounts at eateries is a bonus.  And being retired is definitely a good thing.  But what my body is doing to me is not much fun. My hair has been slowly turning gray over the past 30 years.  And over the past few years I have started to notice wrinkles on my hands that are not supposed to be there.  But none of that really bothers me all that much.  Having gray …

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Prostate Cancer – One Year Later

This past week I passed my one year anniversary as a cancer survivor. It was last Valentine’s Day that I had a Radical Prostatectomy, having my prostate removed. At that point everything looked very positive that the cancer had been completely contained within the prostate and should be gone. Well, the good news is that as of last week there is no sign that the cancer had spread. This will continue to be an annual test just to be sure, but it was good to see.

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And Life Goes On

Well it’s been four weeks now since surgery; and not a four weeks I would hope to repeat. I have never spent so much time laying around doing little or nothing. And if I never see a catheter again, it will be too soon.

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Surgery: A Big Adventure

I must admit that surgery was quite an adventure, but one that I do not look forward to ever having to experience again. I have heard from lots of people who have had surgery, and read about it some, but nothing quite prepares one for the actual experience.